MEST Africa Challenge Startup Pitch Competition Opens Applications

MEST Africa
3 min readAug 28, 2023


-Unlock your startup potential and win $50,000 in equity

Applications for MEST Africa Challenge 2023 are open

MEST Africa, in partnership with Absa Bank Ghana LTD, is delighted to announce the opening of applications for this year’s MEST Africa Challenge Startup Pitch Competition. Early-stage technology startups operational in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, and South Africa are invited to participate in this year’s competition to showcase their innovative businesses and technology solutions. The application period begins today and will close on the 9th of October, 2023.

MEST Africa Challenge offers exceptional benefits to participating startups. The winner will receive a substantial equity investment of USD 50,000, providing crucial financial support to accelerate their business growth. In addition, the winner and other outstanding participants will gain access to MEST Africa’s global community and networks, unlocking valuable partnerships, mentorship, and investment opportunities. This platform catalyzes startups to unlock the next phase of their business growth and gain global recognition.

Winner of 2022 MEST Africa Challenge, Kwely’s Birame Sock

Building upon the success of the previous years, the 2022 MEST Africa Challenge crowned Kwely, a B2B e-commerce startup from Senegal, as the winner. Kwely’s groundbreaking e-commerce solution stood out among the fierce competition.

“This year’s tagline, ‘Unlock Your Startup Potential’, resonates deeply with the vibrant technology landscape we are witnessing in Africa today. With the remarkable advancements in technology innovation and adoption across the continent, this year’s competition is poised to showcase innovative ideas and solutions. I am confident that the MEST Africa Challenge will uncover exceptional startups that will shape the future and drive positive change in Africa and beyond,” said Ashwin Ravichandran, Portfolio Advisor and MEST Africa Challenge Lead.

MEST Africa Challenge 2022

Over the years, the MEST Africa Challenge pitch competition has garnered thousands of applications across the continent, gaining global recognition and forging partnerships, while nurturing a thriving community of African tech founders. It has spotlighted and impacted the growth of winning startups such as Tanzania’s Kilimo Fresh, Ghana’s OZE, South Africa’s Snode Technologies, Kenya’s Waya Waya, Nigeria’s Accounteer, and the reigning title holder, Kwely from Senegal.

Eligibility Criteria for MAC 2023:

  • Monthly Recurring Revenue: $5k+
  • Funding raised: $0 to $1M cumulative
  • Years of existence: 3 years and below
  • Traction: At least six months of recurring revenue
  • Founding team: At least two founding team members
  • Registered in Delaware (This is preferred)
  • Operational in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal

Stages of the Competition

  • Complete an online application (Form + pitch deck + 3mins Video pitch)
  • Selection of the top 10 finalists from each country
  • Virtual Regional Finals competition held for each country
  • Selection of top 5 startups (1 from each country)
  • The top 5 compete at the grand finale and Demo Day

Learn more and apply here:



MEST Africa

The largest Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training program, internal seed fund, and network of hubs offering incubation for startups: