MEST-incubated Asoriba Wins Seedstars World AccraYesterday, MEST-incubated Asoriba—a web and mobile application that enables effective church administration for leaders, and seamless engagement with members—took top place at the Accra regional competition of the global Seedstars World, a program that identifies the best startups from emerging markets.
The Asoriba founding team hails from the MEST Class of 2015, and was just incubated by MEST this June upon graduating from the two-year MEST training program. They beat out eleven other startups and were chosen for their relevant and intuitive solution in a currently underserved market.
Seedstars World is a global seed-stage startup competition looking for smart startups that solve regional issues and/or develop profitable products for the global market. For those not familiar with the organization, there is a great TED Talk from one of the Seedstars co-founders Alisée de Tonnac (Talents are Everywhere) about the mission and premise of the competition. Sneak peak to the 9:12 minute mark and you’ll see a quick MEST incubator mention as well!
The competition has a strong reputation in the tech ecosystem and has been featured in the likes of everything from Forbes to TechCrunch and Wired.
As part of winning the regional competition, Asoriba will be going to Switzerland in February 2016 for the final pitch round, potentially winning $500,000 USD equity investment. Also at stake is over $6 million in total investment, prizes and perks for the taking as well as key networking, business development and follow-on funding opportunities with some of the most influential entrepreneurs and investors from around the world.
Asoriba’s CEO, Nana Opoku shared his elation, saying modestly, “This is completely unexpected for us. We are going to work even harder now to grow our business and impress in Geneva.”
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Asoriba CEO Nana Opoku with Seedstars management accepting his winnings and ticket to Geneva.[/caption]
After visiting 36 countries last year, Seedstars World has expanded to include 53 countries this year. Continuing on its world tour, Seedstars World’s next stop in Africa is Abidjan on August 12. Other Seedstars African regional competitions yet to take place this year are:
- Kigali, Rwanda - August 26, 2015
- Kampala, Uganda - September 11, 2015
- Nairobi, Kenya - October 2, 2015
- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - October 8, 2015
- Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania - November 10, 2015
- Dakar, Senegal - November 17, 2015
- Gaborone, Botswana - November 27, 2015
MEST incubator company, Beam, were winners last year in Seedstars World, Accra. They were one of eight African startups who went on to Switzerland to compete in the Final Competition, where Philippine startup - Salarium won the much-coveted guaranteed equity investment worth $500,000 USD.
Here’s a snapshot of the competition’s global reach - we are incredibly proud of MEST-incubated Asoriba to be competing with startups from all over, including Asia, Africa, LatAm, CEE and MENA. And we’re especially excited from Asoriba to be representing Ghanaian talent and innovation on the global stage!
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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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