African Startups Could Apply to Get $50,000 From MEST Africa Challenge


The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is set to hold the third edition of its MEST Africa Challenge. The Pan-African pitch contest is expected to bring together African tech Startups and provide them with equity investments.

Founded by the Meltwater Foundation, the MEST Africa Challenge is organised to showcase some of Africa’s most innovative early-stage startups (2 years or less). The competition targets startups in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Rwanda, with a revenue base and are looking to expand to other markets.

The competition which was first held in 2018, provides equity funding as well as publicity for participants and winners. And in its first year, it received over 700 applications from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.

Past winners of the MEST Africa Challenge have also come from different countries in Africa, cutting across various sub-sectors in the tech space.

Nigeria’s fintech startup Accounteer won the premier edition in 2018. In 2019, the challenge for the first time had 3 winners – Oze (Ghana), WayaWaya (Kenya) and Snode Technologies (South Africa).

Image result for MEST AFRICA CHALLENGE Accounteer
MEST Winners 2018.

In 2020, the competition, as per its custom, will run a series of regional competitions that lead up to the main challenge. Regional events will hold in each of the target countries.

Top 5 winners of the regional events will get the chance to pitch at the main event later in the year in front of entrepreneurs, investors, corporate partners and ecosystem players. They will thus get the chance to win $50k in investment from the Meltwater Foundation.

The winner also gets to join the MEST Africa incubator community.

For the First Time, 3 Startups Emerge Winners of the $50k MEST Africa Challenge
MEST Africa Winner 2019

Due to the COVID-19, MEST notes that these events could go full digital should the need arise.

Applications for this year’s competition is already open and will close by April 18.

Regional events are scheduled to hold as follows: Lagos (1 May), Johannesburg (4 May); Addis Ababa (8 May); Accra (11 May); Nairobi (11 May); Abidjan (12 May), Kigali (14 May); Dar es Salaam (18 May); and Darkar (22 May).

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