Rockstart Impact to kick off its first accelerator program in Myanmar

Tue Dec 5, 2017 - 6:19am UTC
Rockstart Impact
Rockstart Impact to kick off its first accelerator program in Myanmar

Rockstart Impact

Rockstart Impact, an accelerator programme focused on developing countries is now planning to expand its footprint into Myanmar by searching for local entrepreneurs to help scale and connect with international and local financiers.

Dutch asset management company One to Watch that has been building companies in Nepal since 2011 is going to manage the new Rockstart accelerator in Myanmar, which application is now open until January 19.

The program will mainly focus in the area of education, health, and clean energy. As an estimate, the company plans to cover at least 10 companies which are impactful to the community with a proven track record of at least two years.

Successful companies will see investment ticket sizes of between US$100,000 to US$500,000, with an opportunity for follow-on investments based on their progress. The structure of financing could vary from mezzanine financing to royalty based lending, convertible loans or preference shares.

Participating entrepreneurs will be connected to both local and international mentors, whose support will include working on a gap analysis to understand the current state of the businesses and where they need to be to make them investable.

In Nepal, Rockstart Impact has worked with 29 startups, of which 21 have secured investment pledges worth over US$3.5 million. The investor base of the impact investment programme largely hails from the Netherlands and other different parts of Europe.

“In Myanmar, there are multiple fund managers. What One To Watch offers is the expertise we have on how to finance companies. The entrepreneurs here are either too big for micro-financing or too small for banks or VC,” said Willem Grimminck, director and founder of One to Watch.

As part of the recruitment drive for the accelerator programme, Rockstart Impact will organize different events in Yangon on topics including human resource, marketing, branding and financing.

This news is published on Reuters.

Vivian Foo is a reporter who writes about Southeast Asia’s technology and startup space. The entry point which led her to write about the startup ecosystem was her fascination of the dot-com boom. She is taking a deep dive into how the entrepreneurial mindset works and hopes to share the insights, innovation, and stories of the startups with her readers.