IN a developing country with fewer than 50 start-ups, Telenor group’s recent Digital Winners Asia event has stimulated Myanmar start-ups to get connected to the global economy.
The first Asia-wide start-up event, held on Tuesday and Wednesday, gathered eight start-ups from five Asian countries –
A Thai start-up took top honours.
The competing start-ups represented a diversity of industries: marketing services, energy, artificial intelligence, tourism and education. They were MyanZen from
Paing Hein Htet, chief operating officer of MyanZen, expressed his delight at participating in the competition, as it meant a lot to the start-up.
“This event brought to us other talented start-ups in the region, and international experts from Google, Golden Gate Ventures and Telenor Group who actively shared their experience and expertise. As it aimed at penetrating not only the
“As we had a chance to discuss and share knowledge with other start-ups, we came to know more about their markets, and could decide if our products would be suitable for their markets or not, and thereby we got ideas to find ways to expand.”
MyanZen provides automated platform for sellers on social media to sell effectively. It is currently running the Beta version, and is expected to launch at the end of 2016, once it has 100 sellers. It aims to provide sellers with a fast and competitive option for social commerce.
"Now, we have linked with Facebook. Additionally, we will integrate with Viber, LINE and Instagram in the near future. So a seller can post to multiple social networks with just one tap. It will definitely lead to more convenient order tracking," he said.
Aung Ye Kyaw, managing director of White Merak, a comic-reader app that provides the very first marketplace for
“Funding is vital but we need to consider who is about to fund us. In our case, we need investors who understand and have a passion for comics. If not, we will not get far. This event helped us understand what types of investor want what kinds of start-up,” he said.
Nyunt Win Aung, co-founder of GoP Travels, which provides a one-stop platform for booking tour packages targeting local travellers, shared a similar view.
“This event was cool and had great discussions with other neighbourhood start-up founders. We got some seed funding from Phandeeyar and Telenor
At the event,
TakeMe Tour was created by two young talents, Jinda-Apiraksa Amornched and Noppon Anukunwithaya. The Bangkok-based firm focuses on providing consumer access to the largest collection of one-day tours in
According to Jinda-Apiraksa, chief executive and co-founder of TakeMe Tour, the firm focuses on growth in
“An event like DWA is a dream come true for start-ups like us. We started with the DTAC Accelerate programme and have advanced to this point to be able look at expansion into other markets. Then to have the calibre of speakers and their personal advice at the event is priceless,” he said.
With an ambitious target of becoming the largest marketplace made by the local experts, the start-up has now partnered with more than 10,000 experts in 45 cities across
Johanna Staaf, Telenor Group’s director of new ventures, said all the teams were strong and dynamic contenders.
“Bringing together some of the brightest start-ups from across
Gunnar Sellaeg, Telenor Group’s head of product innovation, said the event was a natural move for the Norwegian telecommunications company as it experienced strong growth in this region. “We believe there is a great innovative and entrepreneurial spirit growing here. The participating start-ups represent the best of the best from our market-led accelerator programmes and we are excited to build this platform for the next stage of their growth,” he said.