College launches tech start-up competition, with winners to get shot at Singapore reality show

Myanmar’s young entrepreneurs-in-the-making are getting a shot at reality-show fame from Yangon’s Lithan University College (LUC).

The college is putting on Start-Up Boot Camp, a two-day event for Myanmar people with fresh business initiatives. Candidates selected to participate get to do so at no cost.

The boot camp turns traditional teaching style on its head, making electronic resources on startup basics available before the program. It’s a strategy called a “flipped classroom”.

During the event, competitors will network, hit the pavement for “customer discovery”, and shape and hone investor briefs, which they will pitch in front of Singaporean venture capitalists acting as judges at the end of boot camp.

The last entrepreneur standing will win US$2000 – money meant to go toward joining season 2 of the Channel NewsAsia reality TV program Start-UP, according to Jurane Solano, a management associate at Red Dot Ventures. The show, set in Singapore, follows contestants as they learn about business and compete for the chance to win as much as S$2 million in seed money.

Red Dot Ventures founder and managing director Leslie Loh, also the chair at Lithan Education, will be featured as a judge on Start-UP. This season marks the first time a Myanmar team has had the chance to compete.

“Myanmar’s opening up with the whole mobile network explosion coming,” Ms Solano said. “We want to come in here and see what’s happening, what’s going to happen and really capture that first wave of technology entrepreneurs, or at least that’s the hope.”

Ms Solano said the LUC boot camp seeks applicants with ideas for technology businesses across fields such as ICT, interactive digital media, medical tech, biotech, e-commerce and online. “It has to be innovative, though, whether it captures a new market, whether it’s got a new business model, whether the idea is something that’s never been seen before,” she said.

Those entering the competition must be 18 or older, unless a team member is more than 18 years old. Participants must also be capable of presenting and competing in English, Ms Solano said.

LUC’s Start-Up Boot Camp will happen on October 11 and 12. Applications must be in by September 30.


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