MEST scouts for tech talent in SA


One of Africa's top tech incubators, Ghana's Meltwater Entrepreneurship School of Technology MEST, is for the first time recruiting Entrepreneurs-In-Training (EITs) in South Africa, having only accepted applications from young entrepreneurs in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya in previous years.

This expansion into a fourth country will enable talented entrepreneurs in South Africa to join MEST's year-long intensive full scholarship training programme that aims at developing its students through an MBA-type education with hands-on training to launch a software company with equity investment of up to US$250,000.

Students are placed into teams and have to develop a product, write business plans, and craft their investor pitches during the incubator programme that usually takes place in Ghana.

However, with South Africans set to be involved, MEST says it will introduce its incubator programme in Cape Town and Johannesburg next year following the launch of similar incubators in Lagos and Nairobi this year.

This will, according to MEST's founder, Jorn Lyseggen, afford entrepreneurs the ability to launch startups in their home countries after completing the one year training programme in Ghana, while also allowing MEST's portfolio companies to access new markets easily reaching broader audiences of potential consumers, clients and partners.

Established in 2008, MEST support high tech entrepreneurs in Africa with bridges to Silicon Valley.

It started recruiting outside of Ghana in 2014 due to a sponsorship from Nigeria's Interswitch after realising that the diversification of students in Nigeria and Ghana exponentially increases the business ideas that come from such meeting of minds.