The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) plans to formally launch its next fully-fledged incubator in Nairobi, Kenya later this year, where entrepreneurs will be offered the same level of support, mentorship, network and access to resources as its other incubators.
Since its 2008 launch in Accra, Ghana, MEST has invested over US$20 million in funding, with portfolio companies going on to receive follow-on funding.
It expanded its footprint into Nigeria in 2015, Kenya in 2016, and South Africa and Ivory Coast in 2017 by welcoming Nigerian, Kenyan, Ivorian and South African Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) into the programm. It has since launched incubators in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa, and will now add a fourth in Nairobi.
This was announced this week at the third MEST Africa Summit, which saw leading entrepreneurs, investors and corporate executives from Africa and across the globe – including Silicon Valley, Europe and Asia – discussing trends, challenges and opportunities facing tech entrepreneurs on the continent under the theme “The Year of the African Scaleup?”.
Following a showcase of pitches from MEST portfolio company founders, the three-day event culminated in an announcement of the winner of the MEST Africa Challenge, a pan-African pitch competition which saw Nigeria’s Accounteer awarded US$50,000 in equity investment from the Meltwater Foundation, along with space and support in the MEST Incubator Lagos.
“We’re thrilled at the outcome of this year’s summit. We welcomed the continent’s leading entrepreneurs, investors and visionaries for some incredibly engaging discussions around how we can execute on propelling and scaling the continent’s leading tech scaleups, while serving as a celebration of a decade of growth at MEST,” said Aaron Fu, managing director at MEST.
“The success of this year’s summit, as a meeting ground for Africa’s top ecosystem partners and enthusiasts, has created a forum for honest discussion about change on the continent which we hope will lead to tangible actions and delivery. I’m also extremely excited about our upcoming incubator launch in Nairobi, as we look to strengthen our pan-African footprint.”