LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Meltwater Foundation, the non-profit arm of Meltwater Group, one of the world’s leading Software as a Service (SaaS) companies, today announced the opening of a non-profit incubator in Accra, Ghana.
The incubator is the second stage of Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a three-phase entrepreneurial program designed to foster the growth of software companies in Africa.
Phase 1 of MEST is a rigorous two-year program where fully sponsored students, known as Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs), receive hands-on education in software development, basic business fundamentals and entrepreneurship. The fourth and last semester of the program is dedicated to the incubator application, which consists of an investor pitch, a business plan, and a software prototype. All applications are evaluated on normal commercial conditions.
In phase 2, the incubator stage, the MEST entrepreneurs get seed funding and incorporate their companies. Their main focus in the incubator is partly to develop a commercially viable go-to-market strategy and partly to further develop their prototype, therefore enabling it for a commercial launch. Expected duration of this stage is one to two years.
In phase 3, the MEST entrepreneur’s primary focus is commercial deployment and scaling of their business. During this stage, the Meltwater Foundation continues to provide support through the recruitment of international mentors with relevant industry experience who serve as board members or company advisors.
The seven companies given incubator funding cover a range of software services:
“The progression of so many companies to the MEST Incubator stage is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of our students, and the remarkable business ideas that they’ve developed,” said Jorn Lyseggen, CEO and founder of Meltwater. “The beauty of software is that all you need is a computer at the cost of a couple of hundred bucks, and after that it is all up to yourself. Your success is a function of your drive, talent, and imagination. Following the MEST entrepreneurs from the start, I have seen that they have abundance of the latter. On behalf of everybody working at MEST and the Meltwater Foundation I wish the new entrepreneurs the best of luck on the challenging, but extremely exciting road ahead.”
MEST aims to provide African students with the entrepreneurial skills to establish global software companies to help stimulate local economies and create jobs. Returns generated from investing in the incubated companies cycle back into the non-profit program, creating a sustainable model for enabling software entrepreneurs in Ghana.
The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is a non-profit training and mentoring program with the objective to help young Africans to become software entrepreneurs. Founded in 2008, MEST aims to provide its students with the skills required to establish software companies in the global marketplace and thereby creating jobs and wealth locally in Africa.
Students receive two-year of fully sponsored training in software development, business fundamentals and entrepreneurship. MEST also administrates an incubator and a seed fund dedicated to help the MEST graduates to convert their business ideas into viable companies in the global marketplace. The MEST program is fully funded by the Meltwater Foundation. For more information, please visit http://www.meltwater.org/
About Meltwater Foundation
The Meltwater Foundation is the non-profit arm of Meltwater Group. Since its start in January 2007 it has started the MEST program (Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology) in Accra, Ghana dedicated to the encouragement and training of budding African software entrepreneurs. The Meltwater Foundation is fully funded by the Meltwater Group.
About Meltwater Group
The Meltwater Group is a privately held software company founded in Norway in 2001, serving more than 18,000 clients through 50 offices located across North America, South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia. Meltwater is committed to challenging existing business models by introducing disruptive technologies. The Meltwater Group delivers B2B solutions based on search engine technology, cloud computing and talent management software. For more information, please visit http://www.meltwater.com.