San Francisco, September 17, 2013 – MEST, which provides training, investment and incubation to aspiring high technology entrepreneurs in Ghana, today announced that Neal Hansch will join the team as the Managing Director of the MEST Incubator.
Neal joins MEST with over fifteen years experience in venture capital, technology operations and investment banking. Most recently, he was a General Partner with Rustic Canyon Partners (RCP), an early-stage focused investment fund with $500MM under management. Prior to RCP, Neal was a Corporate Development executive at Macromedia (acq. by Adobe), a venture capitalist with Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), and an investment banker at, Robertson Stephens & Co. Neal’s proven leadership and track record developing US based start-ups will play an important role in MEST’s future success, while deepening the program’s presence in Silicon Valley.
Hansch says, “Since its launch, MEST’s training and investment program has been at the forefront of the emerging high tech ecosystem in Ghana, which has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. I’m excited to join MEST as its own growth continues to accelerate and its reach extends across Africa and onto the global stage.”
Established in 2008, MEST has trained more than 125 technology entrepreneurs and its associated incubator program has invested in 15 start-ups in Ghana. MEST companies have raised external capital from Silicon Valley and European institutional investors, competed in notable technology events such as TechCrunch Disrupt, DEMO, and the Launch Festival, and have gained admittance to top accelerator programs including HealthXL and 500 Startups.
MEST, is a not for profit program fully funded by Meltwater, the leading provider of online intelligence solutions with over 50 offices and 20,000 clients around the world. Founded by visionary Jorn Lyseggen, both MEST and Meltwater share a fundamental belief in people and the individual potential to excel.
“Talent is evenly distributed across the globe, opportunities are not. We hope to create role models that will in turn inspire the upcoming generations of Africa to become successful software entrepreneurs,” comments Lyseggen. “Neal’s wealth of experience will be invaluable to the MEST program and we feel very privileged to bring a person of his capacity to MEST.”
This senior addition to the MEST organization will further bridge the gap and strengthen connections between the rising African technology scene and leading global technology hubs. MEST has strong ties to Silicon Valley, where Meltwater is headquartered, and London where it also has a satellite office.
About MEST: The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and the MEST Incubator program provide training, investment and mentoring for aspiring software entrepreneurs with the goal of creating globally successful companies that create wealth and jobs locally in Africa. MEST is based in Accra, Ghana and is fully funded and run by Meltwater Group through the non-profit organization, Meltwater Foundation. Follow MEST on Twitter, MEST on Facebook, or visit http://www.meltwater.org.
About Meltwater: Meltwater helps businesses drive growth and build brands. Meltwater’s online intelligence platform analyzes billions of digital documents daily to extract precise, timely business insights that help more than 20,000 companies understand their markets, engage their customers, and master the new social business environment. With offices in 27 countries, Meltwater is dedicated to personal, global service built on local expertise. Meltwater also operates the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing future generations of entrepreneurs. Follow Meltwater on Twitter, Meltwater on Facebook, Meltwater on LinkedIn, Meltwater on YouTube or visit www.meltwater.com.
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