MEST Welcomes Newest Pan-African Cohort in AugustThis August, MEST will welcome our newest cohort to campus and life in Ghana, with aspiring entrepreneurs from across Sub-Saharan Africa (Including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Sierra Leone). It’s the most pan-African class of Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) in our organization’s history.
Together, the cohort is made up of 60 ambitious and driven young Africans with a passion in technology and entrepreneurship and an interest to launch globally successful software companies out of Africa.
Over the period of January through to June 2016, the MEST Recruitment Team received thousands upon thousands of online applications from across SSA and met 200+ candidates for in-person interviews, all who were vying for only 60 coveted spots in the Class of 2017. Fun fact: it's statistically more difficult to get into MEST than into Harvard.
While recruiting in the various cities (Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, Cape Town) over the course of the recruitment tour, we met a very diverse and talented group of individuals with desires and dreams to make positive impact on their communities and countries; and they want to do so by creating globally successful software companies.
This cohort is a unique blend of intellectual intelligence and interesting personalities; fierce competitors with raw drive and ambition, who we’re thrilled to welcome into the MEST family. In Kenya for example, we met a diverse group of candidates with engineering and business backgrounds who were also pilots, rugby players, farmers, ambitious hackers, and YALI fellows. We are confident that each of their talents, perspectives, and life experiences will bring enormous value into the collective community at MEST.
A family is like a forest, when you are outside it is dense, when you are inside you see that each tree has its place. ~ African Proverb
With support from our partners, including Nigeria-based Interswitch who funds all Nigerian EITs at MEST, each individual in this group will receive a $50,000 scholarship covering their tuition, housing, meals and air travel tickets for their year long stay at the MEST Training program in Ghana.
Over a 12-month period, they’ll receive hands-on training in software development, entrepreneurship, business development, sales & marketing, communications and prototyping to equip them with the skills needed to take their ideas off the ground and into global markets.
Throughout the program, our management team and teaching fellows work with EITs on everything from ideation to fixing bugs in their product, revitalizing their go-to-market strategy, and opening up our global network of VCs, angel investors and corporates.
At the end of the program, individuals will have pinpointed a problem they’re beyond passionate about solving, formed into teams, focused on developing a robust product, thought through every step of their business plan, and crafted their investor pitches (which is essentially the EITs’ final exam and the holy grail at MEST).
After the investment pitches, the strongest and most promising teams receive between $50,000 to $250,000 USD in equity investment, to support the launch of these new businesses, with continued support at the MEST Incubator.
As it’s often said by MEST founder, Jorn Lyseggen, “The one thing I promised myself when I started MEST was that it would be a place where you’re allowed to dream big.”
And dreaming big we are –cheers to a great year ahead!
MEST Recruitment Team post-interviews, thrilled to have met so many amazing individuals during our recruitment interviews!
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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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