Africa’s Largest Tech Incubator Selects Regional Winners For Startup Challenge

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Africa's largest tech incubator
The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is Africa’s largest tech incubator. Photo – MESTAfrica

The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a training program, seed fund and Africa’s largest tech incubator based in Ghana, has announced the four regional winners of its inaugural MEST Africa Challenge.

The four winners from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa will be given the opportunity to pitch their startups at the MEST Africa Summit in Cape Town on Jun. 20, according to Ventureburn.

The startups will find over 150 investors and top executives from Africa, the U.S. and Europe attending next month’s event, with the chance to return to their countries with $50 000 in equity investment.

The incubator has links throughout Africa, and since launching in 2008 it has already invested over $20 million in African startups, reports GhanaWeb.

Over 350 individual entrepreneurs have graduated from the training program and over 30 tech startups have been launched via seed funding and mentorship courtesy of the incubator.

MEST managing director Aaron Fu says that he has been impressed by the innovative solutions that the chosen finalists have come up with for problems experienced in Africa.

“The regional winners have all successfully built solutions solving real problems and proven traction in their home markets. They’ve also shown they have the potential to be successful abroad,” Fu said, according to Bizcommunity.

Africa’s largest tech incubator to host regional finalists

The four finalists are Cowtribe from Ghana, Accounteer from Nigeria, Kenya’s Data Integrated Limited and swiftVee from South Africa.

South African startup swiftVEE is an online platform that connects livestock agencies to a network of buyers and sellers. The aim of the platform is to empower small-scale farmers through the innovative digital solution now available in the market.

The startup was among those selected by Google for the first Launchpad Accelerator Africa class, which is designed to mimic the global program based in Silicon Valley.

Accounteer is a startup offering accounting and payroll management software that is specifically developed with the needs of African small and medium businesses in mind.

Ghana-based startup Cowtribe uses USSD technology to connect livestock farmers with veterinarians who can provide the necessary vaccinations, serving a high growth market in Ghana and beyond.

Kenya’s Data Integrated is a fintech company that specializes in end-to-end enterprise payment solutions that small businesses can use.

In addition to the flagship incubator in Accra, the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology launched two new spaces in Lagos, Nigeria and Cape Town, South Africa, in November, expanding its reach and presence on the African continent, according to ITNewsAfrica. This month a Kenyan space was added to its portfolio.

Entrepreneurs in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Cote D’ivoire have benefited from the Accra incubator, with the likes of Kudobuzz, meQasa, Tress, ClaimSync and Saya Mobile finding success under the incubator’s watchful eye.