The Journey is the Reward – Congrats MEST Class of 2015!

Kelechi Udoagwu | Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Excitement and joy as the seventh batch of MEST EITs graduate

ACCRA, Saturday June 6, 2015 – The seventh batch of Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) from the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) have graduated after an intensive 2 years training in software development and entrepreneurship.

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MEST Founder Jorn Lyseggen hugging Jesse Johnson, graduating EIT

The ceremony was vibrant as family, friends, current EITs and alumni, fellows, the graduating class, and the visiting Meltwater Top 10 Salespeople spent the afternoon celebrating their achievements.

Meltwater sales executives from around the globe cheering on the graduating EITs


Meltwater sales executives from around the globe cheering on the graduating EITs

The Journey to MEST Graduation
Getting into MEST is a journey in and of itself. With over 2,500 applicants every year, only around 30 students are selected for these highly regarded spots at MEST.

While at MEST, students undergo an entrepreneurial training program that blends an MBA-type education with hands-on training in software development.

The EITs learn everything from the fundamentals of business management, entrepreneurship and finance to communications and programming. These students are taught by teaching fellows that include international entrepreneurs, MBA consultants and seasoned software developers, who each bring several years of experience from work in the United States, Europe and Asia. Together these teaching fellows prepare the MEST students for building products and businesses that will compete in global markets.

Senior faculty and fellows giving parting words of encouragement


Senior faculty and fellows giving parting words of encouragement

Final Business Pitches & Incubator Funding
The day before graduation, the graduating Class of 2015 had pitched their business plans to the MEST Board of Directors, including MEST Founder Jorn Lyseggen, and other investors from around the world for seed funding, office space in the MEST incubator and other benefits. Out of six of the new companies from the 2015 class, two teams were selected and will receive investment from MEST to further their businesses.

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One of the new companies, Asoriba, delivering their final pitch to the MEST Board of Directors and global investors for seed funding and a seat at the MEST incubator

These two companies, FlippyCampus and Asoriba have both shown traction and exceeding promise. For example, FlippyCampus has already gone on to win the regional pitch competition at renowned DEMO Africa, which provides a platform for the most innovative startups from Africa to launch their products in Lagos, Nigeria in front of angels, VCs and the most active corporates and investors in the African technology space.

The FlippyCampus team


The FlippyCampus team

The Asoriba team


The Asoriba team

The Graduates’ Big Day
Ekua Odoom, Managing Director of MEST, gave the welcome note, inspiring nostalgic feelings as she spoke about the admission interviews with the graduating class. She commented on their obvious transformations into more polished adults and wished them all the best as they moved to a new phase in their lives.

Jorn Lyseggen, Founder MEST, reminded the new graduates that success is possible from anywhere in the world. He urged them to go and make magic in the world, believing in their ability to compete equally in the global market.

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Jorn Lyseggen, Founder and CEO of MEST giving the Grakeynote speech

Other speakers at the graduation included Ope Adeoye (Consumer & Mobile Services of Interswitch Nigeria) and Charles Ojei (Director, Enterprise Business of Samsung West Africa) – both recent partners of MEST; Todd Holcombe, Senior Faculty of MEST and Tolu Agunbiade, a Business Teaching Fellow at MEST.

They all expressed certainty in the ability of the new graduates to excel in life and be role models for the next wave of aspiring software entrepreneurs in Africa.

Ope Adeoye from Interswitch Nigeria and Charles Ojei from Samsung West Africa advised the graduating class to take their time in making business plans to change the world. Encouraging them to explore the local environment, listen to their hearts and figure out their role and impact in it all, one day at a time.


Ope Adeoye, Interswitch Nigeria

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Charles Ojei, Samsung West Africa


Todd Holcombe, the Senior faculty of MEST confidently bade the 22 graduates farewell. He reminded them of the fundamental principles of the MEST culture- Generosity, Positivity and Standards. And urged them to keep living with those principles and a sense of humor to get them through life happier and with a sense of peace.

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Frank Acquaye, the MEST 2015 Valedictorian

Frank Acquaye, on behalf of the graduating class, thanked MEST for the belief in them, the training and investment, and promised that they would surpass all expectations and realize the ultimate MEST dream.

As the event wrapped, with graduates and guests mingling and sharing refreshments, Jorn Lyseggen reminded all that, “Once a MEST, always MEST,” meaning that all graduates who received funding or not, could always come back to MEST, improve on their product or change their ideas, to re-pitch their business idea or product.

As for the two new companies, FlippyCampus and Asoriba, they will join the MEST incubator’s current portfolio of technology startups and follow in the footsteps of alumni who came before them including Leti Arts who was recently named 2015’s Most Innovative Companies in Africa via Fast Company, and Saya Mobile who made international headlines last year via their acquisition by US voice messaging company Kirusa.

We wish all graduates of the class of 2015 success and personal fulfillment as they start their entrepreneurial journey. As it’s written on MEST’s incubator walls… “The journey is the reward.” This journey with the Class of 2015 over the past 2 years has been remarkable and we know it’s only the beginning.

Congratulations Class of 2015 – you have made us all so proud!
For all photos taken during the graduation weekend, make sure to check out the Suba stream.

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