The cohort, which consist of 60 entrepreneurs from across Sub-Saharan Africa – Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Sierra Leone – has been described as the most pan-African class of Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) in MEST’s history.
The entrepreneurs were selected from thousands upon thousands of online applications received from across SSA following calls for applications.
For starters, each one of the selected entrepreneurs will receive a US$50,000 scholarship covering their tuition, housing, meals and air travel tickets for their year long stay at the MEST Training program in Ghana.
Then, throughout the program, the entrepreneurs will receive hands-on training in software development, entrepreneurship, business development, sales & marketing, communications and prototyping to equip them with the skills needed to take their ideas off the ground and into global markets.
They will learn everything from ideation to fixing bugs in their product, revitalizing their go-to-market strategy, and opening up MEST’s global network of VCs, angel investors and corporates.
At the end of the program, the entrepreneurs would have formed teams, developed a robust product that solves a problem they pinpointed, worked on a business plan, and crafted their investor pitches.
The teams will then pitch their businesses to a panel. The strongest and most promising teams receive between US$50,000 to US$250,000 in equity investment.
The funds will be used to support the launch of their businesses. The MEST Incubator will continue to support them.
From 2008 to date, the MEST Incubator has invested in over 25 companies and backed more than 75 co-founders.
These companies have developed solutions addressing global markets, created jobs and wealth locally, received outside follow-on funding from global investors, and have gained admittance to top accelerator programs such as 500 Startups and TechStars.