Mekong Agritech Challenge Announces Winners

Mekong Agritech Challenge Announces Winners

Six startup teams have won the 2018 Mekong Agritech Challenge (MATCh), having presented outstanding technology solutions with high potential to advance agriculture in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Prizes ranged from $2,000-$5,000 USD equivalent. Winners also receive ongoing mentorship and training and will compete in the Singapore-based Future Food Asia Award Competition.

22 teams visited Ha Noi to pitch their technologies and solutions to a panel of industry experts and investors. Teams hailed from Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, and Viet Nam as well as Australia, China, India, Israel, the Netherlands, and Thailand. Teams also participated in business matching, one-on-one meeting with mentors, and farm tours.

Prizes were divided between three early stage startups from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam, and three more mature teams originating from outside the region:

First Prize

  • Cricket One (Viet Nam) – sustainable and affordable protein product from crickets.
  • AgUnity (Australia) – a blockchain platform that helps farmers share resources.

Second Prize

  • KIU Global (Regional in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam) – a financial technology solution offering agricultural businesses access to credit.
  • Verifik8 (Thailand) – software that connects producers and buyers and helps improve performance in the agrifood supply chain

Third Prize

  • TunYat (Myanmar) – a rental solution that gives smallholder farmers access to larger machinery.
  • Enzootic, Ltd. (Israel and Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China) – a cell transplantation technology for shrimp farming that yields all female shrimp producing more product with less losses.

“Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam all share deep agrarian legacies, and while these economies are diversifying, agriculture still has so much to offer as an engine of economic growth” commented Connor McGuinness, Regional Program Manager, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Mekong Business Initiative, Future Food Asia, and the GMS Core Agriculture Support Program co-organized MATCh with funding and support from the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank. MATCh supports startups in agriculture to develop products, network and learn from industry players, showcase their solutions, and access markets and funding. It is aimed at agritech and traditional agriculture businesses with innovative and scalable solutions for Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. The Challenge has tracks for businesses from inside and outside the Greater Mekong Subregion. MATCh will be powered by the MATCh Alliance, consisting of key regional and local players in the agribusiness innovation ecosystem.

Mekong Agritech Challenge (MATCh) Unleashes Technology and Entrepreneurship to Transform Agriculture

Mekong Agritech Challenge (MATCh) Unleashes Technology and Entrepreneurship to Transform Agriculture

MATCh is now accepting applications at www.match.mekongbiz.org until end of December 2017. Startups and agritech solution providers from around the world can join forces to transform the Mekong region’s agricultural industry into a leading global supplier of “safe and nutritious food for all”.  

The MATCh: The Mekong Agriculture Technology Challenge Startup Accelerator will support startups in agriculture to develop their products, network and learn from industry players, showcase their solutions, and access markets and funding. It is aimed at innovative early stage agritech startups and traditional agriculture businesses with new, scalable business models in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. 

An additional MATCh Market Access Accelerator will help international agritech solution providers with proven technological solutions expand into the Mekong region. Participants will receive mentorship and assistance with their expansion plans including product adaptation, and forge relationships with potential partners and investors in the region. 

MATCh will provide awards and prizes to the participants of the final round with winners  receiving up to USD200,000 worth of services and in-kind support. In addition, the winners and finalists will also have opportunities to secure investment from strategic and venture investors. Award winners will be showcased at the 2018 Greater Mekong Subregion Leaders’ Summit in Ha Noi, Viet Nam and participate in the Future Food Asia Award Competition in Singapore organized by ID Capital – a co-organizer of MATCh. 

MATCh is part of a series of innovation accelerators by the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) which also runs the MIST: Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism accelerator, the SMART City Innovation Challenge Vietnam, and the Fintech Challenge Vietnam. MBI launched MATCh with funding and support from the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank. MATCh will be powered by the MATCh Alliance, consisting of key regional and local players in the agribusiness innovation ecosystem (See Appendix A). 

MATCh was also endorsed the six governments of the the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) – Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam – at the GMS Agriculture Summit in Siem Reap in September 2017.  

“MATCh is a great opportunity to enable entrepreneurship and technology to tackle major challenges in the agriculture sector and improve the lives of farmers, protect the environment and respond to new conditions from Climate Change“ said Dr. Pham Hong Quat, Director of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development, Ministry of Science and Technology,. 

“By supporting the innovative business models that this program will create, we can promote efficacy enhancing and environmentally friendly agricultural technologies that also improve farmer livelihoods,” said Dominic Mellor, Senior Economist at the Asian Development Bank and Head of MBI. 

“MATCh is a great initiative to enable local agriculture companies to work with local and international startups and investors to enhance the competitiveness of the agricultural sector and build value chains of safe foods that can supply both domestic and international markets,” said Mr. Hoang Anh, Vice Chairman of the Digital Agriculture Association. 

“Future Food Asia, the open innovation platform developed by ID Capital, is partnering with MBI on MATCh because we share a common vision of fostering startup-driven innovations to bring more sustainability to the food system in the Asia Pacific region,” said Isabelle Decitre, CEO of ID Capital. 

MATCh is now open for online applications at http://match.mekongbiz.org/ 

About the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI)MBI  The Asian Development Bank and the Australian Government jointly launched the MBI in 2015. The MBI catalyzes private sector development in emerging Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) markets, focusing on Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, and Viet Nam. The program aims to improve the business-enabling environment in these four emerging ASEAN markets with particular focus on business advocacy, alternative finance, and innovation.   

It is supported by the Asian Development Bank and the Australian Government. On Facebook: MekongBusinessInitiative.  

About the GMS Core Agriculture Support Program (CASP)CASP supports the GMS in attaining its goal of being a leading producer of safe food using climate-friendly agriculture practices. Now in its second phase since 2012, it is committed to increasing the subregion’s agricultural competitiveness through enhanced regional and global market integration and subregional connectivity. CASP is overseen by the agriculture ministries of the six GMS countries comprising the GMS Working Group on Agriculture, namely: Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China (specifically, Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Cofinancing is provided by the ADB, the Government of Sweden, the Nordic Development Fund, and the Water Financing Partnership Facility. 

About Future Food AsiaFuture Food Asia is the first-of-its-kind platform for Agtech and Foodtech innovations in the Asia-Pacific. In partnership with multinationals, government organizations, startups and research teams, we are building an integrated innovation network. Operated by ID Capital, it is looking for agile startups to innovate and disrupt our food value chain. The annual Future Food Asia Award ceremony aims to accelerate open innovation in AgriTech and FoodTech across Asia Pacific, with the goal to catalyze and align an ecosystem to cope with the challenges of food.  

 

Contact

Jason Lusk

MATCh Communication Manager

Tel. 0969 760 912

Worldwide Telephone: +1 262 385 0670

Whatsapp: +84 (0) 969 760 912

Skype: jason.m.lusk

[email protected] 

Launch AgriTech Accelerator for the Mekong Region

Asian Development Bank, Australian Government Launch AgriTech Accelerator for the Mekong Region

SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA (7 September 2017) – A new agritech accelerator will harness entreprenueship and technology to transform the Mekong region’s agricultural industry into a leading global supplier of “safe and nutritious food for all”.

The MATCh: The Mekong Agriculture Technology Challenge Startup Accelerator will support startups in agriculture to develop their products, network and learn from industry players, showcase their solutions, and access markets and funding. It is aimed at innovative early stage agritech startups and traditional agriculture businesses with new, scalable business models in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam.

An additional MATCh Market Access Accelerator will help mature international agritech companies expand into the Mekong region. Participants will receive mentorship and assistance with their expansion plans including product adaptation, and forge relationships with potential partners and investors in the region.

MATCh will provide awards and prizes to the winners of the two accelerators, with awards given for Best Startup, Most Innovative, Biggest Social Impact, and Women’s Leadership. Award winners will be showcased at the 2018 Greater Mekong Subregion Leaders’ Summit in Ha Noi, Viet Nam and participate in the Future Food Asia Award Competition in Singapore.

MATCh launched at the Second Greater Mekong Subregion Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It is the latest in a series of innovation accelerators by the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), which also pioneered the MIST: Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism accelerator earlier this year. MBI launched MATCh with funding and support from the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank. MATCh will be powered by an Alliance of key regional and local players in the agribusiness innovation ecosystem such as Future Food Asia and TRYBE.

“MATCh is an important initiative as entreprenership and technology are key to enhancing the competitiveness, inclusiveness, and sustainability of the Mekong region’s agricultural industry “ said H.E. Mr. San Vanty, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Cambodia.

“By supporting the innovative business models that this program will create, we can promote efficacy enhancing and environmentally friendly agricultural technologies that also improve farmer livelihoods,” said Dominic Mellor, Asian Development Bank, Senior Economist and Head of MBI.

“Future Food Asia, the open innovation platform developed by ID Capital, is partnering with MBI on MATCh because we share a common vision of fostering startup-driven innovations to bring more sustainability in the food system in the Asia Pacific region” said Isabelle Decitre, CEO of ID Capital.

Online applications for the MATCh accelerator will open from November 2017 at http://match.mekongbiz.org/.

 

About the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI)MBI  The Asian Development Bank and the Australian Government jointly launched the MBI in 2015. The MBI catalyses private sector development in emerging Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) markets, focusing on Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, and Vietnam. The program aims to improve the business-enabling environment in these four emerging ASEAN markets with particular focus on business advocacy, alternative finance, and innovation.

It is supported by the Asian Development Bank and the Australian Government. On Facebook: MekongBusinessInitiative.

About the GMS Core Agriculture Support Program (CASP)CASP supports the GMS in attaining its goal of being a leading producer of safe food using climate-friendly agriculture practices. Now on its second phase, since 2012, it is committed to increasing the subregion’s agricultural competitiveness through enhanced regional and global market integration and subregional connectivity. CASP is overseen by the agriculture ministries of the six GMS countries comprising the GMS Working Group on Agriculture, namely: Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China (specifically, Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Cofinancing is provided by the ADB, the Government of Sweden, the Nordic Development Fund, and the Water Financing Partnership Facility.

About Future Food AsiaFuture Food Asia is the first-of-its-kind platform for Agtech and Foodtech innovations in the Asia-Pacific. In partnership with multinationals, government organizations, startups and research teams, we are building an integrated innovation network. Operated by ID Capital, it is looking for agile startups to innovate and disrupt our food value chain.The annual Future Food Asia Award ceremony aims to accelerate open innovation in AgriTech and FoodTech across Asia Pacific, with the goal to catalyze and align an ecosystem to cope with the challenges of food.

Contact
Jason Lusk
Communications Specialist
Skype: jason.m.lusk
[email protected]

Transforming Vietnamese Agriculture

Transforming Vietnamese Agriculture

TRANSFORMING VIETNAMESE AGRICULTURE

Author:

The World Bank

Publication Date: 2016

Executive Summary

Over the past few decades, Vietnam’s farmers have successfully fed the nation, helped expand trade and have provided a reliable supply of labor and raw materials to industry. The entire agriculture sector has had a key role to play in poverty reduction and social stability.

But demographic, economic, climatic and other changes are now altering the playing field for the sector, which must adjust to face emerging challenges and opportunities. As highlighted in the government’s 2014 Agricultural Restructuring Plan, there is a need to modify the sector’s strategic orientation, strengthen key institutions, and adjust the roles and support instruments used by government.

This Vietnam Development Report elaborates on these themes, advocating for a strategy to achieve “more from less” (i.e. greater farmer, consumer and societal welfare using less resources and having a lower environmental footprint). This can be done through a structural change in which the government “leads less and facilitates more”, particularly in relation to farmer and private sector investment, productivity and market development.

Read full report (English)

Read full report (Vietnamese)

Creating an Effective Elevator Pitch

The art of crafting an elevator pitch could be closely compared to speed dating: courting interest, having a limited time window and leaving a lasting positive impression. Preparation is key. Ensure the pitch is presented with extensive knowledge and clarity of all details. Understanding the objectives, knowing the target and defining an end goal all play a crucial role to the success of the pitch. Flexibility is a must when adjusting to different and sometimes unexpected situations.  (Presented by Tuyen Hoang, executive director, Entrepid Advisors. Copyright belongs to Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism, by MBI)