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Vietnam Today

AgriTech accelerator for Mekong Sub-region launched

Released at: 10:30, 12/09/2017

AgriTech accelerator for Mekong Sub-region launched

Illustrative image (Source: mekongbiz.org)

MATCh: The Mekong Agriculture Technology Challenge Startup Accelerator, to support agriculture startups in Mekong Sub-region.

by Doanh Doanh

A new agritech accelerator will harness entrepreneurship 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, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

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

An additional MATCh Market Access Accelerator will help mature international agritech companies to 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 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 Sub-region Leaders’ Summit in Hanoi and participate in the Future Food Asia Award Competition in Singapore.

MATCh was launched at the Second Greater Mekong Sub-region 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.

“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 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 in 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 Ms. Isabelle Decider, CEO of ID Capital.

The Asian Development Bank and the Australian Government jointly launched the MBI in 2015. It catalyzes private sector development in emerging ASEAN markets, focusing on Cambodia, Laos, 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.

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