MEST names top 5 startups competing for $50,000 Equity Prize in 2023 MEST Africa Challenge

The MEST Africa Challenge (MAC), an Africa-wide pitch competition for early-stage technology startups, has announced the top 5 Regional Winners which will compete for the grand prize of $50,000 in equity.

These startups have emerged victorious after rigorous pitch sessions, beating out 40 competing startups from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa. The finalists represent diverse sectors, including fintech, health tech, e-commerce, and edtech.

Meet the Winners:

  • Letaji (Kenya): Revolutionizing the construction industry, Letaji is an online marketplace streamlining the process of purchasing building materials. It connects homeowners, contractors, and hardware stores directly with top suppliers.
  • Chestify AI (Ghana): This innovative platform enhances patient care by facilitating seamless connections and support among clinical professionals.
  • OneHealth (Nigeria): At the forefront of health tech, OneHealth offers an integrated platform for virtual consultations, connecting patients with doctors and diagnostic centers while managing prescriptions and test results online.
  • Sanya (Senegal): A visionary in IT edutainment, Sanya creates a unique blend of educational and entertainment digital products, fostering a community-based approach to tech learning for companies.
  • Koa Academy (South Africa): Pioneering the future of online education, Koa Academy stands at the forefront in South Africa with its innovative approach to digital learning.

The finalists are expected to pitch for the winning prize money at the end of January, during an event that will be organized and hosted by MEST Africa.

Ashwin Ravichandran, Portfolio Advisor at MEST expressed his excitement about the upcoming finals: “The top 5 finalists of the 2023 MEST Africa Challenge are a testament to the remarkable innovation and potential within Africa’s tech ecosystem. Each startup has shown incredible prowess in their fields. We eagerly anticipate their presentations at the Final Demo Day, where they will connect with our dynamic network of entrepreneurs, investors, and partners.”

The MEST Africa Challenge, a flagship initiative of MEST Africa, plays a pivotal role in nurturing aspiring and early-stage tech startups across Africa. As a comprehensive training program, seed fund and network of hubs, MEST Africa is dedicated to empowering the next generation of African tech startup innovators.

This year’s challenge, in partnership with Absa Bank — a leader in African financial services committed to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship — highlights the collaborative spirit driving Africa’s technological advancement.

MEST is an African-wide software and entrepreneurship training program, seed fund, and incubator helping to launch technology startups across the continent. Founded in Ghana in 2008 by serial entrepreneur Jorn Lyseggen, MEST is a 12-month program that provides critical skills training in software development, business, and communications to Africa’s burgeoning tech talent. MEST provides seed funding for the best ideas coming out of the program and continues to support the growth and development of its portfolio companies.

To date, MEST has trained over 2000 entrepreneurs from across the continent and funded over 80 startups across industries from Agritech, Fintech, SaaS, eCommerce, Digital Media, and Healthcare amongst others. MEST is fully funded by the Meltwater Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Norwegian company Meltwater; a global leader in social and media intelligence headquartered in San Francisco.


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