MEST, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation has announced that applications are open for the next two cohorts of the MEST Express Accelerator program.
The 20-week acceleration program, under the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, offers free training, mentorship, resources, and support to participating startups. At the end of the program, startups in each cohort will have the opportunity to participate in a pitching session where top-performing ventures will receive equity-free grant funding.
“Securing investment is extremely difficult for early-stage startups. This is why we are introducing a strong focus on investment readiness and fundraising in our upcoming cohorts, with the view of connecting startups to sources of capital and preparing them to effectively deploy funds to grow their businesses,” said Felix Darko, MEST Express Program Manager.
The two cohorts will have a blend of virtual and in-person sessions. One cohort will take place in Accra, with in-person sessions held at the MEST campus. In an effort to make entrepreneurial training more accessible to startups across Ghana, the other cohort will take place in Tamale at the HOPin Academy.
How We Support:
Top-performing startups receive equity-free grant funding for sustained growth
Learn & apply strategies focused on rapid application & tangible outcomes
Get mentorship from industry professionals and sector experts
Get access to our community of experts, investors and founders
Businesses We Support
- Early to growth stage Ghanaian startups
- 1-3 years in operation
- Technology or tech-enabled
- $100k or less in funding
- Proven problem-solution fit
- Generating revenue
- Can demonstrate traction
- Any business model
Program Focus Areas
- Funding & Investment readiness
- Risk Management and Crisis Resilience
- Product Management & Positioning
- Business and Revenue Modelling
- Sales & Customer Acquisition
- Market Research & Competitive Analysis
- Marketing & Brand awareness
- Organizational Structuring
A Startup’s Journey
- Week 0 – Onboarding & Orientation
- Week 1 – Needs Assessment
- Week 2 to 4 – Ongoing workshops
- Week 5 – Mentor Matching
- Week 6 to 9 – Ongoing workshops
- Week 10 – Midpoint debriefs
- Week 11 to 19 – Ongoing workshops
- Week 20 – Retrospective & Final Exhibition
Interested in joining the next cohorts of MEST Express? Start your application here today.