The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is a fully sponsored twelve month programme that trains entrepreneurs on the basics of building successful tech businesses. It focuses on computer programming, software development, product management, finance, marketing, sales and leadership best practices.
This year, MEST is accepting applications from Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, and expanding its programme to take in applicants from South Africa for the first time.
The entrepreneurs will spend a year at MEST in Accra and take part in the intensive training program, following which they can launch their own software companies. MEST also facilitates seed investment opportunities. Applications close June 1, 2016.
Admitted applicants receive a full scholarship to a one-year entrepreneurial entrepreneurial training programme that blends an MBA-type education with hands-on training in software development.
During the programme, students form teams, develop a product, write business plans, and craft their investor pitches. The strongest and most promising concepts receive between $50,000 to $250,000 USD in equity investment, to support the launch of these new businesses.
The teams that do receive investment will then start their journey at the MEST Incubator, where they receive continued hands-on support as they launch and grow their businesses.
To date, the MEST Incubator has invested in 25 companies and backed more than 75 co-founders. These companies have gone on to develop solutions that address global markets, create jobs and wealth locally, receive outside follow-on funding from global investors, and have gained admittance to top accelerator programs such as 500 Startups and TechStars.
“2014 was the first year that MEST recruited outside of Ghana, due to our sponsorship from Interswitch in Nigeria,” says Katie Sarro, Managing Director at MEST. “We’ve found the diversification of students in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria exponentially increase the business ideas that come from the training program. With the addition of South Africa, we look forward to fostering even more talent.”
Selected Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) will receive a year-long, fully sponsored training program in Accra starting September 2016. Expenses such as housing, tuition and meals will be covered by MEST, and participants will also get a monthly stipend during the one-year program.
This comes with hands on training in software development and entrepreneurship. This opportunity also comes with potential for seed funding at the end of the program.
Apply for the entrepreneur training programme here.
MEST is also expanding its network of incubators, with one set to open in Lagos and another in Nairobi later this year, and another two in Cape Town and Johannesburg scheduled to open in 2017.
“The scope and resources of our Pan-African incubator network is a unique value prop and one of a kind on the continent,” says Jorn Lyseggen, founder of MEST.
“Our entrepreneurs will now have the ability to launch startups in their home countries, after completing the one year training program in Ghana, while also allowing our current portfolio companies to more easily access new markets.”
With the opening of Lagos and Nairobi incubators this summer, MEST is now accepting applications for General Manager positions in each location.