Ursula Owusu-Ekuful highlights opportunity for infrastructure development in the technology…
5 Entrepreneurs at MEST to Watch in 2017
MEST will be taking part in the Tech in Ghana Conference London
Kena Amoah – Taking on the Global Ecommerce Market
Kena Amoah is the Chief Executive Officer at Kudobuzz, a software that today powers more than 10,000 online merchants globally. Kudobuzz helps ecommerce store owners boost sales with social reviews. They have a customizable tool that allows e-commerce websites to feature positive social testimonials for new visitors to see. They have also branched out, creating new products that help online entrepreneurs with Search Engine Optimization.
Kena has led Kudobuzz to become one of the most profitable startups at MEST. They were accepted into 500 Startups in 2016, and declined asking for investments at the end of their stay because they had become profitable enough to keep scaling and expanding without any outside funding. This past year, Kudobuzz was chosen as one of the 11 best social media apps on the Shopify store. Kudobuzz now a team of almost 30 people in Ghana, setting up an office in India – and looking to open another office in Silicon Valley.
Savior Dzage – Building Africa’s Largest Church Platform
Savior Dzage is the Chief Product Officer at Asoriba – one of Ghana’s leading startups, internationally recognised and cross-continentally connected. Asoriba is a church management system that enables seamless member engagement synchronising recurring payments like tithes and offerings with engaged participation in church services and events.
Within the last 12 years alone, Savior has worked at Asoriba to cement a partnership with payments giant Interswitch, launched their Church Solutions to rave reviews, and inspired aspiring African founders that they can do it, too.
Cassandra Sarfo – Disrupting the $500B Black Haircare Consumer Market
Cassandra Sarfo, Chief Product Officer of Tress App, is the brains behind most of the beautiful UX design elements of the Tress App, which is a product that’s going after the $500B black haircare
consumer market. Together with Esther Olatunde and Priscilla Hazel, they have created one of Africa’s most loved startups and tech products – a social community of women to share hairstyle tips and inspiration. The reception of the product has been incredibly positive thus far.
Before graduating from MEST in June 2016, Tress appeared in media all over Africa, even in huge consumer facing publications like Essence Magazine and were named by BBC as 5 African inventions to watch out for in 2017. They were also featured in Ventures Africa Magazine, where they were named among the top 42 innovators to Watch in Africa.
They’re excited to be solving a problem that they find deeply personal by using their skills and unique experiences as black women. Tress was also recently accepted to the one of the world’s top accelerators, Y Combinator – and for the next six months they’ll be in Silicon Valley at YC hammering out a global rollout plan, together with some of the world’s foremost experts on consumer applications.
Kelvin Nyame – Leading Africa’s Number One Online African Real Estate Marketplace
MeQasa is one of Ghana’s leading online real estate classifieds businesses, and was founded in 2013 by Ghanaian entrepreneurs, including Kelvin Nyame, the CEO of MeQasa. MeQasa provides a free service that helps brokers, landlords and other real estate industry professionals to conduct business efficiently online, while simplifying the search experience for prospective tenants and buyers. Last October, MeQasa secured a $500,000 investment from Frontier Digital Ventures, a global VC firm headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Under Kelvin’s leadership, the team is already well on their way as the current market leaders with listings (24K) – more than twice as many as their closest competitor. Together, with his co-founders, Kelvin was named one of the 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs In Africa 2016 by Forbes.
Segun Adeyemi – Driving the Subscription Economy in Africa Forward
Segun Adeyemi is the laser-focused Chief Executive Officer of Amplify Payments, one of Nigeria’s fast-growing fintech startups. An entrepreneur with a background in economics and finance, Segun
believes strong institutions are essential to Africa’s development. He is passionate about building and helping to build great African companies that can make strong social and economic impact.
In particular, in Nigeria, subscription businesses have difficulty collecting and managing regular payments from subscribers as they depend on expensive and inefficient methods like cash, cheques, transfers and standing orders. Amplify helps these Nigerian businesses more easily accept and manage payments online.
Segun is on a mission to drive the subscription economy in Africa forward, which in Nigeria alone, recurring transactions are estimated to be worth about $32B annually. Amplify only launched in June 2016 and is already processing payments for over 100 companies in Nigeria. Since then, they have processed millions of Nigerian Naira and established themselves as thought leaders in the competitive fintech space. The Amplify team also has been recognised in the Fintech Showcase at the West African Banking Expo 2016 and nominated for the Fintech Africa 100 Top Fintech companies.
Written by Katie Sarro, the Managing Director of MEST who oversees the organization’s training program, seed fund and incubator as well as spearheading MEST’s expansion across Sub-Saharan Africa. Follow Katie on Twitter
MEST will be taking part in the Tech in Ghana Conference London. The event is sponsored by Vodafone Business Solutions and WorldRemit, and will be held on Monday 27th February. See more speakers more here