Entries are currently open for the 2021 first cohort of MEST Express accelerator. An initiative of MEST in partnership with Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works, MEST Express accelerator was launched in September 2020 to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on early-stage ventures.
What’s the program about?
The 20-week program targets early-stage technology startups in Ghana, equipping them with the necessary skills and resources to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
In collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, MEST launched three new programs in 2020 — Pre-MEST, MEST Express, and MEST Scale.
The USD 3.5M project will enable MEST to scale its impact and reach exponentially more young people at more touchpoints along their entrepreneurial journey in Ghana, and in time, across Africa.
Mest Express accelerator is a tuition-free program that will improve the resilience of Ghana-based MSMEs that have been affected by COVID-19, exposing them to business practices and technical know-how to gain traction, increase market share, boost sales, and create meaningful jobs.
What are the benefits?
Finalists of MEST Express accelerator 2021 will receive the following:
- Funding opportunity of up to $20,000 in equity-free grant funding.
- Business training that covers different areas such as exploring business models and product pivots, improving risk and crises resilience, and becoming investment ready
- Mentorship opportunity
- Access to resources
Who can apply?
For the 2021 “Alpha” cohort, MEST Express is on the lookout for startups that meet the requirements below:
- Pre-seed to seed-stage tech-driven startups that are between 1-3 years old;
- Must be based in Ghana;
- Must be generating revenue
- Can demonstrate traction;
- Founders should be able to articulate clear value propositions and customer segmentation regarding their businesses.
How to apply
If you wish to apply for the program, go through the following steps
- Create an F6S account
- Apply using the official application form on F6S
- Selected candidates will be contacted for an interview after which final candidates will be sent an offer letter to join the program.
Note that all participating companies admitted to the program are shortlisted by a team of industry experts in the Ghanaian and African tech ecosystem.
- Applications close – Sunday, February 7, 2021
- Program starts – Monday, February 22, 2021
- Program ends – Friday, July 16, 2021
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