Eighty-three country finalists have been selected for the third annual MEST Africa Challenge, which will award winners US$50,000 in equity investment.
Run by pan-African training programme, seed fund, incubator and hub the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), the MEST Africa Challenge is aimed at post-revenue, tech-enabled startups that want to expand into new markets.
The challenge, which last year had three winners, is open to startups in Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sénégal, South Africa and Tanzania. The 83 companies will now take part in virtual pitch events to select the overall finalists, who will then take part in a competition to win US$50,000 in equity investment plus access to Microsoft support, coaching, and a continent-wide network of startup hubs.
The startups who participated in the Ethiopia Country Finals on June 3 were Qinash, Alpha IT Solution, Temaribet, Yezare, Across Express, iWork, Yerras, Omniline IT Technology Solutions, and Debo Engineering, with the latter emerging as the winner.
Today (June 10), MarketForce, DawaSwift, Snark Health, Dawapay, Xetova, Mango Solar, Smart Matatu, TIBU, Fundis and Nanasi will compete in the Kenya Country Finals, while the Ivory Coast Country Finals on June 17 will feature Guanxi Investment, Africa Handmade, Kissi, Tutoo+, Ewarren Financial Services, Moja Ride, Vzion Media, Afrik’apps, and Panelys Cashwill.
Exuus, BAG Innovation, Rokkup, CalmGeeks, Shambapro, Bongalo, Moilla, Wastezon, Kozzi Homes, and Grab Deal will pitch on June 24 at the Rwanda Country Finals, with SmartClass Company, Ngwala Inventions, Flamingoo Foods, Kilimo Fresh Foods, Dundiza, Kilimo Pay, A-TRADER, CHAP FOOD, Dinestle Technologies, and Smartwash competing in the Tanzania Country Finals on July 8.
On July 1, Soil Solutions, Aleph Engineering, Henson Geodata Technologies, Sustainable Energy Technologies, Acyst Technology Company, Stabus, Oniocha, EdTech Innovations, Khalmax Robotics, and Aiscarecrow Technologies will compete in the Ghana Country Finals, while July 15 will see YotePesa Wallet, HoDi HoDi, Insuris, Mousso Africa, and Sourcenets compete in the Senegal Country Finals.
The startups who will be participating in the Nigeria Country Finals on July 22 are Social Lender, MOLI, TOJU, IderaOS, Sycamore Integrated Solutions, Padimi.co, Scrapays, Edusko, At Your Service Technologies and Gradely, while the South Africa Country Finals on July 24 will feature My Pregnancy Journey, PopUp Shop Shop, Cowriex, Timber Wizard, AutoAdvisor.co.za, MyBraai, Abby Health, DizzitUp, Creative Nestlings and Applied Vehicle Analysis.