12 Teams Take Home $20,000 In Prize Money at Myanmar’s Biggest Startup Competition

10 July 2019

Twelve new tech startups got a massive boost on 7th July of 2019 at Phandeeyar, when together they won $20,000 of prize money at Startup Challenge 2019, Myanmar’s biggest-ever startup competition. The final weekend of the nine-day competition, which was held at Phandeeyar’s innovation lab in downtown Yangon, saw 63 teams pitch their businesses to 15 expert judges. In addition to the cash prizes, each winning team also received $2000 worth of AWS credits to develop their tech product and entry into Phandeeyar’s pre-Accelerator program, a three-month program to further develop their startups.

Over 300 aspiring entrepreneurs in 63 teams pitched to 15 judges last weekend at Startup Challenge 2019 

Winning teams to join Phandeeyar Pre-Accelerator program and offer innovative solutions in the country’s hottest tech sectors 

The teams have developed businesses which are focused on four categories: Fintech (financial technology), Tech for Farms (agricultural technology), Tech for Cities and Tech for Women’s Safety. The objective of this year Startup Challenge is to encourage the development of more tech businesses in Myanmar and LUX, KBZ Pay, Proximity Designs, ADB Ventures and The Kingdom of Netherlands Embassy joined hands with Phandeeyar and USAID.

Details of the winning teams and description of their tech business ideas are mentioned in the table below. 

 

Track

Prize 

Winning Startup 

Description

Tech for Women’s Safety

Winner

Boolean

An all-in-one app for women to instant report public harassment, share their experiences in a forum and getting support from the community.

Tech for Women’s Safety

Runner-up

Safie

A mobile-based crowdsourced reporting map that collects data of public harassment, raise awareness on the issue and notify users about incidents.

Tech for Women’s Safety

Startup with the Most Potential

MatchUp (We Ladies)

A mobile-based online community for women to voice their experience with public harassment, report incidents and get support from experts.

FinTech

Winner

SaveIT (Monetty)

An application software that offers two core 

products - microlending brokerage and debt management. SaveIT aims to alleviate the financial strains the community is suffering from. 

FinTech

Runner-up

Hlumal

A hassle-free donation platform connecting needy organizations and willing donors in a convenient, credible, and transparent manner. The founders of Hlumal are the youngest participants of Startup Challenge 2019. 

FinTech

Startup with the Most Potential

Ultra (Loan Loan)

An online aggregator of microfinance institutions, to facilitate the process of micro-lending for borrowers and lenders.

Tech for Farms

Winner

YaeYaeSar

QR-code tracing technology to ensure food safety to producers and consumers.

Tech for Farms

Runner-up

NOVA (Natmyatsi)

A mobile app for farmers to scan their crops and get advice from experts, to improve the quality of their products and increase productivity.

Tech for Farms

Startup with the Most Potential

Axrix (P-Plant)

A tech-driven educational kit for children to learn about gardening in an engaging and fun approach.

Tech for Cities

Winner

Tech KaTiLa

An online database platform for students and staff of schools to transform paper into digital data, to save time and make the work more efficient.

Tech for Cities

Runner-up

The Passion Pursuers (Ku Tha)

An all-in-one health care app that offers an open community, a health guide and a virtual clinic to connect physicians and patients.

Tech for Cities

Startup with the Most Potential

Recycle Myanmar

A mobile-based peer-to-peer waste management solution, in which suppliers and citizens are connected to make Myanmar cleaner.

 

The winner, the runner-up, and the startup with the most potential of each track received $2500, $1500, and $1000 in prize money, respectively. In addition to that, all the twelve teams will receive $2000 worth of AWS credits, and entry into Phandeeyar’s Pre-Accelerator Program. This program provides intensive coaching, access to Phandeeyar’s mentor network, as well as free office space for three months at Phandeeyar.

Phandeeyar’s Accelerator Director, Mr João Dutra said:

“Startup Challenge has demonstrated, in its fourth and biggest edition ever, to remain a powerful birth-place of tech startups in Myanmar. During nine days, we could watch nearly 300 talented entrepreneurs developing new economy skills, like prototyping and design thinking. The winners will have support from Phandeeyar and our valuable partners to grow their business. Phandeeyar's mission is to harness technology to accelerate change in Myanmar, the participants of Startup Challenge are the agents that drive this change.

Winners of Startup Challenge 2019 shared their objectives to offer innovative solutions to those underserved by technology.

Han Win Aung, co-founder and CEO of Tech KaTiLa, Winner of Tech for Cities Track in Startup Challenge 2019 commented, “Just a month ago, I didn’t even know which track I should apply to. One day, I was just walking past the Student Administration Office and I saw massive stacks of books and files. And boom, the idea for Tech KaTiLa was born. Essentially, we are creating a more effective and efficient platform for university students to enroll and register. Our data management system would save a lot of time, energy, and paper. Startup Challenge was a very tiring but rewarding experience. The coaching sessions enabled us to refine our project and our team got a lot of inspiration for our entrepreneurship journey.”

Amara Aung, co-founder and CEO of YaeYaeSar, Winner of Tech for Farm Track in Startup Challenge 2019 added, “Food Safety has been and still is a hot issue in Myanmar that needs to be tackled as soon as possible. As being a pinion in this food production mechanism, I have a strong urge to imply, practice and share the knowledge on the importance of food safety not only to consumers, but also to growers and manufacturers. We’re grateful that we found Phandeeyar. This challenge brought us inspirations and the know-how. With the help of technology, we’ll build a platform in the food industry where you can refer to anything relating to food safety. Hope we can bring a healthier nation from this.”

Dave