MEST Africa, a pan-African entrepreneurial training program, seed fund, and incubator, concluded its annual MEST Africa Summit on 12 June 2019. MEST’s flagship event was attended by entrepreneurs, investors, ecosystem players and executives from across Africa and the globe who met to explore innovations and rising stars in the African digital technology ecosystem.
The MEST Africa Summit was held in partnership with Microsoft.
“It’s our fourth year running the Summit and it always serves as a reminder of what Africa can achieve with the right blend of talent and experience. Over the three days, it’s always amazing to observe how the relationships between attendees grow, and the fact that we are able to facilitate that is something we never take for granted. We started this with the aim of creating a space for honest discussions on how the continent can continue to move forward and markets can come together – my personal hope is that we continue to see this grow and that more collaborations across markets take shape,” said Aaron Fu, Managing Director at MEST Africa.
Africa’s startup ecosystem
Over the past decade Africa’s technology startups ecosystem has seen somewhat of a boom with rising interest in startups. Not only has there been an increase in startup funding but also an increase in the number of incubators, hubs, and accelerators across the continent.
The summit saw three startups each win $50,000 in equity investment from MEST and $25,000 in credit from Microsoft.
MEST has also played an important role over the years in incubating and funding African startups. They’ve been training, supporting and investing in tech entrepreneurs on the continent for more than 10 years. Over 330 individual entrepreneurs have been trained at MEST, and nearly 60 tech companies have been launched via seed funding and mentorship. Five companies have exited, including Amplify Payments Ltd. (Amplify) who was recently acquired by leading Nigerian fintech player, One Finance Limited (OneFi), to further develop the payments ecosystem in Nigeria.
Since its 2008 launch in Accra, Ghana, MEST has been at the forefront of driving some of the continent’s most successful entrepreneurs – pushing them to scale, while achieving Pan-African and global reach and recognition. MEST has invested over $22M to date, with portfolio companies going on to receive follow-on funding.