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An Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training programme has announced the five start-ups from five countries who will be going through to the grand finale of the 2022 MEST Africa Challenge pitch competition.
The start-ups who made the cut are Sproutly from Nigeria, Kweli from Senegal, Swoove from Ghana, Hisa from Kenya and Desert Green Africa from South Africa. The MEST Africa Challenge is presented by the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School in Accra, Ghana.
The pan-African pitch competition opened applications in July this year for pre-seed and seed-stage technology start-ups to bid for the ultimate prize of $50 000. To make it this far, they’ve had to undergo regional pitches and founder interviews.
The top five will now represent their country at a demo day and final pitch competition in December this year.
Director of portfolio at MEST Africa, Melissa Nsiah, says, “It hasn’t been an easy process. Mostly because, this year, we saw so many valid business models and met some incredible founders with huge visions that align very closely with ours.
“But in the final analysis we were able to zero in on the cream of the crop to select the top five companies from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa in alignment with this year’s selection criteria. Our team is eager to work closely with each of the five finalists in preparation towards the final competition day in December.”
The competition has received thousands of applications from around the continent since its inception. It has spotlighted and impacted the growth of winning start-ups such as Tanzania’s Kilimo Fresh, Ghana’s OZE, South Africa’s Snode Technologies, Kenya’s Waya, and Nigeria’s Accounteer.
Founded in Ghana in 2008 by serial entrepreneur Jorn Lyseggen, MEST is a 12-month programme that provides critical skills training in software development, business, and communications to Africa’s burgeoning tech talent.
It provides seed funding for the best ideas coming out of the program and continues to support the growth and development of its portfolio companies.