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Mekong Agritech Challenge underway

Released at: 09:59, 17/11/2017

Mekong Agritech Challenge underway

Photo: Illustrative image from internet

Agriculture startups able to enter challenge, running from November 15 to end-December.

by Ngoc Chi

Vietnam’s startups in the agriculture sector are able to participate in the Mekong Agritech Challenge (MATCh) program running from November 15 to the end of December and which aims to transform the Mekong region’s agricultural sector into a leading global supplier of “safe and nutritious food for all”.

MATCh consists of two parts. 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 aims at innovative early-stage agritech startups and traditional agriculture businesses with new, scalable business models in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

The MATCh Market Access Accelerator, meanwhile, will help international agritech solutions 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.

Applications are now being accepted at www.match.mekongbiz.org. MATCh will provide awards and prizes to participants in the final round, with winners receiving up to $200,000 worth of services and in-kind support.

Winners and finalists will also have the opportunity to secure investment from strategic and venture investors. Award winners will be showcased at the 2018 Greater Mekong Subregion Leaders’ Summit in Hanoi 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.

MATCh was also endorsed by the six governments of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) - Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam - at the GMS Agriculture Summit in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in September.

“MATCh is a great opportunity that enables entrepreneurs and technology to tackle major challenges in the agriculture sector and improve the lives of farmers, protect the environment, and respond to climate change,” said Dr. Pham Hong Quat, Director of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development at the Ministry of Science and Technology.

“By supporting the innovative business models this program will create, we can promote efficacy enhancing and environmentally-friendly agricultural technologies that also improve farmer livelihoods,” said Mr. Dominic Mellor, Senior Economist at the Asian Development Bank 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 to the food system in the Asia-Pacific region,” said CEO of ID Capital, Ms. Isabelle Decitre.

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