Phandeeyar Accelerator, Myanmar’s first tech startup accelerator,announced that it will run StartUp Challenge 2017, the country’s largest ever startup competition, from 20th May to 28th May 2017 at Phandeeyar’s innovation lab in downtown Yangon.

StartUp Challenge 2017 is a 9 day event in which teams of aspiring entrepreneurs compete to see who can develop the most promising technology-based business. The teams will be competing for a prize pool of over USD25,000. The winners will also receive entry into Phandeeyar’s Pre-Accelerator Program. This program provides intensive coaching, access to Phandeeyar’s mentor network, as well as free office space at Phandeeyar Accelerator.

The objective of StartUp Challenge 2017 is to encourage the development of more tech businesses in Myanmar. Mr. David Madden, Founder and CEO of Phandeeyar: Myanmar Innovation Lab said: “Now is a fantastic time to start a tech business in Myanmar. Myanmar’s connectivity revolution means that there are now tens of millions of people online. There’s a great opportunity to build tech products and services that the country needs. StartUp Challenge 2017 will help aspiring entrepreneurs seize this opportunity.”

This year the StartUp Challenge is focused on four categories of tech business, each representing a significant opportunity in Myanmar. Teams will compete in one of the following tracks: Fintech (financial technology), AgTech (agriculture technology), IoT (Internet of Things); and Tech for All.   

During the event participants will also have the chance to gain critical skills and knowledge. StartUp Challenge 2017 features a series of intensive workshops by topic experts, one-on-one appointments with business leaders, pitch practice sessions, followed by a final presentation event on 28th May. On 28th May a panel of experts from local and international business communities will select the winning teams.

Phandeeyar Accelerator Director, Mr Jes Kaliebe Petersen said:“StartUp Challenge 2017 is designed to help serious aspiring entrepreneurs launch a tech startup. Participants will be able to meet potential partners and collaborators, learn the “lean startup” way of creating a tech business, develop and test their ideas, get coaching and mentoring, and potentially win thousands of dollars in prize money and entry into Phandeeyar’s Pre-Accelerator Program”.

StartUp Challenge 2017 is being held in partnership with USAID, Uber, Wave Money, Telenor Digital and Proximity Designs.

It is expected that hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs will compete in the 9-day long competition. Phandeeyar last ran StartUp Challenge in 2015. That event saw 210 participants working in 62 teams. Two of the finalists from that competition were subsequently selected for Cohort 1 of Phandeeyar Accelerator and are now running promising tech businesses.

Track Name


Track Details

Upcoming Events


(Agriculture Technology)

Agtech is the use of tech to empower and improve the agricultural sector in Myanmar. Eg. Mobile applications for information and trading in the agriculture sector. ( For example; Shwe Thee Nhan App)

Agtech Ideation Workshop

Time: 6PM, Thursday, 11 May 2017

Location: Phandeeyar: Myanmar Innovation Lab, 11th Floor MAC Tower, Merchant Road, Yangon



(Internet of Things)

IoT is the idea that all things can be connected via online networks. Eg. Robot Cleaner.

IoT Ideation Workshop

Time: 6PM, Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Location: Phandeeyar: Myanmar Innovation Lab, 11th Floor MAC Tower, Merchant Road, Yangon


Tech For All

Most people in Myanmar have access to smartphones and the Internet. With a large rural population that have only as of recently had access to the Internet, there is a significant and important demand for locally created products and tech services that can provide real value to those underserved by technology.

Tech for All Ideation Workshop

Time: 6PM, Tuesday, 09 May 2017

Location: Phandeeyar: Myanmar Innovation Lab, 11th Floor MAC Tower, Merchant Road, Yangon


To learn more about StartUp Challenge 2017 visit

Interested individuals and teams can now apply to enter the competition via Applications are due by 17 May 2017. Applications and participation in StartUp Challenge 2017 is free.

More updates on the competition will be announced on Phandeeyar’s Facebook Page.


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Natty is a digital native who loves food. In her free time, she likes to explore new eateries in Yangon and beyond. Her friends often say "Natty is everywhere."


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