The Accra-based Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is open for applications from South Africa for the first time, while the company has also confirmed it will be opening incubators in Lagos and Nairobi this year.
Initially launched in Ghana, the MEST training programme continues its expansion into South African cohorts having already accepted Nigerian and Kenyan Entrepreneurs-In-Training (EITs) onto its programme.
MEST is now accepting applications from South Africans, Ghanaians, Kenyans and Nigerians who wish to take part in the one-year intensive training programme and launch their own software company, with potential for seed investment opportunities. Applications close on June 1.
The programme that blends an MBA-type education with hands-on training in software development. Students form into teams, develop a product, write business plans, and craft their investor pitches. The strongest and most promising concepts receive between US$50,000 and US$250,000 in equity investment to support the launch of these new businesses, after which they join the MEST Incubator.
“2014 was the first year that MEST recruited outside of Ghana, due to our sponsorship from Interswitch in Nigeria,” said Katie Sarro, managing director at MEST.
“We’ve found the diversification of students in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria exponentially increase the business ideas that come from the training programme. With the addition of South Africa, we look forward to fostering even more talent.”
Disrupt Africa reported last year MEST was planning on setting up more physical spaces across Africa, and the company has confirmed it will be expanding the reach of its incubator programme to Lagos and Nairobi this year. Further incubators will be launched in Cape Town and Johannesburg next year.
“The scope and resources of our pan-African incubator network is a unique value prop and one of a kind on the continent,” said Jorn Lyseggen, founder of MEST.
“Our entrepreneurs will now have the ability to launch startups in their home countries, after completing the one year training program in Ghana, while also allowing our current portfolio companies to more easily access new markets.”
MEST plans to establish strategic corporate partnerships in each market, assisting, supporting and promoting its programme entry into new cities. The expansion will enable a clear network effect amongst MEST’s points of presence and help empower MEST portfolio companies to reach broader audiences of potential consumers, clients and partners. With this in mind, MEST is accepting applications for Lagos and Nairobi general manager positions here.