Meltwater Foundation, the non-profit arm of Meltwater Group, one of the world’s leading “Software as a Service” (SaaS) companies based in the United States, has announced the opening of a non-profit incubator in Accra.
The incubator, the second stage of Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) located in Accra, is a three-phase entrepreneurial program designed to foster the growth of budding African software entrepreneurs and companies.
A statement issued by the Meltwater Foundation in London and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday, said “Phase (1) of MEST is a rigorous two-year program where fully sponsored students, known as Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs), receive hands-on education in software development, basic business fundamentals and entrepreneurship”.
The statement said “the fourth and last semester of the program is dedicated to the incubator application, which consists of an investor pitch, a business plan, and a software prototype. All applications are evaluated on normal commercial conditions”.
It said “In phase (2), the incubator stage, the MEST entrepreneurs get seed funding and incorporate their companies. Their main focus in the incubator is partly to develop a commercially viable go-to-market strategy and partly to further develop their prototype, therefore enabling it for a commercial launch. Expected duration of this stage is one to two years”.
“In phase 3, the MEST entrepreneurs’ primary focus is commercial deployment and scaling of their business. During this stage, the Meltwater Foundation continues to provide support through the recruitment of international mentors with relevant industry experience who serve as board members or company advisors” the statement explained.
It said the seven companies given incubator funding covering a range of software services include “Streemio”, “Nandi Mobile”, “Leti Games”, and “Tutamee”. The rest are “Esanoya”, “Arto Connect” and “Retail Tower”.
The statement quoted Mr Jorn Lyseggen, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Meltwater as saying “The progression of so many companies to the MEST Incubator stage is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of our students, and the remarkable business ideas that they’ve developed”.
The statement explained the MEST Incubator programme, saying “it aims to provide African students with the entrepreneurial skills to establish global software companies to help stimulate local economies and create jobs.
“Returns generated from investing in the incubated companies, cycle back into the non-profit program, creating a sustainable model for enabling software entrepreneurs in Ghana,” it added.
The statement further indicated that Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is a non-profit training and mentoring program founded in 2008 with the objective to help young Africans to become software entrepreneurs.
MEST aims to provide its students with the skills required to establish software companies in the global marketplace and thereby creating jobs and wealth locally in Africa.
Students receive two years of fully sponsored training in software development, business fundamentals and entrepreneurship, as well as the administration of an incubator, and a seed fund dedicated to help the graduates to convert their business ideas into viable companies in the global marketplace.