MEST Internal Seed Fund and Incubation

Training program graduates and winners of the annual MEST Africa Challenge competition who successfully pitch to our board of experienced investors receive $50k-$250k in funding to help them launch and scale their companies. In addition to funding, they receive 18 to 24-month incubation at one of the MEST hubs and access to MEST’s Africa-wide tech community.

Africa-wide MEST Network

MEST provides seed funding and a space in our African-wide wide network, to foster the growth and success of our graduated entrepreneurs. The MEST supports through advisory and provides working space, hands-on support, resources and a vibrant community to help our portfolio companies succeed. Its inception was driven in part by the limited access to seed stage capital and to mentorship opportunities with seasoned entrepreneurs for software startups on the continent.

The expanding MEST network will offer entrepreneurs looking to grow their market across the continent with resources and connections in several major African cities. To date, MEST has invested in over 60 startups across industries from SaaS and consumer internet, to eCommerce, Digital Media, Agritech, Fintech and Healthcare IT.

An Startup's Journey

Once a startup receives MEST Seed Funding and enters incubation, the MEST Hubs offer hands-on support to bring early stage startups from launch to scale. Here's a look at a typical journey for an startup in the MEST incubator:


Months 0-6
  • Onboarding, product development deep dive, legal training
  • Market traction, marketing strategy
  • Developing sales pipeline; beta launch
  • Bespoke accelerators focused on elements including product and sales, are offered to portfolio companies specific to company needs
Months 7-18
  • Sales accelerator, growth strategy, implementing customer feedback
  • Hiring + growth, product iteration, investor readiness
  • Preparing for success: we work with companies on achieving next round of funding or exit, leveraging investor and ecosystem partners

Learn more about the MEST portfolio

Interested in partnering with MEST? Are you an investor who wants to learn more about our portfolio? Contact our team to explore opportunities.


Ashwin Ravichandran

Managing Director

ashwin@meltwater.org