EIT Spotlight: Ada TapilyThis year, we welcomed EITs from 12 different countries to form the MEST Class of 2019 - our most Pan-African cohort yet. Several members of the new class are among the first entrepreneurs from their home countries to come to MEST. We took the opportunity to get to know the EITs from these new countries and learn more about why they chose MEST.
This week we heard from Ada Tapily, one of the first EITs from Mali, and her dreams for the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Mali.
How did you hear about MEST?
I heard about MEST through my mentor, Michael Leventhal, who is now Senior Faculty at MEST. He called me and told me he had a very interesting opportunity for me. I applied online and started to learn English for the interview.
What made you decide to come to MEST?
On the wall of my room, I have written, “The way is not yet defined, and I do not know how, but I will put my imprint on the world of technology and build an empire.” MEST is a step on the path towards bringing me closer to my goal.
Why do you believe tech entrepreneurship is important?
Tech entrepreneurship is at the heart of economic development for our day and is growing. I believe that now and in the future, tech plays a key role to gaining power. There are a lot of problems that technology can solve. I believe that with more technology entrepreneurs, we will be able to contribute more solutions.
Tell me a bit about the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem in your country. What are your hopes for the future of that ecosystem?
In Mali, technological entrepreneurship is growing, but it is still behind. There are now a lot of startups in education, agriculture, health, and trade as well as supporting structures such as programs and incubators. There are also successful entrepreneurs in software development, digital communication, telecommunication, automation, and 3D. Currently robotics is just beginning in Mali: leaders and the government have developed programs and centers for training robotics entrepreneurship and innovation technology.
I have great hopes for the future of this ecosystem, and my dream is to see it evolve to be one of the main actors in technology and inspire others.
Who/what inspires you?
I am inspired by three people in the world: my father, my mother, and my mentor, Michael Leventhal. They inspire me by their courage and their life courses. They also never let me give up. My father always tells me, “Do not try to be first in life because you can be the first of the mediocre. Seek excellence and be excellent.” This is my slogan for living. My passion for science, mathematics, and technology is what brought me to the third person who inspires me, my mentor and second father, Michael Leventhal.
What would you like most to gain from this next year at MEST?
Over the next year, I want to learn a lot about technology, business, and communication. I would also like to improve myself and be able to create my own business.
Are you interested in becoming an EIT at MEST like Ada? Applications for the Class of 2020 are now open. Apply here!
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Due to COVID-19, MEST postpones training program to next year and doubles down on growing portfolio companies
At MEST, we continue to be deeply concerned about COVID-19 and have been closely monitoring developments locally and globally. Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our community and we will continue to follow local authority and health official guidelines.
Due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic and the uncertainty that the future of travel holds, we have been unable to conduct in-person interviews and host recruitment around Africa for our next cohort. For this reason, we have taken the decision to postpone the Training Program to next year.
While these circumstances are indeed unfortunate, we see this as an exciting opportunity at MEST to double down on providing support and mentorship to our existing portfolio companies and the African ecosystem.
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