MEST Africa Challenge 2020

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Calling all tech start-ups in Abidjan, Accra, Addis, Kigali, Dakar, Dar Es Salaam, Lagos, Nairobi, and Johannesburg!

The MEST Africa Challenge is the African tech startup pitch competition for early-stage companies based in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Senegal, Ethiopia or Tanzania.

Winners of each country’s semi-final competition will compete in the Challenge finals at the MEST Africa Summit 2020. Finalists will compete on a global stage in front of entrepreneurs, investors, corporate partners and ecosystem players for the chance to win $50k in investment from the Meltwater Foundation, and the opportunity to join the MEST Africa incubator community.


Applications for this year’s Challenge are open from March 16 to April 18, 2020, and the top 10 startups will pitch at MEST Incubator locations or local partners offices on the following dates (exact dates subject to change if the Challenge moves to online):
  • Lagos, Nigeria: Friday, May 1st
  • Johannesburg, South Africa: Monday, May 4th
  • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Friday, May 8th
  • Accra, Ghana: Monday, May 11th
  • Nairobi, Kenya: Monday, May 11th
  • Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire: Tuesday, May 12th
  • Kigali, Rwanda: Thursday, May 14th
  • Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Monday, May 18th
  • Dakar, Senegal: Friday, May 22nd

Application Criteria:

  1. Pre-seed or seed-stage (have raised $100k total or less cumulatively since inception)
  2. Currently generating revenue
  3. Can demonstrate traction in one or more of the nine MAC Markets (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda)
  4. Has been in operations for 2 years or less
  5. Tech-enabled (software company)
  6. Industry agnostic
  7. Any business model (B2B, B2C, B2B2C, B2G etc…)
  8. *Francophone applicants must pitch in English

How to apply

Apply online at https://vc4a.com/mest/mest-africa-challenge-2020/


For inquiries, please email us at partnerships@meltwater.org.

*While the MEST Africa Summit is contingent on the progression of the COV-19 in Africa and across the world, we don’t anticipate any interruptions to the MEST Africa Challenge as, if need be, the competition can run virtually. MEST Africa is closely following government and international guidelines to make ongoing decisions, and changes will be communicated far in advance.

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