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Innovative tourism startups to attend boot camp

Released at: 17:56, 20/04/2017

Innovative tourism startups to attend boot camp

Photo: Viet Tuan

Eleven local startups to attend boot camp within Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST) Startup Accelerator program.

by Linh San

The Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) have announced that eleven innovative tourism startups from Vietnam have qualified for the Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST) Startup Accelerator program.

Qualifying startups will advance to a MIST Startup Accelerator boot camp from May 5-7 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, alongside nine similar startups from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. Market experts, including Deputy Director of TMG Cong Nguyen, Investment Director of Gobi Ventures Victor Chua, and founder of Triip.me Hai Ho will mentor the startups at the boot camp.

“MIST promotes sustainable tourism, giving innovative startups the potential to transform travel in one of the most dynamic regions on earth,” said Mr. Jens Threanhart, Executive Director of MTCO.

“We’re proud of this batch of startups,” said Mr. Dominic Mellor, Head of the MBI. “They are fueling the right kind of tourism growth that positively impacts the tourism experience and local communities.”

More than 250 travel tech and traditional tourism startups applied to the MIST program. The Travel Startups Incubator, based in the US, screened applications based on their potential for investment and the quality of their business plans. MBI experts performed additional due diligence, considering sustainability and other socioeconomic criteria. Finally, selections were verified in partnership with the Da Nang City Incubator (DNES).

Qualifiers from Vietnam include Bayo, Chameleon City, Dichung, Hue Free Walking Tour, I Love Asia, Innaway, Mimoza, Morning Rooms, Oneclicktogo, Tugo, and Putaleng Legend.

Approximately half of all Startup Accelerator finalists, selected by mentors, will advance from the boot camp to an investor showcase at the Mekong Tourism Forum in Luang Prabang, Laos, on June 6. There, startups will present their business plans to the media, investors, and an expert judging panel. Ultimately, four will receive innovation grants of $7,000-$10,000.

MIST is a leading tourism accelerator for Asia’s top growth markets, giving startups everything they need to launch successfully, achieve profitability, create jobs, and impact communities in the Greater Mekong Region. In addition to grants of up to $10,000, the MIST Startup Accelerator program offers exposure, connections to local stakeholders and ecosystems, individualized coaching, and the chance to network with investors and global accelerator programs. MIST is a joint project of MBI and MTCO.

MBI is an advisory facility that promotes private sector development in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. It fosters the development of an innovation ecosystem by supporting business advocacy, alternative finance, and innovation. It is supported by the Asian Development Bank and the Australian Government.

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