The third annual MEST Africa Summit begins today in Cape Town, bringing together leading global investors, executives and entrepreneurs to discuss the pan-African startup landscape.
Hosted by the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), which has now been active in Africa for 10 years, the MEST Africa Summit this year goes pan-African for the first time having previously taken place in Ghana and Nigeria under the title Africa Tech Summit.
Stakeholders from Africa, Silicon Valley and Europe will come together to network and discuss trends, challenges and opportunities affecting markets across the continent, under the theme “The Year of the African Scaleup?”, with speakers including MEST chief executive officer (CEO) Jorn Lyseggen, Thomson Reuters head of innovation Saidah Nash Carter and Facebook’s development programmes manager Emeka Afigbo.
Various African startup founders and CEOs will also speak at the event, day two of which will also witness the conclusion of the MEST Africa Challenge, which will see four regional winners pitch their companies for the chance to receive up to US$50,000 in equity investment.
The startups pitching are Ghanaian veterinarian-finder Cowtribe, Nigerian accounting and payroll management software Accounteer, Kenyan payment processing startup Data Integrated, and South African agricultural trading platform Swift Vee.
“We’re excited to bring together leading players in the tech and investment space from across the continent and the globe once again, this time in our new home in Cape Town,” MEST managing director Aaron Fu said.
“The MEST Africa Summit serves as a meeting ground for pan-African entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem partners, and this year looks to ignite discussion around the real challenges and opportunities businesses face when reaching scale, as the startup space in Africa continues to mature.”