Ghana’s Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and Samsung Electronics yesterday announced a partnership that will see Samsung invest both cash and devices into West African entrepreneurs for minority stakes in the startups.
The South Korean electronics giant will be involved from the early stages, starting with company ideation and pitching processes during the MEST training portion and will support MEST by providing in-kind as well as subsidized devices and tablets that can be used to test out and further develop their solutions.
The entreprenuers will also have the opportunity to apply for internship positions at Samsung during MEST internship breaks in Lagos, Nigeria campus and upon graduating from the MEST training program, EITs stand to receive an initial round of seed funding from MEST (ranging from $50-$250,000) to pursue their business.
Samsung Enterprise Business Partners in Nigeria will have the opportunity to invest as well as have a minority stake in a new or existing company coming out of MEST.
The MEST-Samsung partnership will help open doors for MEST incubator companies – both consumer and B2B focused – to partner on distribution of mobile applications and cross-marketing services.
Samsung will work with MEST-incubated companies and facilitate introductions of market-fit and market-ready MEST startups to Samsung Enterprise Business Partners and Samsung Information and Mobility Business teams to further explore specific commercial and technical partnerships to pilot and scale these products/services through strategic projects addressing market needs in verticals such as Education, Financial Services, Healthcare, Retail, Transportation and Hospitality.
“Entrepreneurs and startups at MEST are developing innovative applications that can add value to end-users in West Africa and promote the adoptions of Samsung products, solutions and services,” says Charles Ojei, Director, Enterprise Business for Samsung Electronics West Africa.
The two organizations plan to roll-out a series of co-sponsored events in Ghana and Nigeria, where new ideas and technology will have the opportunity to prosper. To show they are serious, MEST and Samsung are formally kicking of their partnership at Mobile West Africa in Lagos, Nigeria in the next two weeks.
“A major objective for MEST in 2015 is bringing on board strategic partners who can support our mission to empower hundreds of tech entrepreneurs in Africa,” says Neal Hansch, Managing Director, MEST Incubator. “We can’t think of a better or well-equipped partner in the space and are very honored to have Samsung formally join us in our efforts and further catalyze growth in the African tech market.”