More tech hubs or incubators as they are also known, have been fostering tech start-ups across Africa to great effect. A lot of these tech hubs are responsible for getting tech and tech-enabled companies off the ground. This has helped innovation in Africa over the years. Among the leading incubators providing this vital service is the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST).
Tech hubs are co-working spaces where different tech and digital companies, mostly start-ups, are availed resources that enable them work together for more efficiency. Many of these organisations provide even value that include, training, funding and other resources to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
Top Tech Hubs In Africa
CNN published a collection of the top 9 companies fostering innovation in Africa and MEST was one of them. One of the other tech hubs mentioned was SmartXchange located in Durban, South Africa, SmartXchange holds monthly forums where established and successful business people give advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Another noteworthy company that was mentioned is Co-Creation Hub in Lagos, Nigeria. Co-Creation Hub hosts a two day “tech-in” series where software developers and designers come together to create mobile and web solutions to social challenges faced by Nigerians.
RLabs of Cape Town, South Africa, also made the list. RLabs organizes full digital and entrepreneurial boot-camps and offers a $20,000 investment to any social enterprise that emerges from the programs.
MEST 10th Cohort
Recently, MEST invested $700,000 in 7 start-ups at the conclusion of its 10th cohort. The cohort brought 58 entrepreneurs from across Africa together and the entrepreneurs were split into 17 teams. The start-ups that emerged are set to join their co-working spaces spread across Africa. Among the start-ups that were funded were:
Base: Base is a client on-boarding application designed for financial institutions that helps them acquire Know-Your-Client (KYC) data through optical character recognition (OCR) and facial recognition technology.
Judy: Judy is a common wealth case law search engine that uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
Sharehouse: Sharehouse is a marketplace that provides on-demand storage space to it’s users.
MEST already has spaces up and running in Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria. The new incubator launch in Kenya signifies the growth of the tech co-working space industry. But more importantly, the rise of aided innovation from small tech communities spread across Africa.