Lagos Joins MEST Pan-African Network of Incubators

Nosa Omusi, Friday November 24th 2017

On Tuesday, MEST Africa welcomed Lagos into its Pan-African Incubator community with the launch of the MEST Lagos Incubator in Nigeria. We're thrilled to strengthen our presence in Nigeria as we work toward our goal of developing Africa's next globally successful tech entrepreneurs. With the addition of MEST Incubators in Lagos and Cape Town, MEST entrepreneurs can choose to start or expand their businesses into the vibrant Nigerian and South African markets.

The launch was a great evening of fun and networking. The space was transformed from a quiet workplace as heavy-hitters from the Lagos tech ecosystem filled the gardens, including Ladi Balogun, Group CEO First City Monument Bank; Collins Onuegbu, Director Lagos Angel Network; Chris Schultz, CEO Launchpad; Jason Njoku, Founder and CEO Iroko, and African startup investor; Stephanie Busari, Africa Supervising Producer CNN; Wale Edun, Chairman Chapel Hill Denham  and many more leading African investors, leaders of technology companies, celebrated founders, diplomats, serial entrepreneurs, and renowned tech enthusiasts.

With drinks in hand and canapes served by Nigeria’s celebrity Chef, Chef Fregz, guests enthusiastically took to meeting old friends, making new ones, and engaging in high-impact networking. This launch was truly a unique gathering of many significant key players in the Pan-African tech ecosystem.

[caption id="attachment_5836" align="aligncenter" width="665"] Some guests at the MEST Lagos launch[/caption]

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, also joined us for the launch. He was introduced by MEST Lagos General Manager, Neku Atawodi-Edun, and in his brief remarks, he stated that he was pleased to support initiatives that bring people together for the greater good of society.

“Africa is the ground zero for the next global explosion, and I am so glad to see MEST is here at the epicenter; and like that supernova that began the universe, this explosion can lead to life, energy, work, change, and transformation.” said the Ambassador.

[caption id="attachment_5832" align="aligncenter" width="665"] US Ambassador, Stuart Symington giving his speech at the MEST Lagos launch.[/caption]

Neku gave a brief speech underscoring MEST’s pan-African mission before ushering in a video presentation featuring MEST’s founder and CEO, Jorn Lyseggen, speaking on the history of MEST and what we as growing community of Pan-African tech entrepreneurs have set out to achieve.

“We are excited about our truly pan-African growth with our official entry into the Nigerian market. Our network of hubs will be able to support entrepreneurs to scale pan-African and globally, fast-tracking our goals to develop the next generation of globally successful African tech entrepreneurs,” Neku added.

Thereafter, MEST MD, Aaron Fu, Maya Horgan Famodu of Ingressive; and Bertil Van Vugt of Venture Capital for Africa joined Neku on stage for a short panel discussion on “Growing the Tech Ecosystem in Nigeria”. It was an insightful discussion with panelists drawing on their vast experiences in Africa to outline what the current state of the tech ecosystem is, its most significant pains and gains and how they hoped things would unfold in the future.

“My wishlist for the tech startup landscape in Africa in the next few years has to start with some significant exits. My second wish is for more founders in Africa to continue to keep a razor sharp focus on building businesses, not apps,” said Aaron during the panel.

[caption id="attachment_5835" align="aligncenter" width="665"] MEST Africa MD, Aaron Fu, MEST Lagos GM, Neku Atawodi-Edun and Bertil Van Vugt of Venture Capital for Africa[/caption]

The new MEST Incubator offering will also be open to startups from the local ecosystem, who can apply to join the MEST Incubator as part of its co-working space. MEST Lagos membership includes perks such as:

  • Access to MEST Lagos outdoor workspace facilities including WiFi and free coffee

  • A copy of our CEO, Jorn Lyseggen’s new book, Outside Insight

  • Ability to invite other members and shape our growing community

  • Free tickets to MEST Lagos premium events including exclusive guest lectures, master classes, expert talks and private investor dinners.

  • Access to MEST community events in our pan African hubs (Ghana, Kenya, South Africa).

You can also be one of our first 100 pioneer members who, in addition to getting to work from our new address at 19b Adeyemi Lawson Road in Ikoyi,  also get to join the established global and Pan-African network of MEST entrepreneurs

Register here to activate your membership.