The Ghana-based Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) has announced its expansion into South Africa and it’s opening to entrepreneurs to join its programme.

MEST provides young African tech entrepreneurs with training, investment and incubation and links to US investors and corporates in Silicon Valley, where the organisation’s parent organisation, The Meltwater Foundation, is headquartered.

The programme runs a one-year entrepreneurial training programme in Accra, Ghana for individuals from the west African country as well as, Nigeria and Kenya, offering an MBA-type education with hands-on training in software development.

MEST is currently looking for South African techies and entrepreneurs to join its programme with the opportunity to receive funding for either a startup idea you already have or a new idea that you come up with during the programme.

Food, housing, tuition and air tickets will be fully funded by MEST for all participants.

“During the program, individuals form into teams, develop a product, write business plans, and craft their investor pitches,”Katie Sarro, Managing Director, MEST, said in a statement.

“And if you already have a business idea, we’ll work with you to fine-tune your idea, fix bugs in your product, revitalize your go-to-market strategy and open up our global network of VCs, angel investors and corporates,” she added.

The strongest and most promising concepts receive between $50 000 (R750 000) to $250 000 (R3.7 million) in equity investment, to support the launch of these new businesses.

MEST said it will also be expanding its incubator program to Cape Town and Johannesburg early next year.

“Our entrepreneurs will now have the ability to launch startups in their home countries, after completing the one year training program in Ghana, while also allowing our current portfolio companies to more easily access new markets,” Sarro said.

Aplications are open on the MEST website and close on 20th June.

In-person interviews will be held at the Meltwater Cape Town office on 27th and 28th June and offers will be sent out to successful applicants on the first week of July.

All selected candidates will begin the MEST program in Accra in September.