Microsoft Collaborates With Meltwater School On A Tech Conference In Kenya

Microsoft Collaborates With Meltwater School On A Tech Conference In Kenya

U.S. software company Microsoft plans to partner with the Meltwater School of Entrepreneurial Technology, Africa’s largest tech incubator which has launched over 60 startups.

The incubator, training program and seed fund will host a three-day pan-African tech conference in Nairobi.

Five African startups will be featured at the conference that were selected as regional winners of the incubator’s annual challenge. They’ll be competing for up to $50,000 in equity investment and incubator space, according to MEST.

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In 2018, Microsoft invested undisclosed amounts in three startups to provide internet access and cloud-enabled solutions to underserved African communities, Techzim reported.

Rwanda’s Mesh Power, Nigeria’s ColdHubs and Agsol, which has operations in Kenya, all received funding through the software giant’s Airband Grant Fund.

Microsoft also provided equity-free grants to five startups in 2014, with access.mobile, Africa 118, Gamsole, Kytabu, and Save & Buy all benefiting from the 4Afrika Initiative innovation grant.

The fourth annual MEST Africa Summit is scheduled for June 10 to June 12, 2019, at the Radisson Blu Hotel and incubator space Nairobi Garage, Kenya.

The event took place in Cape Town in 2018, attracting entrepreneurs, investors, ecosystem players and executives from across Africa and globally to explore the latest innovations and challenges facing the African tech ecosystem, Ventureburn reported.

Meltwater School
The MEST Africa Summit in Cape Town. Photo – MEST

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

More than 330 individual entrepreneurs have graduated from the training program and almost 60 tech startups have been launched via seed funding and mentorship courtesy of the incubator.

Entrepreneurs in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Ivory Coast have benefited from the Accra incubator, with the likes of Kudobuzz, meQasa, Tress, ClaimSync and Saya Mobile finding success with the support of the incubator, according to ITNewsAfrica.