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Monday, February 28, 2011

Ghana-made @MESTGhana startups grow in stature

Last week, my good friend Edward Tagoe was in the Bay Area attending the Launch conference along with other Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) graduates. I was looking for opportunities to meet him since he was going to be even busier than me and he was in San Francisco. He sent me an itinerary and I picked the perfect opportunity, The Africa Network (TAN) February 2011 Event: Showcasing Africa Software Entrepreneurs. Edward's Nandi Mobile, alongside Retail Tower and Streemio would be presenting about their business to members of the Bay Area African community and other interested folks at the Plug and Play tech center in Sunnyvale, California. I enjoyed the event and little did I know it was one highlight of a week that would end up with Nandi Mobile's Gripeline winning best business at the Launch conference.

Attending the TAN event gave me the chance to learn more about these start-ups. A lot of this info is being reproduced from my tweets. Samuel Owusu Darko took the stage first, talking about Streemio. -made @ is bringing mobile music streaming to the African continent. It is also looking to learn more about streaming services, and collaborate with other companies etc.

Edward Tagoe @ went next, talking abt -made @- supporting & engaging customers through sms. enables companies to receive complaints, etc & respond. These sms are aggregated and analysed for companies. is looking to be connected to more partners, and has scored a major client in Ghana (mobile telecommunications company). Tigo cash (mobile money) is being rolled out on a pilot basis, and -made @ will be with them every step of the way. !

-made is enabling online retailers to effectively market their inventory across channels. It is a great value-added service for individuals or entities looking to sell products online. After hearing the story of how Retail Tower was born, I tweeted; "Stories of ghanaian entrepreneurs will make awesome movies. No, not social network controversy style. Aspiration. Innovation. Inspiration."

Late last year, MEST provided start-up capital for 7 Ghana-made businesses, including Nandi Mobile, Retail Tower and Streemio.
  • Leti Games : Offers a selection of single- and multi-player online role-playing games, primarily for the smartphone market. Blogged about Eyram Akofa Tawia's Leti Games here and here
  • Tutamee : An online video company, providing TutaFlix, which streams high quality educational films
  • Esanoya : Assists SMEs in making operations smoother with Slix.tr, a real-time enterprise micro-sharing platform which centralizes companies’ people and data
  • Arto Connect: Provides Dealeezy, a location-based mobile service, enabling consumers to discover targeted deals from local merchants
There is more to come from all these start-ups as they get ready to launch and become fixtures in Ghana and beyond. They are proving Ghanaians can make world-class products that can serve people in Ghana and elsewhere. They are giving us more vim to support made-in-Ghana goods. Kudos to the Meltwater Group for investing in Ghana and its young people, the fruits are being borne and the best is yet to come.
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