Sproutly, a Nigerian-based digital banking and tuition financing platform for teens and students, has been chosen, along with four other African tech startups, to advance to the grand finale of the 2022 MEST Africa Challenge pitch competition.
According to MEST Africa, the tech startups that will compete in the grand finale of the 2022 MEST Africa Challenge pitch competition are Sproutly (Nigeria), Kweli (Senegal), Swoove (Ghana), Hisa (Kenya), and Desert Green Africa (South Africa).
Applications for the 2022 MEST Africa Challenge opened this July for pre-seed and seed-stage technology startups in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, and South Africa to compete for the $50,000 grand prize.
Before making it to the final pitch, these startups had to go through stages of the competition that included online applications, regional pitches, and founder interviews. They will represent their country at the Demo Day and Final Pitch Competition in December 2022 in Accra, Ghana.
Speaking on the selection of the top 5 startups, the Director of Portfolio at MEST Africa, Melissa Nsiah said “It hasn’t been an easy process. Mostly because, this year, we saw so many valid business models and met some incredible founders with huge visions that align very closely with ours. But in the final analysis, we were able to zero in on the cream of the crop to select the top 5 companies from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa in alignment with this year’s selection criteria. Our team is eager to work closely with each of the 5 finalists in preparation for the final competition day in December.”
Meet the Top five Finalists in the 2022 MEST Africa Challenge
Sproutly Inc (Nigeria)
Sproutly is a digital banking, tuition financing for teens & students and payments, education management, and credits for schools.
Kwely Inc (Senegal)
Kwely is an innovative made-in-Africa B2B brand incubation and digital distribution platform.
Swoove Inc (Ghana)
Swoove is the last-mile delivery and fulfillment tech startup building e-commerce infrastructure for SMEs and commerce companies on the continent.
Hisa Inc (Kenya)
Hisa is into building the tech infrastructure for investing in Africa.
Desert Green Africa Agri-Investments (South Africa)
Desert Green is an Agritech transforming the Informal Agri-value chain in Africa by providing more efficient delivery of Fresh produce from small-scale farmers to informal traders.
About the 2022 MEST Africa Challenge
MAC 2022, now in its fourth year, is a call for technology startups in five African markets – Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa – to compete for the grand prize of $50,000 in equity investment. Finalists will have access to the MEST Community, which includes expert business coaches and mentors, global investors, and a variety of perk prizes and packages donated by MEST partners across the continent. Finalists from each country will compete on a global stage for up to $50,000 in equity investment and the opportunity to join the MEST Portfolio and global community at the MEST Africa Demo Day in Accra, Ghana on December 1st, 2022.
In addition, all participating startups will receive a slew of exciting benefits from MEST Africa and its strategic partners, including global visibility, network building, professional coaching, expert mentorship, and the opportunity to join the global MEST community for lifetime benefits.
Since its inception, the competition has received thousands of applications from across the continent. It has highlighted and influenced the growth of successful startups such as Kilimo Fresh in Tanzania, OZE in Ghana, Snode Technologies in South Africa, Waya Waya in Kenya, and Accounteer in Nigeria.
About MEST Africa
MEST is a pan-African software and entrepreneurship training program, seed fund, and incubator that assists in the launch of technology startups throughout the continent. It is a 12-month program founded in Ghana in 2008 by serial entrepreneur, Jorn Lyseggen that provides critical skills training in software development, business, and communications to Africa’s burgeoning tech talent. MEST invests in the best ideas that emerge from the program and continues to support the growth and development of its portfolio companies.
Since its inception, MEST has trained thousands of entrepreneurs from across the continent and invested in over 80 startups in industries ranging from Agritech, Fintech, SaaS, eCommerce, Digital Media, and Healthcare, among others. MEST is entirely funded by the Meltwater Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Norwegian company Meltwater, a global leader in social and media intelligence headquartered in San Francisco.