The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a pan-African training program, tech incubator, and seed fund for entrepreneurs, launched on 20 September 20918 its fourth incubator and tech hub in Nairobi. The incubator will serve as the flagship East African space. The launch comes less than a year after MEST Lagos and Cape Town hubs were opened in November 2017.
MEST has a presence in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire, and Entrepreneurs-in-Training from 12 African countries.
The Nairobi Incubator
The Nairobi incubator will offer support and access to the global MEST network and resources.
After the announcement to invest $700k in 7 startups from the 2018 MEST Cohort, some of the companies that will move to the Nairobi incubator are Sharehouse, “an Airbnb for warehouses” and Nestmetric, “a platform that makes business insights and predictions through Machine Learning accessible to all types of businesses.”
MEST Managing Director Aaron Fu said:
“MEST is thrilled to officially establish our presence in East Africa with the launch of our Nairobi incubator. A truly Pan-African tech hub, we now have a presence across all corners of Sub-Saharan Africa: West, South and now East. I personally look forward to engaging even more deeply with the incredibly vibrant tech and startup community thriving in Nairobi, which I’m happy to call home.”
I-DEV Founder & CEO Jason Spindler said during the launch: “It’s exciting to see MEST launch in Nairobi. Our recent Africa Tech Survey of key thought leaders and investors shows Kenya is a fast-growing and leading hub for African tech startups that are designed to scale from their DNA. With the MEST network in West and South Africa as well, it’ll be no time before we see Nairobi start-ups take on a Pan-African footprint.”
The Meltwater Foundation
MEST is funded by the Meltwater Foundation, an NGO arm of Meltwater. the Foundation has invested $20 million since inception in 2008 and has graduated more than 330 individual entrepreneurs and mentored more than 55 tech firms.
MEST entrepreneurs have been chosen by President Obama as representatives of the African business community at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C, have been named Mandela Washington Fellows, and have been selected for Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Africa.