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 Asia – Future 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.