MEST Africa Challenge announces nine country winners

This year has been a historic one for the MEST Africa Challenge. Not only was the entire competition held virtually, but over eighty finalists competed live from nine countries across Africa over a two month period.

From Ethiopia, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania, Senegal, Nigeria, and South Africa, we witnessed one of the most breathtaking displays of ingenuity, innovation, and technological prowess from Africa’s best and brightest startups.

An entire week was dedicated to each individual country final, complete with a unique set of judges – seasoned tech gurus and leaders, well versed in the scaling local African businesses and taking them global.

With the country finals complete, the winners will now go on to compete in the grand finale for the prize of $50,000 in equity funding and the opportunity to join the MEST incubator community.

They are:

Debo Engineering Ethiopia

An integrated engineering firm that focuses on emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, ML, IOT, Image Processing, Big Data analysis, mobile computing, and other disciplines related to engineering. They design, analyze, develop, and implement smart business applications for the agricultural, transportation, health, and educational sectors.


A peer to peer platform that helps customers find & hire competent, vetted and reliable local services professionals. Fundis aims to solve the problem of Africa’s disorganized and fragmented informal sector by bringing craftsmen and local artisans together on one platform and making them easily accessible.

Tutoo+ Côte d'Ivoire

An innovative e-learning platform that provides a disruptive education on cutting-edge technologies and entrepreneurial skills in Francophone Africa. Their solution is meant to address the increased availability of jobs in the ICT sector versus the inadequacy of skilled labor available to fill those roles. Tutoo+ is digitally re-orienting today’s youth to prepare for tomorrow.

BAG Innovation Rwanda

Bag Innovation is preparing Africa’s future workforce by applying gamification to offer real-time access to experience-based learning for University students in East Africa. Their platform helps graduates in Rwanda acquire skills that will give them the exposure they need to work in their chosen fields while still in the University. Collaborating with the creator of the global game phenom, ‘Candy Crush’, Bag Innovation has also created a game that increases retention, conversion, and engagement among students.

Oniocha Ltd Ghana

Oniocha is improving the literary space in Africa by making access to books quick and easy. They help individuals buy, sell, and swap books. In the next five years, they also aim to publish and distribute books through their platform.

Kilimofresh Foods Africa Limited Tanzania, United Republic of

Kilimo Fresh Foods provides digital farming solutions such as online produce distribution platforms and access to refrigerators and cold storage for farm produce. Their goal is to develop systems that allow farmers to earn a higher income from their yield.

Mousso Africa Senegal

A technology startup creating digital and financial inclusion platforms to develop the socio-economic lives of Africans by reinventing the way microfinance works. They assist businesses with working capital and goods on credit while working in partnership with supply companies to provide raw materials at affordable prices to their clients.

Gradely Nigeria

Gradely provides a personalized online learning platform which harnesses the power of data and AI to help schools and parents access the learning gaps of their children in real-time. Their online sessions offer AI-assisted assessments and the ability to view student progress.

PopUpShopShop South Africa

An online marketplace connecting brands to great spaces in shopping centers and high street locations for short or long term rentals. Their platform is an easy to use tool that simplifies the administration of commercial short term leases and in addition, a suite of tailored shopfitting solutions to make popping up easy.

This year, the MEST Africa Challenge is also introducing the Community Choice Vote, allowing viewers to reward their favorite startups with access to the MEST Community and its perks.

The community choice vote will happen live during the Grand Finale.

Date: August 12th 2020

See you there!

More information about the MEST Africa Challenge:

This MEST Africa Challenge expanded from five markets to nine this year, embracing early-stage companies based in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Sénégal, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Tanzania, and providing the opportunity for the Challenge organizers – MEST, lead partner – Microsoft, and other South African ecosystem partners; VC4A, Levers In Heels, Royal Work Club, 250 Startups, Movemeback, Klab, Afrilabs, BriterBridges, Founders Factory, Silicon Cape, Code Bridge, Startup 90, Innovation Hub, and Merck Group to support even more startups through funding and resources.

Now in its fourth year, the MEST Africa Challenge has become an establishment in the start-up technology industry, giving an unprecedented global platform to hundreds of local tech entrepreneurs in Africa.

More information about MEST Africa:

MEST is an Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training program, internal seed fund, and network of hubs offering incubation for technology startups in Africa. Founded in Ghana in 2008, MEST provides critical skills training, funding, and support in software development, business, and communications to Africa’s tech entrepreneurs. Hubs are located in Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; Cape Town, South Africa; and Nairobi, Kenya. MEST is funded by the Meltwater Foundation, the non-profit arm of Meltwater, a global leader in media intelligence and Outside Insight.