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MEST Africa Opens Applications for its Startup Pitch Competition


MEST Africa has opened applications for its 2023 Challenge Startup Pitch Competition for African startups. 

This year, the program is being run in partnership with Absa Bank and is targeting early-stage technology startups operational in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, and South Africa.

The MEST Africa Challenge offers exceptional benefits to participating startups. The winner will receive equity investment of USD 50,000, providing crucial financial support to accelerate their business growth. In addition, the winner and other outstanding participants will gain access to MEST Africa’s global community and networks, unlocking valuable partnerships, mentorship, and investment opportunities. This platform catalyzes startups to unlock the next phase of their business growth and gain global recognition.

Building upon the success of the previous years, the 2022 MEST Africa Challenge crowned Kwely, a B2B e-commerce startup from Senegal, as the winner. Kwely’s solutions stood out among the fierce competition, and their success serves as an inspiration to entrepreneurs across Africa.

“This year’s tagline, ‘Unlock Your Startup Potential’, resonates deeply with the vibrant technology landscape we are witnessing in Africa today. With the remarkable advancements in technology innovation and adoption across the continent, this year’s competition is poised to showcase groundbreaking ideas and solutions. I am confident that the MEST Africa Challenge will uncover exceptional startups that will shape the future and drive positive change in Africa and beyond,” said Ashwin Ravichandran, Portfolio Advisor and MEST Africa Challenge Lead.

Over the years, the MEST Africa Challenge pitch competition has garnered thousands of applications from across the continent, attaining global recognition and forging partnerships, while nurturing a thriving community of African tech founders. It has spotlighted and impacted the growth of winning startups such as Tanzania’s Kilimo Fresh, Ghana’s OZE, South Africa’s Snode Technologies, Kenya’s Waya Waya, Nigeria’s Accounteer, and reigning title holder, Kwely from Senegal.

To qualify for the program, startups must have a monthly recurring revenue of more than $5000, must have raised cumulative $1M funding or less and existed for 3 years and below

The startups must also have at least 6 months of recurring revenue, have at least 2 founding team members and be registered in Delaware (This is preferred).

The application period begins today and will close on 9th October 2023.

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