Africa’s Largest Tech Incubator Launches Flagship Space In Nairobi

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

 

The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a training program, seed fund and Africa’s largest tech incubator based in Ghana, has launched a new incubator space in Kenya.

In addition to the flagship incubator spaces in Accra, Lagos and Cape Town, the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology has launched a flagship East African space in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, according to ITWebAfrica.

The new incubator space in Kenya will offer the same facilities and services available at the other regional MEST hubs in Accra, Cape Town and Lagos, with support, mentorship and resources available for entrepreneurs, as well as co-working facilities.

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.

The first two startups that will benefit from the new East African space have already been identified, with Sharehouse and Nestmetric set to move into the incubator, according to ITNewsAfrica.

MEST recently invested in Sharehouse​, a Kenyan marketplace for on demand storage space which aims to be the ‘Airbnb for warehouses’, while Nestmetric is a platform that uses automated machine learning tech to make business insights and predictions available to businesses.

Nigerian cloud accounting platform
Accounteer’s Adegboye Henry pitching during the MEST Africa Challenge in Cape Town. Photo – MEST

In June this year Nigerian cloud accounting platform, Accounteer, won the inaugural MEST Africa Challenge organized by the tech incubator.

The four regional winners from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa were given the opportunity to pitch their startups at the MEST Africa Summit in Cape Town on Jun. 20, with Accounteer chosen as the eventual winner, according to DisruptAfrica.

This was the first time that the incubator has invested in a startup that is not part of its incubation program, from which many success stories have emerged.

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.

Established 10 years ago, the Ghana hub was set up immediately, while incubator spaces in Lagos and Cape Town were launched at the end of last year.

Flagship space in Nairobi follows startup investment

Earlier this month MEST invested $700,000 in seven African startups that formed part of its 10th cohort.

The incubator invested $100,000 in each of the seven tech startups, which have been selected from across Africa, according to Techmoran.

The startups chosen for the program came from a 2018 cohort of 17 businesses from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and Zimbabwe, making this the incubator’s largest and most pan-African cohort to date.

The startups selected for the investment included Sharehouse​, Nvoicia​, a fintech platform for small and medium-sized businesses that enables invoice discounting and will launch simultaneously in Ghana and Nigeria, and Truckr​, a truck and cargo booking and monitoring platform, according to Forbes.

Jumeni​ is a Ghanaian field management and payments collection platform, while Judy​ is an Nigerian artificial intelligence-driven search engine for commonwealth case law.

The final two startups from Ghana include Codeln​, an end-to-end technical recruitment platform, and Bace,​ a Ghanaian client onboarding application for financial institutions that uses facial recognition technology.