Latest MEST Africa Challenge News
Oct 7, 2020
A Tanzanian agritech startup has won this year’s MEST Africa Challenge . Kilimo Fresh Foods Africa LTD is an online platform that distributes fresh produce from small farmers to businesses. As a winner of the challenge, Kilimo Fresh Foods Africa LTD has received $50 000 (+/- R832982,50) in equity investment funding from MEST and joined their prestigious incubator community Supporting local farmers Kilimo Fresh Fresh Foods Africa LTD was founded in 2018 by Baraka Chijenga. The startup has worked to connect local small farmers with various businesses including hotels, supermarkets, wholesalers, and export markets. Through the use of their platform small farmers are able to showcase and outsource their produce including dry foods, vegetables, grains, and fruits to various businesses in Tanzania. The startup has worked with small farmers from the coastal regions as well as the Northern and Southern Highlands in Tanzania to ensure that only high-quality and organic products are distributed. MEST Africa Challenge The MEST Africa Challenge began in May this year with applications from tech entrepreneurs. Applications from countries including Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Senegal and Rwanda were all welcome. To qualify, the applicants had to be a software company and operational for under two years. The startup had to have raised $100 000 (+/- R1660550.00) or less since it was launched and it had to continue to generate revenue. The finalists for Tanzania were announced on 8 July 2020. The selected finalists included startups such as Flamingoo Foods Company Ltd , Smartwash Company Limited, and Ngwala Inventions Limited. The finalists presented their final pitch on the 12th of August this year. Each one of the finalists was given the opportunity to pitch their business models to a global audience that included fellow entrepreneurs, ecosystem players, investors, and corporate partners. South African MEST finalist South Africa’s finalist winner was the Popup Shop Shop , a South African online platform that assists emerging and established retail businesses in finding short term leases for popup shops in retail locations. The platform was founded in Cape Town in 2018 and has assisted retail brands in finding locations in Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria, and Cape Town.