Team

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. 

Nafiesah Abrahams Community Operations Manager, Cape Town

Nafiesah Abrahams

Community Operations Manager, Cape Town

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 administration. She later worked in the call centre as an Inbound Admin Assistant 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.

Israel Agbeti Senior Operations Manager, MEST Training Program

Israel Agbeti

Senior Operations Manager, MEST Training Program

Joseph Akomeah Technical Support Coordinator

Joseph Akomeah

Technical Support Coordinator

Joseph (Joey) is the Technical Support Coordinator at MEST in Ghana. He received his PG. Diploma in InfoTech Project Management from Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in 2014.

Since 2014, he has been involved in projects and IT Systems design for individuals and groups. He currently lives in Accra and enjoys research & report writing, travelling, career counselling, mentorship, reading, watching and playing (football, lawn & table-tennis), and gardening.

Kwesi Ammissah Logistics Manager

Kwesi Ammissah

Logistics Manager

Kwesi has been the operations manager at MEST nearly since the beginning. He is responsible for ensuring all EITs and staff are well cared-for and manages all MEST transport and drivers.

Celine Duros Director of Operations & Finance

Celine Duros

Director of Operations & Finance

A Meltwater sales veteran, Celine joined MEST full time after leading intensive sales training for EITs at MEST as a Meltwater Sales Fellow. Celine is originally from France and joined the Meltwater sales team in Paris following her MIB from Grenoble Ecole de Management in France. She now leads operations for MEST Accra.

Phillippe Greinacher Director of Business Development

Phillippe Greinacher

Director of Business Development

Philippe has been working in advertising, startups and online media in Africa for seven years. He has always enjoyed working with up and comers who look to change the status quo. At MEST, Philippe looks after all our global business development and partnerships with external organizations.

Fiona Kiruja Community Associate, MEST Nairobi

Fiona Kiruja

Community Associate, MEST Nairobi

Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Fiona is passionate about fashion, entrepreneurship and innovation. Previously the Programs and Operations Associate at Mettā Nairobi, she led the Fashion Product Lab program – providing holistic business training to entrepreneurs in the fashion industry. She holds a double major degree in International Business Administration and Entrepreneurship from United States International University.

Today Fiona is our community associate at MEST Nairobi!

Tobi Lafinhan Recruitment Manager

Tobi Lafinhan

Recruitment Manager

Tobi Lafinhan has a background in civil engineering combined with 3 years of experience working in leading organisations in West Africa across a variety of industries, including tech. He is passionate about talent discovery and designing processes & candidate experiences that aid that search.

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 into a Pan-African training program and network of incubators.

Jorn Lyseggen Founder & CEO

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.

Kamil Nabong Senior Fellow, MEST Incubator Accra

Kamil Nabong

Senior Fellow, MEST Incubator Accra

Kamil has a background in law and economics. A MEST graduate, he co-founded Dropifi in 2011 to help online merchants engage with customers in a better way. Dropifi was the winner of Kaufman Foundation’s Startup Open in 2012 and later became the first African startup to be accepted into 500 Startups in Silicon Valley. In 2015, he co-founded Simple Merchant, a UK based software-as-a-service startup, to help online merchants automate their shipping operations.

Kamil is a senior fellow at the MEST Incubator Accra where he mentors and works closely with startups in shaping their technology and strategy.

David Quartey Admin Coordinator, Training Program

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 assistance 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).

Ashwin Ravichandran Managing Director

Ashwin Ravichandran

Managing Director

Originally from a small city in India called Madras, now Chennai - Ashwin is an Interactive Designer/Developer, specializing in UI/UX and product growth. After completing a Bachelors in Computer Science, Ashwin hopped on the bandwagon of high innovation by joining Honeywell. Two months later, he switched to startups and has never looked back. After consulting for startups for three years, working in every vertical possible, Ashwin went to understand psychology, economics and impact by taking a year off to study Liberal Arts. In 2014, Ashwin started traveling the world consulting for startups. In July 2015, he began as a tech fellow at MEST in Accra, Ghana, working with 60 entrepreneurs to help them build sustainable tech startups. He now leads MEST as our Managing Director from HQ in Ghana. 

Thea Sokolowski Head of Brand & Marketing

Thea Sokolowski

Head of Brand & Marketing

Thea began her journey at MEST as a business teaching fellow. An NYU grad, she previously worked in marketing in New York City. Following her fellowship at MEST, she received her MBA from Oxford University’s Said Business School and went on to work at a health tech startup in San Francisco before re-joining the MEST and Meltwater team to lead marketing and communications.

Lundie Strom Community Manager, MEST Cape Town

Lundie Strom

Community Manager, MEST Cape Town

Originally fromLos Angeles, California, Lundie completed her degree in International Relations at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She previously worked with the UN and She Leads Africa, helping ambitious African women become successful entrepreneurs and professionals.

Today she leads our community at MEST Cape Town!

Advisors

MEST is proud to have the support of experienced and dedicated senior advisors from around the world.

 

Ashok Bhanaut Senior Advisor

Ashok Bhanaut

Senior Advisor

Ashok is a Senior Advisor to the MEST Leadership Team, and a Director of Meltwater Holding. Previously, Ashok was the CEO and later Chairman of Genkey. He also held senior executive and technical architecture roles at IBM for over 27 years in the UK, US, France, and the Netherlands. Ashok has served as an advisor, CEO, Chairman, and Board Member of companies around the world.

Stefan Cars Business Advisory Council

Stefan Cars

Business Advisory Council

Stefan is founder at Snowfall, and Founding Partner at Treuhand. A serial entrepreneur, Stefan has been building and selling internet companies for over 20 years.

Brian Flynn Business Advisory Council

Brian Flynn

Business Advisory Council

Brian Flynn is an investor and entrepreneur focused on the Internet, mobile and software sectors. He has over 20 years of investment, entrepreneurial and isnvestment banking experience with emerging growth companies. Brian has invested in and/or co-founded 16 companies. Of that group, 8 exited, 5 are private and 3 were shut down. Some of his private investments include IMsecure (sold to Checkpoint), Pixoart Design (sold to 51.com), Ultris (sold to Saba), Fotolog (sold to Hi-Media), Qpod (sold to Groupon) and other companies which are independent (Relevad, Wheelhouse, Mixbook, AdMovate).Earlier in his career, Brian served as Head of Corporate Development at Macromedia where he managed strategy, investments and acquisitions and facilitated the sale of the company to Adobe for $3.9 billion. He also was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley & Co. and Robertson Stephens where he closed more than 40 mergers, acquisitions and financings. Brian received his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and his M.B.A. from Harvard University.

Neal Hansch Business Advisory Council

Neal Hansch

Business Advisory Council

Join MEST

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! 

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