Pan-African entrepreneurial training program, seed fund and tech incubator, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), has launched its fourth incubator and tech hub in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to a statement issued, this will serve as its flagship East African space, joining hubs in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa.
The Nairobi launch comes less than a year after the opening of MEST Africa’s Lagos and Cape Town hubs in November 2017.
The Nairobi space will also host the new East African office of its parent brand, global leader in media intelligence and AI-Driven Outside Insight, Meltwater , who is also expanding into the region.
The incubator will provide the same on-the-ground support, access to resources and global MEST network enjoyed by portfolio companies in Accra, Lagos and Cape Town, the statement continues.
Following the announcement of a US$700k investment in 7 startups from the 2018 MEST cohort, one of the first companies to move into the Incubator in Nairobi will be recent investment Sharehouse, an ‘Airbnb for warehouses.’
They will be joined by existing portfolio company Nestmetric , a platform that makes business insights and predictions through Machine Learning accessible to all types of businesses.
“MEST is thrilled to officially establish our presence in East Africa with the launch of our Nairobi incubator,” said MEST Managing Director Aaron Fu. “I personally look forward to engaging even more deeply with the incredibly vibrant tech and startup community thriving in Nairobi, which I’m happy to call home.”
Nairobi Garage has been selected to host the new Nairobi operations of the African Leadership University (ALU) and the MEST.
“With the increased supply of offices in Nairobi, businesses have a lot of choice when it comes to their workspace solution – so it’s important that business owners get it right and choose an option that really works for them. We’re very pleased to welcome the African Leadership University and MEST to our network of members – their decision to trust Nairobi Garage with their workspace needs really underscores the value of a well-managed and serviced solution that also provides access to a vibrant network and market,” said Hannah Clifford, director of Nairobi Garage.
Victoria Peill, head of ALX, African Leadership Group, said, “We chose Nairobi Garage because we wanted to focus on what we do best, and outsource the hassle of office operations to someone who is the best at that. It has been great to have a custom-built solution and also plug in to the amazing network available at Nairobi Garage.”
Fu added, “MEST Africa is on a rapid expansion across the continent, and so being able to have a plug-and-play space, with facility operations completely taken care of, allows us to focus on what we do best and execute that much faster. Our team also get really enjoy the buzz, energy and serendipity that comes from being around the great extended network of businesses that work from Nairobi Garage.”
MEST established an initial presence outside of Ghana beginning with Nigeria in 2015, and expanding to Kenya and South Africa in 2016, when the first classes of Nigerian, Kenyan and South African Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) were accepted into the program.
According to information supplied, since its inception in 2008, the Meltwater Foundation has invested US$20 million into the program.