MEST Africa is made possible thanks to a passionate team of experienced global staff across our markets - from fellows to operational staff, to our management team and more.
MEST Africa is made possible thanks to a passionate team of experienced global staff across our markets - from fellows to operational staff, to our management team and more.
Jorn Lyseggen Founder & CEO
Jorn is the Founder & CEO of Meltwater and MEST Africa. A Norwegian entrepreneur and philanthropist, he founded Meltwater in Oslo, Norway in 2001 with an investment of just $15,000. Built on the notion of Outside Insight, Meltwater is now a global leader in B2B online media intelligence, with over 60 offices across six continents, serving more than 30,000 clients. He founded the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in 2008, and launched SHACK15, a data science hub and members club in London and San Francisco, in 2016.
Ashwin Ravichandran Managing Director
Ashwin joined MEST in 2015 as a Technology Teaching Fellow and has since served as the Incubator Manager for MEST Accra and Director of Portfolio Support and Country Director of Ghana. With a background in Computer Science and Engineering and previous experience working in the innovation team at Honeywell and building startups in India, Ashwin brings extensive technical knowledge to his executive management experience at MEST.
In his role as Director of Portfolio Support, Ashwin has overseen the growth and development of highly successful MEST portfolio companies such as Complete Farmer, Asoriba, Leti Arts and Kudobuzz, working to maximize their growth and success in terms of business development, product management and raising further rounds of funding.
Due to his incredible value and support which was evident in his invaluable mentorship in the career paths of the Entrepreneurs-In-Training and fellows, he climbed up the ladder to become the Managing Director of MEST Africa. Ashwin is greatly inspired to nurture and guide the African entrepreneurship Space with a talented team so that these entrepreneurs can take on new challenges.
Femi Adewumi Training Program Director
Femi is an IT professional with over 28 years of experience in the IT industry including at executive levels in multinational organizations, and in the telecom and financial services industries. He has two MBAs and a BSc. in Electrical Engineering. He is a Certified Risk Manager and has many technical certifications including in emerging technologies. He has a strong technical background and is passionate about innovation. Femi loves sharing knowledge and is involved in a number of community projects to help address pertinent social and economic issues in developing Africa. He is a co-founder of a start-up focused on blockchain, AI and IoT and an IBM Business Partner. He also co-founded Developer Networks in Five African countries and in India and is the Director of the MEST Training Programme
Israel Agbeti Operations Director
Israel is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 10 years of experience in end-to-end Project & Program Management with a wealth of experience within the telecommunication sector in Africa. He brings to MEST, his ability to manage complex projects without compromising on quality, time and cost and vast knowledge on operations efficiency. Israel holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management from the University of Roehampton, BSc Finance, Central University and HND from Takoradi Technical University.
Prasanth Kumar MEST Consultancy Director
Prasanth Kumar is a Global Executive Leadership development consultant. Prior to MEST, he was heading International Business for Dial Technologies - MedTech Group in Morocco. He is also associated with organizations around the globe for Market development, Business development and consulting practice. He has taught at SIST British University (Cardiff Met Affiliate) for MBA & Undergrad programs in Morocco.
He has 19 years of combined experience in Business Consulting, Business Development, Sales & Marketing, Project Management, Training, Coaching, Planning & Strategy. His career has spanned across geographies and industries. He has held “C” Level positions for a decade for organizations in the Middle East. He has served a diverse clientele from industries such as I.T, Retail, Oil & Gas companies, Automotive, Airlines, Banks & Financial Institutions, Real Estate, Hospitality, Health care.
He is a Mechanical Engineer with a Post Graduate from the Indian Institute of Management- Kozhikode. He has done Executive Education programs at Harvard Business School (Risk Management for Corporate Leaders) and Harvard Law School (Negotiation & Leadership). He is Project Management Certified & Risk Management Certified from Project Management Institute – U.S.A. He is a Certified Intelligent Leadership Master Coach and Trainer from John Mattone University. He is a Strategy Tools Global Coach. He is a TEDx Speaker. He is a member of the Leader’s Excellence Club- Harvard Square. He has 19 years of combined experience in Business Consulting, Business Development, Sales & Marketing, Project Management, Training, Coaching, Planning & Strategy. His career has spanned across geographies and industries. He has held “C” Level positions for a decade for organizations in the Middle East. He has served a diverse clientele from industries such as I.T, Retail, Oil & Gas companies, Automotive, Airlines, Banks & Financial Institutions, Real Estate, Hospitality, Health care.
Tobi Lafinhan Head of Recruitment
Tobi is passionate about talent in Africa and designing processes & candidate experiences that aid that search.
He has 3 years of experience working in leading organisations in West Africa across a variety of industries, including tech. As the Head of Recruitment, he leads MEST Africa's regional search for the continent's most promising software entrepreneurs as well as support international marketing and recruitment efforts for fellows & mentors.
Tobi holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Kwesi Ammissah Logistics Manager
Veronica Mulhall Head of Marketing
Veronica's career has been guided by her mission to connect people. With 7+ years in marketing and communications for NGO and development organizations, she is drawn to the growth potential of emerging markets. She brings a diversity of experience to MEST, having worked as a creative strategist for governments, social enterprises, VCs, and UHNW individuals, and most recently leading NGO business development and communications at a West African startup.
Veronica holds a certificate in Community Development focused on Rural Sustainability from the University of Northern British Columbia and a BA in Adventure Education from Prescott College.
David Quartey Admin Coordinator, Training Program
Before joining MEST, David worked with Hope-Life institute as a teacher, departmental head, and later branch director and personal assistant to the country director, where he ran administration and operations for the institute in Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Guinea.
He also worked as a private accountant for small business owners who cannot afford the services of an accountant. At MEST, David serves as an administrator for staff members and Entrepreneurs-In-Training (EITs).
Lundie Strom Head of Community Relations
Having previously worked with various sectors of the United Nations, Lundie has spent the majority of her professional career in Africa. She moved to Cape Town in 2017 to work for the Nigerian social enterprise startup, She Leads Africa, and has been passionate about helping entrepreneurs in emerging markets make an impact ever since.
Today, Lundie manages MEST Africa’s community of tech entrepreneurs and startup founders across the continent. Working primarily between South Africa and Ghana, she connects the MEST Entrepreneurs-In-Training, Portfolio companies, Alumni network with growth opportunities through event and program management, ecosystem involvement coordination, and external communication support.
Originally from Los Angeles, Lundie graduated with an MA in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Nafiesah Abrahams Community Operations Manager
Nafi is originally from Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town, and graduated with a Human Resources diploma from Northlink College in 2017. Nafi immediately took on an Office Administrator position with the Cape Town Club, handling their membership applications, assisting the accountant with finance and doing the administration. She later worked in the Call Centre as an inbound admin assist at Takealot, and later as a Research Analyst at RetailNext.
In October 2017, Nafi joined MEST Africa as an Operations Associate and was recently promoted to Operations Manager. She currently administers all finances and business operations for the MEST incubator in Cape Town, which has only furthered her passion for numbers, problem-solving and people.
Jeffrey Agbo Operations Manager
Prior to joining MEST, Jeffrey served as a marketing and project supervisor for Global Arc (GH) Ltd., a construction and engineering consultancy firm. He’s responsible for supporting the day to day operations of all facilities including repairs and maintenance, procurement, security, tenant relationship management, and corporate service provision.
Alexis Roman Portfolio Venture Partner
Since graduating from McGill University with a degree in Finance and Economics, Alexis Roman has spent the majority of his professional career as an advisor to early-stage startups across North America and Africa. Alexis moved to Accra, Ghana, in 2018 to join MEST Africa as a Venture Partner, and now works directly with over 50 portfolio companies across the continent with focuses on strategy, growth, and finance. Prior to joining MEST, Alexis gained experience in Management Consulting and Private Equity in Canada, working with some of the country’s largest financial institutions on various innovation mandates.
Kathrin Sühlsen Training Program Fellow
Having previously worked in Africa and Europe, Kathrin came to MEST to connect both worlds. For her, entrepreneurship and technology can offer great solutions for people’s lives and she is passionate about creating impact together with others. Kathrin brings in several years of marketing and business experience in fintech, insurtech, consulting, and sustainability management. Her work is focused on startups and entrepreneurs, helping them to reach their strategic business goals, particularly in marketing, customer acquisition & development as well as go-to-market strategies.
Kathrin holds an MSc. in Environment and Resource Management, a BA in International Affairs and several certificates in Digital Marketing.
Dayo Osikoya Training Program Fellow
Dayo believes in the power of the individual to effect positive change in society and is super-passionate about solving Africa's problems with innovation and technology. This belief has been the driving force of his 17-year career spanning two countries - from teaching primary school kids to building and supporting large-scale software systems in multinationals in various sectors - from oil and gas to telecommunications to consulting and startups in Nigeria and Ghana.
With a stint in Computer Science and the National Open University of Nigeria and another degree attempt in Applied Accounting at the Oxford Brookes' University in the UK, Dayo has a certificate of achievement from ACCA, the global accounting body, for achieving one of the best scores in the Management Accounting exam in June 2010. He also has a certificate in Oracle 9i Database Administration from NIIT and basic and advanced certificates in leadership from the Daystar Leadership Academy.
Fiona Kiruja Community Associate, MEST Nairobi
Fiona is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation. Taking advantage of her strong programme management skills and her love for impactful disruption through entrepreneurship, Fiona has 3+ years of experience working with and empowering early-stage startups in East and West Africa
Fiona was previously the Business Planning Manager at MEST Africa, primarily based in Accra, Ghana where she coordinated and synchronized the organization’s efforts across its various departments and markets. Moving back to Nairobi to set up and launch the MEST Nairobi Hub, she now leads efforts to better reach entrepreneurs in East Africa through programmes, events and workshops as well as manage the hub’s community and operations as the Community Associate.
Fiona was previously Programs and Operations Associate at Mettā Nairobi, where she led the Fashion Product Lab program - aimed at providing holistic business training to entrepreneurs in the fashion industry.
Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Fiona holds a double major degree in International Business Administration and Entrepreneurship from United States International University.
Gerhard Malah MEST Consultancy Manager
Gerhard is a media, marketing and technology enthusiast, having worked in sales, account management and product management roles spanning verticals in advertising, digital publishing, digital marketing and e-commerce.
An alumnus of the University of Ghana, he graduated with a combined major in French and Political Science. His drive sees him contribute immensely in nearly all circles he finds himself from coordinating the small beginnings of a church-owned cooperative into a thriving beverage enterprise, to dreaming and building what is now a pan-African branded content studio. His current mandate as a Venture Partner at the MEST Consultancy brings to bear an understanding of the role of digital in building a holistic experience, managing and implementing strategy and relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
Katjana Kammin Portfolio Venture Partner
Katjana joined MEST as a Venture Partner to guide young entrepreneurs in the areas of business growth strategy, fundraising, and finance. Before she joined MEST, Katjana was based in New York and Boston, where she worked with several startups and did portfolio management for an angel investor. Furthermore, Katjana is part of the mentor network of a US-based startup which one that provides education financing for students in different education programs, and also a member of the Global Shapers. Katjana holds a German-American Double Degree in International Management and Business with a focus on Finance and Investment from ESB Business School and Northeastern University Boston.
Renato Rossi Portfolio Venture Partner
Since studying abroad in Ethiopia with his senior International Political Economy class at Western University, Canada, Renato has been interested in finance in Africa. Shortly after completing his undergraduate degree, he took a leap of faith, travelling to Uganda with hopes of finding his way once on the ground. He joined a fintech startup in Kampala to help develop sales strategy, which only furthered his passion. Returning to Canada, he joined the Canada Africa chamber of business in efforts to bridge the international business ecosystem with the continent. In 2019, Renato joined MEST Africa to learn from the future’s brightest minds in tech and innovation. As a Venture Partner, he builds capacity in the MEST Portfolio companies by strategically positioning them for success through effective communication and assessment of client needs.
Prince Oppong Kwarteng Training Program Fellow
Prince is a business development, training and coaching professional credited with over ten years of combined experience in Africa and Europe. His expertise covers Product & service development, Entrepreneurial competencies & Orientation development, Business modeling, Design thinking, Firm internationalization, and Business research.
He is passionate about youth and technology-based entrepreneurship and has been imparting knowledge in this domain for several years, by sharing insights in start-ups and innovative business development strategies. He is an expert for in4in (Intelligence for innovation) initiative and African-German Entrepreneurship Academy, as well as a Business research fellow of Leipzig University where he teaches and provides academic support for MBA students.
Anjola Okunade Marketing Associate
Passionate about development and innovation through tech, Anjola uses her expertise at storytelling to tie all these together in multicultural spaces. She previously led communications at a MEST Portfolio company in Lagos, Nigeria and is now committed to sharing more PanAfrican Stories with global audiences.
Whilst getting her Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, Anjola was involved in various student organisations where she coordinated social activities, handled communication and led women groups.
Felix Darko Training Program Fellow
Felix is driven by his passion for innovation and impact. He strongly believes that technology, married with sustainable business practices, will serve as the launchpad that propels the African continent into a new era. He joined the MEST family knowing it is a dynamic environment that would challenge him to be better and evolve. “At MEST, we all work together towards a goal larger than ourselves; to create a sustainable tech-driven future for Africa.”
An aspiring entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, he co-founded and served as CTO of a tech-driven logistics startup, The Grocers, in 2014 in the food and consumables space in Ghana. This experience taught invaluable lessons about how to build a tech business in an emerging African market and all the challenges that follow. More recently, he has worked with various startups in Accra, managing the development of their tech platforms as well as consulting for a few larger companies. This work encompasses several sectors including Energy, AgriTech, FinTech, IoT and others.
Felix is an Electrical and Computer Engineer by training with a BSc. from Bucknell University. His skill set ranges from software development and product design to embedded systems (IoT), power generation and distribution with a focus on renewable technologies.
Joshua Okpata Venture Partner
Josh is deliberate about supporting African entrepreneurs through what is a uniquely challenging business environment while enabling them make the most of very limited opportunities. After working as a Systems Engineer on HVAC projects in Nigeria and the US, he went on to lead Nigerian rental startup Eazyhire as CEO, overseeing their expansion in three countries across two continents. He was also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Barcelona Plataforma Empresarial-Fledge Barcelona and an MIT Enterprise Forum coach. Josh studied Power and Machinery Engineering, has taken executive courses on Business Management and Entrepreneurship, delivered a paper on technology advocacy for youth development to a gathering of The Commonwealth and is a Forbes 30 under 30 awardee. At MEST he works with portfolio companies towards sustainable growth, employing a founder-friendly, hands-on approach and leveraging his entrepreneurial experience.
Esi Otchere Recruitment Associate
Esi genuinely believes in the Pan-African vision and in the potential of young talent to drive progress on the continent through creative innovation. MEST Africa provides the perfect starting point in her career journey because of its solution-oriented purpose-driven work environment. Having done internships in recruitment, financial advisory, student life, and operations over the past 3 years, with some entrepreneurial experience running a spa, directing plays, and co-founding a tourism startup, Esi brings an exciting perspective to her team. She holds a BA in Social Sciences from Glasgow Caledonian University via the African Leadership College, Mauritius. She works as the Recruitment Associate to offer the MEST opportunity to passionate problem-solvers in Africa.
Selassie Mensah Executive Assistant (Managing Director)
With experience in working with organizations that are in the sectors of Education, Politics, Arts, Media and Communication, Selassie has dedicated most of her career to effective communication within organizations, event organization and contributing to society through her writing and communication skills.
Selassie Mensah is a young lady, a Global Shaper, and a citizen under the World Economic Forum who is passionate about cultural diversity about issues relating to literacy development, education, creativity, art, gender equality, public policies, and societal change. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Publishing Studies from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana (2017).
She has worked in several organizations namely Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Step Publishers and Citifm, etc. in the roles of Communications and Administrative Assistant, Teaching and Research Assistant, Editor and Online journalist respectively.
She brings these refreshing experiences of management and communication to MEST while learning from the MEST experience and developing and contributing to organizational goals. She works at MEST Africa as the Executive Assistant to the Managing Director where she assists the Managing Director, manages calendars and manages information flow in a timely and accurate manner to achieve the organization’s objectives.
MEST works to support Africa's most promising tech entrepreneurs. Do you share our mission of creating work and wealth on the continent by launching scalable tech businesses? Join us!