MEST Africa has officially announced its fourth annual MEST Africa Summit, in partnership with Microsoft. The 3-day event will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from June 10 – 12, 2019, at the Radisson Blu Hotel as well as the home of MEST Africa’s Nairobi incubator, the Nairobi Garage.
The MEST Africa Summit is a pan-African tech conference that brings together leading entrepreneurs, investors, ecosystem players and executives from across Africa and globally to explore the latest innovations and rising stars in the African tech ecosystem. In addition to panel discussions driven by the continent’s top thought leaders, this year’s event will feature interactive workshops designed for entrepreneurs, a look inside the MEST training program and incubator, and more. Last year’s event took place in Cape Town.
The Summit will feature addresses from MEST and Meltwater Founder and CEO Jorn Lyseggen, and Microsoft’s Senior Director for Africa Chris Langwa. Additional partners include Liquid Telecom, Africa’s Talking, Ethiopian Airlines, Shell Foundation, Flutterwave, African Development Bank, ALX, iHub, GrowthAfrica, Gearbox and more.
Speakers include Wambui Kinya (Chief Strategy Officer at Andela), Martin Karanja (Market Engagement Director at GSMA), Fola Olatunji David (Head of Startup Successes and Services, Launchpad Africa at Google), Tosh Juma (Managing Director Nairobi, IDEO.org), Olugbenga Agboola (Co-Founder & CEO at partner Flutterwave) and more.
The Summit will culminate with the finals of the 2019 MEST Africa Challenge, where attendees will see regional winners AMPZ.TV, OZÉ, Snode Technologies, WayaWaya and Seekewa pitch. They will pitch for a chance at up to $50,000 in equity investment, a place in a MEST Africa incubator of their choice and full support to help their company scale.
Launched in 2008 by Meltwater, MEST is a Pan-African training program, seed fund, incubator and hub for technology entrepreneurs in Africa, providing skills training in software development, business and communications, as well as seed funding and incubation. Headquartered in Accra, Ghana, MEST is funded by the Meltwater Foundation, the non-profit arm of Meltwater, a global leader in media intelligence and Outside Insight.
MEST Africa has been training, supporting and investing in tech entrepreneurs on the continent for more than 10 years. Over 330 individual entrepreneurs have been trained at MEST, and nearly 60 tech companies have been launched via seed funding and mentorship. Five companies have exited, including Amplify Payments Ltd. (Amplify) who was recently acquired by leading Nigerian fintech player, One Finance Limited (OneFi), to further develop the payments ecosystem in Nigeria.