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Myanmar’s first hostel Startup Plans to Bring Silicon Valley Culture to the country


There are three things the Draper Startup House Yangon is full of – young startups, entrepreneurs and worldwide travelers. Take a seat at the hostel’s watering hole, a bar supported by HAPA Coffee & Cocktail, and the murmurs of startups, VCs, entrepreneurs and digital nomads at neighboring tables will soon flow into your ears.

Located in the heart of downtown Yangon, Tribe Theory Hostel is a Singapore-based hostel chain rebranded as Draper Startup House (DSH) after securing $3.5 million from venture capitalist and Draper Venture Network founder Tim Draper. For its tenants, it’s aspirins for the headache of fluctuating property prices and precarious, flexible and mobile nature of today’s working culture.

In two years of operation, the hostel has expanded to locations worldwide including Bali, Singapore, Yangon, Estonia, Manila, Lisbon and Bangalore, with its first U.S. property to open in Austin, Texas in March.

The hostel, whose robin’s-egg-blue doorway is engraved with the words 1950s, not only injects a sense of vitality to the quiet street but also greets travelers with a colorful and homey decor. By combining capsule beds in shared dorm rooms with the entrepreneurial environment of a co-working space, the hostel is slated to build up a young entrepreneurs’ community.

Office-sharing startup WeWork’s swift and spectacular fall from grace turned a much-touted success story into a cautionary tale. Draper Startup House, however, hacked the co-working model by forming a curated community for young professionals who enjoy a multitude of stunning amenities with the freewheeling vibe of working at a startup.

“Since the beginning, we have never identified ourselves as a co-working or co-living space. We identify ourselves as a startup which impacts people through our beds, events and the travelers,” CK Goyal, co-founder of Draper Startup House, told Myanmar Business Today.

“What we are doing is more intimate, and also the working space and events are more impactful,” he added.

When asked about the reason for picking Yangon over cities in neighboring countries, Goyal said the market is “so raw” that it offers endless possibilities and opportunities. “We chose Myanmar because we want to help the youth here – from expanding their network to building their startups,” he said.

“When travelers do come here, they see the other side of just tourists and travelers. They see the potential here and they also want to make an impact, to help other startups. That’s why we brought Silicon Valley here with Draper University, not only the travelers. The locals also need more resources and knowledge in their startups,” said Goyal.

The hostel, he said, is slated to roll out custom programming focused on entrepreneurship and offer entrepreneurial talents access to VC funding from 23 global funds as well as the opportunities to submit pitch decks to the Draper Venture Network.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

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