The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology and MEST Incubator programme, based in Accra, Ghana has been providing fully sponsored 2-year training for aspiring African tech entrepreneurs since 2008, some of whom have gone on to gain admittance into top accelerator programs and even compete on a global scale in tech events like TechCrunch Disrupt (remember Saya mobile?).
MEST is now accepting applications from student entrepreneurs from Nigeria. Before now, MEST’s activities have been somewhat restricted to its home country. MEST’s decision to open their programme to Nigerians is quite logical, as is attested to by Katie Sarro, Director of Business Development at MEST:
“Nigeria has proven to be an attractive move for multinational tech giants and start-up accelerators and incubators alike.The world’s seventh most populous nation today, 28% of Forbes’ 40 richest African entrepreneurs hail from Nigeria, while the country’s recently released GDP figures make it the largest economy in Africa, surpassing South Africa, and solidifying it as one of the largest economies in the world today. Even more telling and relevant for high tech startups is the fact that nearly 90% of households in Nigeria own a mobile phone and reports show that the country will be a global leader in mobile payment adoption by 2017.”
It became important that the MEST programme extend to Nigeria, says Sarro “in order for us to grow and to provide the most competitive environment for our students. Nigeria has a vibrant and growing middle class of consumers, a fast-moving economy and a youthful population that craves and consumes the latest technology. Our startups will now have immediately access a much wider market, which will translate into higher growth opportunities. We’re also very excited about the energy that this exciting blend will bring to the organization. Beyond that, there are far more opportunities for localization and we’re working with a partner in the region that will help push that forward.”
Who can apply?
Nigerian graduates from all backgrounds – mobile maniacs, tech geeks, brilliant coders and collaborators – who are passionate about software and entrepreneurship and have completed their NYSC. If you fall into this category, this might be your call. Apply now. Application close on the 15th of June so hurry.