Three African Startups have won $75,000 at the just concluded MEST Africa Summit in Kenya. The event was meant to have one winner, but organisers chose to award the three finalists of the MEST Africa Challenge.
The three startups in the finale of the MEST Africa Challenge are Oze from Ghana, Snode Technologies from South Africa, and WayaWaya from Kenya. No Nigerian startup made the cut.
Oze is a Business coach app, while Snode Technologies is a cyber-intelligence startup. WayaWaya, on the other hand, operates as a payment app.
The prize Money: The three companies won $50,000 in equity investment from MEST and $25,000 in credit from Microsoft.
Note that the Pan-African pitch competition is part of the summit organised by MEST Africa, in partnership with Microsoft, Oracle, Intel, Flutterwave, Ethiopian Airlines, and many others.
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Why this Matters: The conference was held to explore innovations and rising stars in the African tech ecosystem. The conference focused on the fintech space, as well as the latest innovation for agritech and healthcare.
The event, which is in its fourth edition, enabled African Tech entrepreneurs to meet with investors and top executives at the MEST Africa Summit to deliberate on the African tech ecosystem and innovations expected to shape the future of the continent.
Some of the speakers that engaged the participants in discussions include MEST‘s Founder Jorn Lyseggen, Microsoft’s Chris Lwanga, and Lori’s Josh Sandler. Key speakers at this year included Dr. Bitange Ndemo, Philip Thigo, Partner at TLcom, Andreata Muforo, CEO of Africa’s Talking, Bilha Ndirangu, CEO of Carbon, Ngozi Dozie, as well as representatives from Google Launchpad, Safaricom, the African Development Bank and more.
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Speaking about the event, the Managing Director at MEST Africa, Aaron Fu said the summit serves as a reminder of what Africa can achieve with the right blend of talent and experience.
“Over the three days, it’s always amazing to observe how the relationships between attendees grow, and the fact that we are able to facilitate that is something we never take for granted. We started this with the aim of creating a space for honest discussions on how the continent can continue to move forward and markets can come together – my personal hope is that we continue to see this grow and that more collaborations across markets take shape.”
About MEST: Launched in 2008, MEST is a Pan-African training program, seed fund, incubator and hub for technology entrepreneurs in Africa, providing critical skills training in software development, business and communications, as well as seed funding and incubation. Headquartered in Accra, Ghana, with a presence in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire, MEST is funded by the Meltwater Foundation, the non-profit arm of Meltwater, a global leader in media intelligence and Outside Insight.
MEST has invested over $22 million to date, with portfolio companies going on to receive follow-on funding.
Additional sponsors included Liquid Telecom, Africa’s Talking, Lori Systems, and Stratlink.