The Mekong Agritech Accelerator (MATCh) announced that 23 startups have been invited join its 2018 program. The cohort includes 13 startups from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam, as well 10 international firms proposing agritech solutions for these markets.
MATCh’s competitive application process sought to identify agricultural technologies and new business models with the potential to reshape agriculture towards sustainable and inclusive growth in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS). 127 startups applied. A panel of agriculture and food industry experts as well as investors evaluated the applications and selected the finalists.
Finalists will learn, share, and grow their businesses and technology with mentors, industry experts, and investors. They will attend a bootcamp to improve and refine their business models, and to build their networks. They will join 2018 GMS Leaders Summit on March 30-31 and showcase their solutions and technologies. Additionally, they will be a part of the Future Food Asia Award event on May 23rd in Singapore.
MATCh is the first accelerator for agritech startups in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam. It is funded by the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and is co-organized by the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), Future Food Asia, and the GMS Core Agriculture Support Program (CASP).
When asked about the MATCh participants, Dominic Mellor, of the ADB who heads up the MBI, said “We are extremely impressed with the innovations from the MATCh participants. MBI and our partners will work with the selected innovators and entrepreneurs on transforming the agricultural industry in the Mekong Region into a leading supplier of safe and nutritious food for all.”
“Through a number of MATCh applicants we found that the GMS region has embraced technology quite fast and had tweaked it to make it more applicable for their markets and customers. Global solutions providers are a bit more mature business; helping them develop in the GMS region will further accelerate the adoption of technology by providing role models local entrepreneurs can relate to.” said Isabelle Decitre, founder and CEO of ID Capital, the company operating Future Food Asia.
“MATCh is a great platform for us to connect within the agritech ecosystem. We really share and learn a lot from other participants and mentors. I hope that MATCh will continue to support us to make a difference in the Mekong region.” said Mr. Pham Duy Hung, CEO and Founder of PADCO.
“MATCh was launched at the sidelines of the Second GMS Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting in September 2017 in Siem Reap, Cambodia”, said Pavit Ramachandran, Principal Environment Specialist, ADB. “The meeting endorsed the GMS strategy for promoting safe and environment-friendly agriculture value chains and action plan for 2018-2022. MATCh is an important initiative as entrepreneurship and technology are key to enhancing the competitiveness of small producers and inclusiveness and sustainability of the supply chain.”