Yesterday, Meltwater’s global HQ named a new Managing Director for the Ghanian tech startup incubator. The new MD, Neal Hansch, has a stacked track record from investment banking, technology and early stage VC.
The MD role was previously occupied by Daniel Thalhammer until 2011 and most recently, Louis Dorval.
As his resume and CrunchBase profile would suggest, Hansch’s hire is informed by MEST’s need to aggressively “go global” from Ghana. According to the press release, “this senior addition to the MEST organization will further bridge the gap and strengthen connections between the rising African technology scene and leading global technology hubs”.
From inside Accra, MEST has been actively playing on the global tech startup stage in the past two years, with the emergence of Saya in the final seven at TechCrunch Disrupt and Dropifi’s acceptance into the 500 Startups incubator. By now, a clear pattern of deliberately positioning their incubatees for global opportunities on the one hand, and thought leadership for emerging African tech on the other, has emerged. MEST obviously intends to keep the momentum going by repeating their recent silicon valley successes with other startups under their guidance.
According to a spokesperson for MEST, Hansch’s work will involve spending time in international tech hubs to help create the networks their entrepreneurs. It’s already happening in San Francisco, but MEST Ghana is looking at London’s tech scene as another important place to reach into.
The MEST Ghana incubator’s new MD will be joining Ekua Odoom, who is Managing Director of the School (separate but runs in tandem with the MEST incubator) as well as Victoria Haynes, Michael Szymanski and five other international fellows who have been in place since August and will work in the incubator for the next 12 months.
This story was updated with more facts and a less colloquial headline.