MEST Africa Challenge regional finalists announced

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Fifty scale-ups from across the continent have been named finalists for the MEST Africa Challenge, which is offering US$50,000 in equity investment to startups based in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Ivory Coast.

Run by pan-African training programme, seed fund, incubator and hub the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), the challenge is aimed at post-revenue, tech-enabled startups that want to expand into new markets.

More than 1,000 applications were received for the second MEST Africa Challenge, out of which 50 have been chosen to compete in regional finals in Accra, Nairobi, Lagos, Cape Town and Abidjan on February 27 and 28. The five regional winners will be flown to the MEST Africa Summit in Nairobi in June, where they will pitch on stage for up to US$50,000 in equity investment and the opportunity to join the pan-African MEST incubator community.

The regional finalists for the event in Accra are iKolilu Ghana, OZÉ, COCOA SIKA, DizzitUp, Sokocentre, GetRooms, eCampus, DNA 4 Wheels and CodeStinks Limited, while the Nairobi finalists are Baobab Circle, Raise, Tulaa, Mosabi, Asaak Financial Services, Optimetriks, Eko Biashara, Tambua Intelligent Diagnostics, Angaza Elimu and Dawati.

Pitching at the Lagos event are myPadi.ng, SonoCare, Crop2Cash, SecureFarmer, the MUDiA Project, AMPZ, the Smarthub, Livekampus, EduPoint and Schoolphix, while regional finalists in Cape Town are Snode Technologies, Kuba, JOBJACK, Agri360, MyBraai, Lightbulb Education, AfricaScope, Kasi Eats, Beleaf & Co and Digital Shift.

Regional finalists from Abidjan are StarNews Mobile, CinetPay, Moja Ride, TripAfrique, QuickCash, Digitech, Seekewa, Smartphorce Holding, Kalejob and weebi.

The overall winner of last year’s inaugural challenge was Accounteer, a Nigeria-based cloud accounting company, which took home the funding and a space in the MEST Incubator Lagos.

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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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