MEST graduates pitch for up to $250k funding

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Startup teams formed during the training programme at Ghana’s Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) have pitched to the organisation’s board of directors for funding.

A total of 28 Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) from Ghana and Nigeria successfully completed the MEST programme, which has recently started accepting applications from Kenya and South Africa as well.

The EITs have all undergone a training programme that blends an MBA-type education with hands-on training in software development, and have been taught by experienced fellows and faculty providing hands-on training in a number of areas.

Towards the end of the programme, the EITs formed teams, developed products, wrote business plans, and crafted their investor pitches, before presenting them to the board of directors in a bid to raise funding and ongoing support from MEST. The strongest concepts will receive between US$50,000 and US$250,000 in equity investment.

Eight teams pitched in total, including haircare platform Tress, learning platform Beavly, SMS-based loyalty app Loystar, on-demand cleaning service Spring, and e-learning startup LiteLearn.

The other four startups pitching for investment were social media analytics platform Cocktail Insights, homecare service platform Caring Hand, mobile payments startup Amplify, and fashion marketplace OnceNOut.

MEST managing director Katie Sarro told Disrupt Africa the investment pitches served as the final exam for the EITs, with MEST to make an announcement on which startups will receive funding in the next few weeks.

“We as the MEST board of directors take the investment ask into account, as well as key milestones to date and feedback from the teaching fellows who have been working with them over the past two years, to decide which teams we provide investment to and how much,” she said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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