MEST Africa announced regional winners for its inaugural MEST Africa Challenge, the Pan-African startup pitch competition open to companies outside the MEST program. Winners from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa will pitch their companies in front of leading global investors, entrepreneurs and executives at the finals in Cape Town on June 20th, during the MEST Africa Summit, for a chance to receive up to $50k USD in equity investment.
MEST is thrilled about the outcome of our regional competitions, in which each winner has demonstrated thorough problem research and high level solution architecture skills.
Of the chosen winners, MEST MD Aaron Fu said:
“The regional winners have all successfully built solutions solving real problems and proven traction in their home markets. They’ve also shown they have the potential to be successful abroad. We’re excited to continue the conversation in Cape Town around how they can effectively scale, and how we can continue to support them as they grow.”
The competition finals at the MEST Africa Summit will present an opportunity for the winners to pitch their companies in front of an experienced judging panel, as well as over 150 successful investors and corporate executives from across Africa, Silicon Valley and Europe.
The finalists are:
From Kenya: Data Integrated. Data Integrated is a payment processing company for the public transport industry in Kenya, offering tools and services for transport operators, stakeholders and other interest groups along the value chain.
From Ghana: Cowtribe.com. Cowtribe is a ussd-based technology that connects livestock farmers with veterinarians who can provide vaccinations. Cowtribe has shown great traction and has identified a market with high growth potential in Ghana and abroad.
From Nigeria: Accounteer. Accounteer is a Saas company offering accounting and payroll management software tailored to the needs of African SMEs. With over 25 million SMEs operating in Sub-Saharan Africa, Accounteer has identified a significant opportunity
From South Africa: Swift Vee. Swift Vee is South Africa’s first livestock and agricultural trading platform. With a solid MVP in place, they are on the path to owning significant market share as this traditional marketplace shifts online.
“It’s pleasing that for the past 10 years MEST Africa has been equipping young local tech entrepreneurs through mentorship and tailored investments to push their ideas beyond their national borders. It’s my personal belief that technology should be at the forefront of development, and as a bank this also resonates with our resolve to deliver solutions that are driven by digital innovation.” Adu added.
Chief Executive Officer of MEST Africa Summit sponsor GHL Bank, Mr. Dominic Adu said:
“The world economy is rapidly changing to disrupt traditional businesses through technology, innovation and global competition. As more traditional jobs are eroded, innovative start-ups will be the key contributing factor to curbing unemployment and protecting our lifestyles and livelihoods as a nation and continent,”
Together with sponsors Facebook, MTN, Merck, GHL Bank, and VC4A, MEST is looking forward to the finals of the MEST Africa Challenge and to the next competition in 2019.