In Thailand’s western neighbor Myanmar, only 10 percent of the population currently owns a mobile phone. Nevertheless, Qatar based telecom Ooredoo sees this not as an obstacle but rather as an area ripe for incredible growth in the coming years. In order to fulfill this vision, it is launching the Ideabox Startup Incubation Program through Ooredoo Myanmar.
The goal of the incubator program is to identify startup companies in Myanmar that will be able to benefit and take advantage of the new 3G network that Ooredoo is introducing to this Southeast Asian nation. The incubation and acceleration program will offer a 4-6 month period of mentoring and guidance, along with office space and much needed startup capital. The amount of capital available for companies is $100,000, which will help a handful of young entrepreneurs in Myanmar focus all their energy into delivering the best product or service they can, instead of spending all their time chasing funding.
In announcing the incubator’s official launch, CEO Ross Cormack said:
Across our markets, local entrepreneurs are developing innovative ICT programs and mobile apps, but often do not have the resources to bring these to market or scale their solutions. Our innovation and incubation programs provide expertise, funding, and exposure to develop entrepreneurialism at the grassroots level. We aim to support local businesses via these flagship developments, and to provide inspiring role models of success to encourage human growth through innovation, with the potential to impact millions of lives across our markets.
The companies to be chosen will need to be ambitious, since IdeaBox is interested in those who plan to scale quickly using increased mobile penetration—with a goal of $100 million valuations in sight.
Ooredoo is currently evaluating the applicants and the winning companies will be announced on June 27.