BY TOM JACKSON
Pan-African entrepreneurial training programme, seed fund and incubator MEST Africa has partnered the Mastercard Foundation to make the MEST Express accelerator available to Ghanaian startups.
Born in Ghana and still based in Accra even as it has become more pan-Africa, MEST is returning to its roots during COVID-19 with the launch of MEST Express, an acceleration programme targeted at early and growth stage Ghanaian tech startups.
Run in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works initiative, the goal is to equip startups to weather the pandemic, build resiliency, increase business acumen and technical know-how to ramp up traction, gain market share, boost sales, and create meaningful jobs.
“The programme is designed to deliver tailored hands-on interventions that are focused on rapid practical application and observable business outcomes. Graduating Express startups will be poised for exponential business growth, and ready to onboard new talent,” MEST said.
MEST Express is a 10-week intensive hands-on programme, with a curriculum that focuses on interactive workshops tailored to the specific needs of the cohort and practical outcome-based sprints at the end of which participants will have ramped up capacity in that business aspect with traction to back it up. Each sprint will end in a demo day attended by experts and ecosystem partners where participants give a detailed account of their successes and challenges so far and receive critical feedback to take them to the next level.
Applicants should be pre-seed or seed-stage startups that are less than three years old and have raised US$100,000 or less in total funding. They must be generating revenue and demonstrate traction, and be tech-enabled.