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Meltwater School of Technology plans 3rd Africa Summit in Cape Town

As part of programmes to mark its 10th year in investing in technology entrepreneurs in Africa, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), on Thursday, announced the third MEST Africa Summit, which will take place in Cape Town, South Africa in mid June.

Formerly the Africa Tech Summit, this year’s event will go Pan-African, bringing together top entrepreneurs, investors and executives from Africa, Silicon Valley and Europe, to network and discuss trends, challenges and opportunities affecting markets across the continent, under the theme ‘The Year of the African Scale up?’

In November 2017, MEST launched incubator spaces in Lagos, Nigeria and Cape Town, South Africa, adding to its flagship incubator and training program in Accra, Ghana. Truly Pan-African, MEST also has a presence in Nairobi, Kenya and Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Besides, since its inception in 2008, the Meltwater Foundation has invested $20 million into the program, supporting aspiring African entrepreneurs through the training program and incubator. Now in its 10th year, nearly 300 individual entrepreneurs have graduated from the training program and over 50 tech companies have been launched via seed funding and mentorship from MEST. Three companies — Claimsync, AdGeek and messaging app Saya — have been acquired.

In a statement sent from South Africa to Business Hilights in Lagos, the organizers say this year’s Summit will take place in Cape Town, South Africa – the location of the third MEST incubator, which was officially launched in November 2017.

MEST also announced the MEST Africa Challenge, a Pan-African pitch competition open April 1 in Nairobi, Lagos, Accra and Cape Town. The final pitch event for the competition will be held on Day 2 of the Summit and will include winners from each city’s regional event, which will be held in late April/early May.

MEST Managing Director Aaron Fu said “We’re excited to bring together leading players in the tech and investment space from across the continent and the globe once again, this time in our new home in Cape Town”.

“The MEST Africa Summit serves as a meeting ground for Pan-African entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem partners, and this year looks to ignite discussion around the real challenges and opportunities businesses face when reaching scale, as the startup space in Africa continues to mature.

Additional details on the summit revealed that panel discussions during the Summit will feature expertise from leading African entrepreneurs, investors and executives, and will highlight those companies looking to scale to new African markets and the partners who can help them succeed. Topics include a debate over the best African country to start a business; a discussion of the latest fintech, agritech and blockchain innovations, why women code better, and more.

MEST is currently accepting applications for partners and speakers. Confirmed sponsors include Merck and MTN and ecosystem partners AfricArena, SiMoDiSa, Wesgro, Alpha Code and Silicon Cape.

Previous Summit partners include Samsung Business, AB Consulting, Google, Interpay, Agrivi, Interswitch, VC4Africa and more. Past speakers include Mitchell Elegbe of Interswitch, Jason Spindler of I-Dev, Funke Opeke of MainOne, Matt Flannery of Kiva, Iyin Aboyeji of Flutterwave, Angel Adelaja of Fresh Direct, Jason Njoku of iROKO, Tomi Davies of ABAN and more.