MEST Expands into Kenya & Announces Cross Continent Incubator Roll Out

MEST, Wednesday May 20th 2015

Exciting changes ahead here @MEST!

First, we're looking for all Kenyan techies and entrepreneurs, as we are now recruiting in Kenya for the first time ever.

Could it be you, or do you know someone who qualifies? We are now accepting applications from Kenyans who wish to spend a year with MEST in Accra to take part in our intensive training program and launch their own software company, with potential for seed investment opportunities.

Deadline is June 1.

With expansion into Kenya, this will mark the third country in Africa where MEST has a foothold in the African tech ecosystem.

“2014 was the first year that MEST recruited outside of Ghana, due to our sponsorship from Interswitch in Nigeria," says Ekua Odoom, Managing Director, MEST Training Program. "We've found the diversification of students in Nigeria and Ghana exponentially increase the business ideas that come from this kind of meeting of the minds. We can only imagine the ripple effect of adding even more perspectives from across the continent.”

One Year Intensive

In addition to opening its recruiting to Kenya applicants, MEST has shifted its program from two to one years. With this exciting change, we hope that a broader number and variety of candidates will now be able to quickly acquire the skills they desire to launch the next generation of leading software companies in Africa.

Incubator Network

MEST will also be expanding the reach of its incubator program across the continent, with plans to have new locations and mentor networks established in the coming years in Nairobi, Lagos, Cape Town and Johannesburg, in addition to its flagship, original incubator complex in Accra.

“The scope and resources of our incubator program is unique and a valuable service we provide the entrepreneurs in our community,” says Neal Hansch, Managing Director, MEST Incubator.

“Now our future graduating Entrepreneurs-in-Training will have the ability to launch and have support for their companies in their home countries, after completing the one year training program in Ghana, while also allowing our current companies to more easily access new markets as they grow their businesses.”

MEST plans to have strategic corporate partners in each market, who assist, support and promote our program entry into new cities. “This will truly be a game-changer for our organization and companies incubated at MEST,” says Hansch. “This expansion enables a clear network effect amongst our points of presence and helps empower MEST portfolio companies to reach broader audiences of potential consumers, clients and partners.”

Kenyan Entrepreneurs – Apply to MEST Now!

We’re looking for applicants who…

- Have a deep passion to start a software company

- Have 3-5 years entrepreneurial or corporate work experience

- Can commit a year in Accra, Ghana participating in the MEST training program starting August 2015

What we provide:

- Intensive, MBA-style training in software development and entrepreneurship

- Free housing, monthly stipend, tuition, meals and a laptop

- Mentoring and access to executives at global software companies, entrepreneurs and the VC community in Europe & US

- Chance to change to world through technology; to solve real life, large-scale problems with innovative solutions

- After 1 year, potential for seed funding to launch your company from one of our incubator hub locations (soon-to-be launched) in Nairobi, Lagos, Cape Town and Johannesburg, in addition to the incubator in Accra

What We Do

Established in 2008, the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) provides training, investment and incubation to aspiring high tech entrepreneurs in Africa and with bridges to Silicon Valley. The program that blends an MBA-type education with hands-on training in software development in a fast-paced, startup environment.

Since it’s inception, MEST has trained over 200 Ghanaian and Nigerian entrepreneurs and invested $15 million in the training program and incubator, which has provided seed funding to over 20 startups.

These companies have developed solutions addressing global markets, created jobs, competed in top global technology events such as TechCrunch Disrupt, DEMO, and the Launch Festival, and have gained admittance to top accelerator programs such as 500 Startups and Health-XL.

MEST was recently recognized by Fast Company as one of the “10 Most Innovative Companies in Africa” and regarded as “one of the largest private investments in Ghanaian economic development” by DFID.