modernghana logo

FEATURED: What A Reader In Ghana Wrote To Yours Truly: The Baptism Of Adam Revea...

body-container-line
October 1, 2012 | Business & Finance

Meltwater Foundation to establish world class software developer in Ghana

myjoyonline
Meltwater Foundation MD, Fredrik Reff Sydnes
Meltwater Foundation MD, Fredrik Reff Sydnes

Meltwater Foundation of the Norwegian IT company, Meltwater Group has come half way into a 10-year project that seeks to establish at least one world class software development company in Ghana to develop commercial software that could compete with those at Silicon Valley.

The company has, over the past five years, been investing $2million every year to train, mentor and support selected young Ghanaian university graduates who have interest in starting their own software development companies.

“But the ultimate goal is that by the end of the 10-year period we should have at least one world class software development company in Ghana creating globally commercial software and exporting from Africa to the global market,” said Managing Director of Meltwater Foundation, Fredrik Reff Sydnes.

Training goes on at the Meltwater Entrepreneurship School of Technology (MEST), which gives two years full-time and 100% scholarship academic and practical training to university graduates with varied academic backgrounds, ranging from physical to social sciences.

But the selected students must show interesting is wanting to establish their own software development companies and have a demonstrated desire and drive to create their own space and make difference in the global rather than local environment.

MEST also mentors the students, and also runs an incubator for graduates with potential income-generating business ideas, providing them with seed capital of between $30,000 and $100,000 to set up businesses in which Melterwater Foundation keeps a minority equity stake.

Over the past five years, MEST has trained some 100 graduates, from which 11 have entered into the incubator and have already employed 50 people, with two, Nandi Mobile and Leti Kings reportedly positive on cash flow.

The fifth batch of 27 students has just been admitted last month after being selected from 600 applications, which went through a rigorous selection process.

SUCCESS STORIES
The Meltwater Foundation MD, Fredrik Sydnes told Adom News so far, each of the 100 graduates of MEST either own their own software companies, or are working in very strategic positions in blue chip IT and non-IT companies in Ghana.

He said currently some of the companies in the incubator in Ghana are showing prospects of being competitive in the global market place.

Sydnes explained that apart from Nandi Mobile and Leti Kings, which are making profits developing relevant software for both local and international consumption, there is Retail Tower, which has developed an e-commerce software being used by 5,000 people across the globe, half of which are in the state.

He said there is also Saya Mobile, which has developed a mobile to mobile message platform like WhatsApp and BBM, and it is making messaging free for low-end handset user. So far Saya has 400,000 customers and is looking at some 5.8million users in the near future.

“Saya was picked among 1,000 apps startups from the globe to pitch their software at the recent TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francesco, and Saya emerged among the top seven in the world,” he said.

Sydnes said there is also Dropifi, which is at the beginning stages of developing its software but has already gained international recognition, being named by Forbes Africa among top three tech startups in Africa, and recently winning the ultimate ToppApp of the Year Award at the maiden Topapps Award in Ghana.

He believes that the Ghanaian youth present a great potential for the huge commercial software market on the global landscape, adding that Meltwater is investing $2million every year in the training/mentoring and incubator program because of that strong belief in the Ghanaian youth.

Adom News spoke one male and one female new students of MEST, who expressed confidence in emerging from the school to make a difference in society because of the all-encompassing course content they are going through.

Ama Banny is one of four female Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs) at MEST. She is an Economics and French graduate from the University of Ghana. She has always wanted to start her own company, and she is confident that with what she learning at MEST, she is poised to start that company is software development and become a global leader in that in spite of her academic background.

Claude Ayitey has a background in Computer Science and Business Management, so he is more comfortable at MEST, and he told Adom News he sees Savannah Valley emerging in Ghana to compete with Silicon Valley in the states. Claude believes the exposure, mentorship and support at MEST positions him and his colleagues at MEST to make Ghana a global software development hub soon.

The Meltwater Foundation MD, Fredrik Sydnes told Adom News so far, each of the 100 graduates of MEST either own their own software companies, or are working in very strategic positions in blue chip IT and non-IT companies in Ghana.

He said currently some of the companies in the incubator in Ghana are showing prospects of being competitive in the global market place.

Sydnes explained that apart from Nandi Mobile and Leti Kings, which are making profits developing relevant software for both local and international consumption, there is Retail Tower, which has developed an e-commerce software being used by 5,000 people across the globe, half of which are in the state.

He said there is also Saya Mobile, which has developed a mobile to mobile message platform like WhatsApp and BBM, and it is making messaging free for low-end handset user. So far Saya has 400,000 customers and is looking at some 5.8million users in the near future.

“Saya was picked among 1,000 apps startups from the globe to pitch their software at the recent TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francesco, and Saya emerged among the top seven in the world,” he said.

Sydnes said there is also Dropifi, which is at the beginning stages of developing its software but has already gained international recognition, being named by Forbes Africa among top three tech startups in Africa, and recently winning the ultimate ToppApp of the Year Award at the maiden Topapps Award in Ghana.

He believes that the Ghanaian youth present a great potential for the huge commercial software market on the global landscape, adding that Meltwater is investing $2million every year in the training/mentoring and incubator program because of that strong belief in the Ghanaian youth.

Adom News spoke one male and one female new students of MEST, who expressed confidence in emerging from the school to make a difference in society because of the all-encompassing course content they are going through.

Ama Banny is one of four female Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs) at MEST. She is an Economics and French graduate from the University of Ghana. She has always wanted to start her own company, and she is confident that with what she learning at MEST, she is poised to start that company is software development and become a global leader in that in spite of her academic background.

Claude Ayitey has a background in Computer Science and Business Management, so he is more comfortable at MEST, and he told Adom News he sees Savannah Valley emerging in Ghana to compete with Silicon Valley in the states. Claude believes the exposure, mentorship and support at MEST positions him and his colleagues at MEST to make Ghana a global software development hub soon.

Story by Ghana/Samuel Nii Narku Dowuona/Adom News

Video News

quot-img-1The fate that the Supreme being has ordered for man cannot be altered

By: Kwame Aduhene-Kwarte quot-img-1
body-container-line