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.
Fifty startups from across the continent pitched at regional finals in Accra, Nairobi, Lagos, Cape Town and Abidjan last week, with the winner of each local event now proceeding to the grand final, which will take place at the MEST Africa Summit in Nairobi on June 10-12. There, 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 Nigerian winner was sports community AMPZ.TV, while the Ghanaian winner was OZÉ, a data insights company that helps businesses make data-driven financial decisions.
South Africa will be represented by real-time cybersecurity platform Snode Technologies and Ivory Coast by agri-tech financing platform Seekewa, while home advantage will be held by Kenyan startup WayaWaya, a fintech company that provides seamless transactions into and within Africa for individuals and businesses.
The winner of the grand final in Nairobi will receive up to $50,000 in equity investment as well as a place in one of MEST incubators for mentorship to help their company scale.
Also the winner will be the 2nd company to join MEST Africa’s portfolio without going through the MEST Entrepreneurs-in-Training Program. They will join last year’s winner, Nigeria’s smart accounting platform Accounteer.