Named Mekong Agriculture Technology Challenge Startup Accelerator (MATCh), it is aimed at innovative early-stage agritech startups and traditional agriculture businesses with new, scalable business models in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
The accelerator will support startups in agriculture to develop their products, network and learn from industry players, showcase their solutions, and access markets and funding.
MATCh will provide awards and prizes to the participants of the final round and winners of the two accelerators totalling up to US$200,000 worth of services and in-kind support. In addition, the winners and finalists will also have opportunities to win investment from strategic and venture investors.
Award winners will be showcased at the 2018 Greater Mekong Subregion Leaders’ Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, and participate in the Future Food Asia Award Competition in Singapore organised by ID Capital.
An additional MATCh Market Access Accelerator will help mature international agritech startups 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.
The accelerator has already started accepting applications from startups around the world.
MATCh is part of a series of innovation accelerators by the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), which also runs the Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism accelerator, the SMART City Innovation Challenge, and the Fintech Challenge Vietnam.
“MATCh is a great opportunity to enable entrepreneurship and technology to tackle major challenges in the agriculture sector and improve the lives of farmers, protect the environment and respond to new conditions from Climate Change,” said Dr. Pham Hong Quat, Director of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development, Ministry of Science and Technology.
“By supporting the innovative business models that this programme will create, we can promote efficacy enhancing and environmentally friendly agricultural technologies that also improve farmer livelihoods,” said Dominic Mellor, Senior Economist at the ADB and Head of MBI.