Applications now open to startups in Ghana for first cohort of 2022 MEST Express Accelerator

The MEST Express accelerator has opened the call for applications for the first batch of its 2022 cohorts. The program, in partnership with Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works, invites early-stage startups in Ghana looking for capital and investments to apply by 16th January, 2022.

Over the course of 20-weeks, the selected startups will be supported to develop and implement robust business strategies that are fit for African markets with a strong focus on exploring business models and product pivots, improving risk and crisis resilience all geared towards making startups investor-ready. Graduating startups will have the opportunity to receive equity-free grant funding, from a pool of $20,000, from MEST Africa and the Mastercard Foundation.

MEST Express is open to startups in any industry, and of any business model, registered and operational in Ghana. Qualifying startups will have been operational for at least a year, have achieved problem-solution fit, are generating revenue and can demonstrate traction. Though the program is mostly virtual, participants should be able to make it to the MEST Campus in Accra for in-person sessions.

Since launching in September 2020, the program has accelerated more than 40 early-stage ventures in Ghana and awarded over $40,000 in grant funding to six startups. Now in its second year, the program will continue to support Ghana’s most promising startups to address their most pressing challenges and needs.

“It’s exciting to see the increasing commitment from both local and global investors towards local African startups in recent times. As this commitment grows, it is important that local startups match up to expectations and prove themselves as investable high growth businesses and MEST Express is focused on supporting startups to achieve this. By connecting Ghanaian startups to experienced mentors and working them to refine their business models and products, we hope to get them prepared to receive the capital they need to accelerate their growth”, said Ashwin Ravichandran, Managing Director of MEST Africa.

Training for the first 2022 cohort kicks off on 21st February, 2022 to 15th June, 2022. Startups that wish to apply for the program are to complete the following steps:

Applications for this cohort close on 16th January, 2022.