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The announcement was made by MEST general manager Uneku Atowadi-Edun on Wednesday (4 April) in a post on Twitter.
Open to tech startups operating in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, applications for the challenge close on 22 April.
The $50 000 MEST Africa Challenge marks the first time MEST will invest in startups outside its programme. Applications close on 22 April
The MEST Africa Challenge will see regional events being held in Accra and Lagos on 28 April, Nairobi on 30 April and Cape Town on 5 May. These pitch events will culminate in four winners from the respective cities being shortlisted for the challenge finals.
Selected startups will be invited to a final pitch event, set to take place on 19 June during the MEST Africa Summit in Cape Town. There they will compete for the $50 000 equity investment prize in addition to a year’s residence in a local incubator.
The equity stake MEST will take from the winning startup will be dependent on the winning company’s valuation.
MEST Africa Summit
MEST’s June summit is set to bring together entrepreneurs, investors and executives from Africa, Silicon Valley and Europe to network and discuss trends, challenges and opportunities affecting markets across the continent.
In a statement to Ventureburn yesterday, MEST head Aaron Fu (pictured above) said the organisation is excited to be able to bring leading players in the tech and investment space to Cape Town.
“The MEST Africa Summit serves as a meeting ground for pan-African entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem partners, and this year looks to ignite discussion around the real challenges and opportunities businesses face when reaching scale, as the startup space in Africa continues to mature,” he said.
Attendees can expect panel discussions around what the best African country to start a business is, fintech, agritech and blockchain innovation, among other topics.
MEST is currently accepting applications for partners and speakers.
Featured image: MEST managing director Aaron Fu (Supplied)