Ghana’s start-up hub MEST to take $50 million into Africa

MEST, Ghana’s successful start-up ecosystem, is taking its local entrepreneur training program to other parts of Africa. The program is now to be targeted on start-up founders in Nigeria and Kenya.

MEST (Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology) is now finalizing plans to open its first incubators in Lagos and Nairobi this summer, later to be followed by incubators in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

MEST, a non-profit arm of San Francisco-based Meltwater Group, is to raise $50 million for its first venture capital fund, called MEST Venture Partners. The new fund will also back non-MEST trained start-ups.

MEST takes an early seed stake in every start-up it supports, and in exchange entrepreneurs get intensive one-year training. According to a Quartz report, MEST typically winds up with a 10% equity stake in start-ups that graduate from its program. If it makes a cash seed investment, which is usually around $50,000, then MEST takes an additional 20% in equity.

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