Myanmar entrepreneur body plans to set up angel network

Photo: Juliet Shwe Gaung. Htun Htun Naing, chairman of MYEA shares his business experiences at the Myanmar Entrepreneurs Carnival held in Yangon.

In a fillip to the country’s fledgling startup ecosystem, the Myanmar Young Entrepreneurs Association (MYEA) – a 1,000-member strong body – is looking at setting up a local angel network over the next three months with commitments from 20 local investors who seek to inject seed capital into homegrown startups.

MYEA chairman Htun Htun Naing said, the initiative will be launched with an initial corpus of K400 million (about $293,000) available for local startups.

“We have asked investors to commit K20,000,000 ($14,600) a year to make investments in a single round or as a follow-on,” said Naing, who is also the chairman of Blue Ocean Operating Management Co Ltd which provides call center service in the country.

Local investors can either put in money at an individual level or as a syndicate. The expected investment size in each startup will be up to K10 million (about $7000), said Naing during the sidelines of the three day Myanmar Entrepreneurs Carnival organized by MYEA.

The carnival, held in Yangon from June 16-18, saw 72 startups which have been in existence for at least two years participate with other SME members of MYEA, showcasing their products and engaging in pitching sessions.

The carnival is one of the activities MYEA established in 2012 as an association under the UMFCCI.

The association has organised the Tiger@Mekong Startup Boom Camp twice in collaboration of USAID where startups are given training to run their own business. MYEA is also engaged in other capacity-building initiatives such as mentoring, training, angel investor training.

MYEA will continue to hold such Boom Camps including the Myanmar Entrepreneurs Carnival every year.

They plan to step up to the stage of being an incubator. “We will setup an incubation center during our management tenure until 2019. We plan to provide co-working spaces under the name of MYEA,” said Naing.

MYEA is one of the members of the ASEAN China Young Entrepreneurs Council and it also intends to conduct the second edition of the Myanmar Entrepreneurship Summit in 2017.

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