Five MEST portfolio and alumni companies receive investment from Google’s Black Founders Fund

ACCRA, Ghana —  Five MEST Africa portfolio and alumni companies — Tendo, Shopa, GrowForMe, Curacel and Chekkit — have been named among 50 startups who will be receiving investment and support from Google’s Black Founders Fund.

The companies will be receiving up to $100,000 in funds, mentorship from Google experts, and Google platform credits as part of the investment.

The five selected MEST-affiliated companies are some of the most promising technology startups whose solutions are transforming retail, e-commerce, agriculture, insurance and e-health across the continent.

Tendo, one of MEST’s portfolio companies, enables social media users to sell online without investing any capital. The app allows resellers to browse through catalogues of products and gets as much information as possible. Resellers can then add their profit margins to the product and share on social media.

Shopa, another MEST portfolio company is a B2B e-commerce business that is digitising the informal retail supply chain in Ghana and beyond by connecting informal retailers to products and suppliers faster and ensuring better profits.

Chekkit is a blockchain technology company saving lives by protecting producers and shoppers from the harmful effects of counterfeit products. It was founded in 2018 by MEST alumnus Dare Odumade to offer consumer intelligence, anti-counterfeiting and provide manufacturers with a way to engage their consumers directly.

Curacel was founded by MEST alumnus Henry Mascot. It is an AI-powered platform that enables insurers to automate claims seamlessly and also track fraud, waste and abuse.

Grow For Me is a web based Agricultural crowdfunding platform that funds farmers to scale and grow more crops, using the income received from interested sponsors. The unique model is creating wealth and contributing to food stability particularly in the rural communities where mass urban migration is having a detrimental impact on the agricultural food chain. Grow for me was founded by MEST Africa alumnus Nana Opoku W. O. Agyeman-Prempeh.

The Black Founders Fund is a program by Google Startups which is supporting early-stage Black-founded startups on the African continent. It seeks to bridge the existing fundraising gap for Black startup founders in Africa’s fast-growing technology landscape. The program will allocate a non-dilutive $3 million fund across 50 investable startups in Africa. The startups also receive Google Ad Grants and Cloud credits, as well as support from experienced experts at Google.

MEST is an Africa-wide technology entrepreneurship training program, internal seed fund, and network of hubs offering incubation for technology startups in Africa. Our internal seed fund provides $50k to $250k in funding to help launch and scale early-stage companies. Since 2008, MEST has funded and provided incubation for over 80 technology startups that are focused on creating wealth and jobs on the continent.

MEST Africa extends the application period of the class of 2022

The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, (MEST Africa), on Thursday, announced that the application period for the MEST Training Program, class of 2022, has been extended to September, 17.

A statement made available to the Ghana News Agency said the changes to its renowned technology entrepreneurship program were to enable applicants, especially university graduates, an opportunity to participate in the 2022 program.

“Due to the increasing uncertainty around Covid and unconfirmed graduation dates for most Universities across West Africa this year, we have confirmed to start the new cohort for the MEST Training Program in January 2022”, the statement noted.

It stated that despite the challenges that COVID-19 continued to present to all training institutions, the organization was poised to continue identifying and training some of the finest minds in technology on the African continent in the safest possible way.

The statement quoted Mr Ashwin Ravichandran, the Managing Director of MEST Africa as saying, “By extending the application phase of our training program, final year university graduates, who make up the majority of our applicants, will have enough time to apply to the class of 2022.

This also gives us at MEST adequate time to speak to more talents who are eager to use technology to solve Africa’s pertinent problems”.

MEST is an Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training program, internal seed fund, and network of hubs offering incubation for technology startups in Africa. Since its inception in 2008, MEST has produced some of the continents leading technology startups like Ghanaian real estate platform MeQasa, Kudobuzz, LetiArts, and many others.

The prospective students could learn more about the application process for the MEST Training program via https://mest.submittable.com/submit.