The Myanmar Startup Guide is an attempt to describe the emerging startup space in Myanmar. From a closed, military-dominated, bureaucratic environment, Myanmar is very quickly embracing an openness to business, and firms, both large and small, have a multitude of opportunities in this young market.

We have summarised the top 10 takeaways from the Guide. You can read the full report below.

  1. The current telephone penetration rate is less than 20 per cent, but growing rapidly. Three years ago only one per cent of Myanmar’s residents had access to Internet – today it’s estimated at between 10 and 25 per cent of residents. The Myanmar Computer Federation predicts that around half of the population, over 25 million people, could be surfing the net in the next three years.
  2. The ongoing transition of the last years has shined a light on Myanmar’s advantages and strong points: natural resources, a large and cheap workforce, a geographic “crossroads” location, and a consumer market with gaps in goods and services as a result of its recent history.
  3. Consultancy firm McKinsey expects Myanmar could quadruple the size of its economy, from US$45 billion in 2010 to more than US$200 billion by 2030.
  4. The launch of Ooredoo and Telenor telecom networks and the expected upgrade of MPT’s network based on its new joint venture with Japan’s KDDI and Sumitomo will be a big leap forward for the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem to connect to better IT infrastructure.
  5. IT enthusiasts, rallied by international tech start-up specialist David Madden, organized first “Hackathons” under the name “Code for change”. Nearly 100 developers and designers worked so far to create IT solutions for Myanmar NGOs and social enterprises.
  6. Myanmar is a hungry market, with already about 100 tech-based entrepreneurs / start-ups, and around 500 Myanmar language apps have been developed for Android phones.
  7. DOEMyanmar and MySquar have successfully attracted venture funding. However, initial costs to setting up shop are, compared to the rest of South East Asia, relatively high, while infrastructure is limited. Yet, competition is increasing quickly.
  8. The role of large corporations will be important in Myanmar to strengthen the startup environment, to make the necessary investments and help to launch promising initiatives that foster a kind of open innovation network structure.
  9. On the government side, it will be key to provide a stable legal framework and working conditions for the sector to become a motor for innovation and growth in Myanmar. The Government has to focus on supporting the development of a competitive and innovative economy with a stable, clear and transparent legal framework and institutions that support entrepreneurs.
  10. Notable lists:
  • 3 incubators: IdeaBox, Project Hub Yangon and DevLab
  • 3 investors: Ronoc, Golden Rock, AnthemAsia
  • 3 community spaces: Mobile Monday, Code for Change Myanmar, Phan Dee Yar: Myanmar Innovation Hub

View the entire Report below:

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The report can be accessed on SCRIBD too.

Do go to the Report’s Facebook Page to discuss Myanmar and the opportunities it provides to the startup-community