MEST Africa announces five finalists for start-up challenge


MEST Africa (MA) has shortlisted one Ghanaian firm among four other medium and small-scale enterprises (MSMEs) from different African countries for the grand finale of the 2022 MEST Africa Start-up Challenge pitch competition.

The five shortlisted finalists include Sproutly (Nigeria), Kweli(Senegal), Swoove (Ghana), Hisa (Kenya), and Desert Green Africa (South Africa).

The Pan-African pitch competition opened applications in July this year for pre-seed and seed-stage technology start-ups in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, and South Africa to bid for the ultimate prize of US$50,000.

After going through the online application, regional pitches, and founder interview phases of the competition, these five finalists have been selected for the final pitch. Each start-up will represent their country at the demonstration day and final pitch competition that will be held in Accra Ghana in December 2022.

Director of Portfolio at MEST Africa, Melissa Nsiah, speaking on the selection of the top five start-ups, said: “It hasn’t been an easy process. Mostly because, this year, we saw so many valid business models and met some incredible founders with huge visions that align very closely with ours. But in the final analysis, we were able to zero in on the cream of the crop to select the top five companies from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa in alignment with this year’s selection criteria. Our team is eager to work closely with each of the five finalists in preparation for the final competition day in December.”

The winning start-up would receive an investment capital amount of US$50,000, coaching, and access to a global network of resources and partners as they build and scale-up successful businesses that add value to African economies and livelihoods.

All participating start-ups will have the opportunity to benefit from a host of exciting perks from MEST Africa and its strategic partners including global visibility, building their networks, professional coaching, mentorship from experts, and the opportunity to join the global MEST community for lifetime benefits.

Details of the selected start-ups for final

Sproutly Inc (Nigeria). Digital banking, tuition financing for teens & students and payments, education management, and credits for schools platform.

Kwely Inc (Senegal). An innovative made-in-Africa B2B brand incubation and digital distribution platform.

Swoove Inc (Ghana). Swoove is a last-mile delivery and fulfillment tech start-up building e-commerce infrastructure for SMEs and commerce companies on the continent.

Hisa Inc (Kenya). Building the tech infrastructure for investing in Africa. Learn more.

Desert Green Africa Agri-Investments (South Africa). Desert Green is an Agritech transforming the informal Agric-value chain in Africa by providing more efficient delivery of fresh produce from small-scale farmers to informal traders.

The MAC 2022 Highlights

In its fourth year, MAC 2022, is a call for technology startups in five African markets – Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa to vie for the ultimate prize of USD 50,000 in equity investment.

Finalists will gain exclusive access to the MEST Community including expert business coaches and mentors, global investors, and a wide selection of perk prizes and packages contributed by MEST partners across the continent.

Finalists from each country will attend the MEST Africa Demo Day in Accra, Ghana on December 1st, 2022, where they will once again compete on a global stage for up to $50,000 in equity investment and the opportunity to join the MEST Portfolio and global community.

The competition has received thousands of applications from around the continent since its inception. It has spotlighted and impacted the growth of winning startups such as Tanzania’s Kilimo Fresh, Ghana’s OZE, South Africa’s Snode Technologies, Kenya’s Waya Waya, and Nigeria’s Accounteer.

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