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MEST Africa has announced the names of the five startups that will pitch at the 2019 MEST Africa Challenge finals in June for a chance to win $50 000 in equity investment.
The five startups, which hail from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, were selected after respective regional final events held in Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, Cape Town and Abidjan on 27 and 28 February.
The finalists will now pitch for $50 000 in equity investment at the fourth MEST Africa Summit which takes place in Nairobi, Kenya between 10 and 12 June.
The winner of the 2019 MEST Africa Challenge will receive a $50k equity investment, and a place at a MEST Africa incubator of their choice
The five startups are:
AMPZ.TV (Nigeria): AMPZ bills itself as the LinkedIn for sports in Africa. The startup’s platform matches sport talent to verified opportunities and scouts.
OZÉ (Ghana): This business insights engine aims to assist small business owners in Africa make data-driven decisions that will improve their performance and access to capital.
WayaWaya (Kenya): WayaWaya provides fintech solutions that include payments, fund transfers and group savings.
Seekewa (Ivory Coast): This fintech platform has developed a voucher system that enables internet users and companies from around the world to support small agricultural projects in Africa.
Snode Technologies (South Africa): Snode provides real-time cyber security to individuals and businesses.
In a statement yesterday (5 March) MEST Africa managing director Aaron Fu said the finalists stood out as a result of their “impressive growth” and “potential for expansion”.
“There has been a growing number of companies who have managed to scale in a variety of sectors; so this investment will be vital in aiding these companies to join this expanding group,” said Fu.
In addition to a $50 000 equity investment, the winner of the 2019 MEST Africa Challenge will also receive a place at the MEST Africa incubator of their choice, as well as global mentorship to help their company scale.
Ordinarily entrepreneurs must complete the MEST Training Programme before the organisation will invest in their startup — except if ones come tops at the challenge.
Whoever wins in June will be only the second company to join MEST Africa’s portfolio without having to go through the training programme.
Last year’s challenge was won by Nigerian accounting platform Accounteer. The startup has since gone on to expand to Kenya and has raised additional funding.
Featured image: 2019 MEST Africa Challenge Cape Town regional winners Snode Technologies CEO and founder Nithen Naidoo (centre) and head of marketing Alastair Waldeck (right) (Supplied)