Regional finalists for the MEST Africa Challenge 2019 announced

50 scale-ups have been selected. The second annual MEST Africa Challenge regional finals will take place February 27 and 28 in Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, Cape Town and Abidjan.

We are thrilled to announce the 50 companies chosen to compete in the regional finals of our second annual MEST Africa Challenge, the Pan-African pitch competition.

The five regional winners will be flown to the MEST Africa Summit in Nairobi in June, where they will compete on a global stage for up to $50k in equity investment and the opportunity to join the Pan-African MEST incubator community.

The 2019 Challenge attracted over 1,000 applications, out of which 50 have been chosen to compete in the semi-finals in Accra, Nairobi, Lagos, Cape Town and Abidjan. Regional pitch competitions will be held on the following dates at MEST Incubator locations or local partners offices (click the city to register to attend the event, space permitting):

Accra, Ghana: Wednesday, February 27

Regional finalists from Accra are:

Judges include:
Yasmin Kumi (Founder/Managing Director of Africa Foresight Group)
Ian Jiddah (Operating Partner at Chanzo Capital)
Abdul-Latif Issahaku (Data and Devices Manager at MTN)

Nairobi, Kenya: Wednesday, February 27

Regional finalists from Nairobi are:

Judges include:
Bruce Nsereko-Lule (Investment Principal at Chandaria Capital)
Niraj Varia (Partner at Novastar Ventures)
Ashwin Ravichandran (Director of Portfolio Support at MEST Africa)

Lagos, Nigeria: Thursday, February 28

Regional finalists from Lagos are:

Judges include:
Soromfe Uzomah (Head of Strategic Partnerships, Africa Initiatives at Microsoft)
Kola Aina (Founding Partner of Ventures Platform)
Abasiama Idaresit (CEO of Wild Fusion)
Aaron Fu (MD of MEST Africa)

Cape Town, South Africa: Thursday, February 28

Regional finalists from Cape town are:

Judges include:
Arlene Mulder (Co-Founder of Toybox)
Craig McLeod (CEO of Playpaid)
Johan Bosini (Partner at Quona Capital)

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire: Thursday, February 28

Regional finalists from Abidjan are:

Judges include:
Linda Nanan Valle (Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Communication, Digital Economy and the Post)
Régis Bamba (Senior Specialist Products & Services at MTN)
Alexis Roman (Portfolio Manager at MEST Africa)

The team at MEST, along with this year’s platinum sponsor Microsoft, looks forward to hosting the second edition of the Challenge Finals at the 2019 MEST Africa Summit in June, where we will once again bring together leading African and global entrepreneurs, investors, corporate partners and ecosystem players, in MEST Africa’s newest home, Nairobi, Kenya.