ABA​ Bank​ supports​ Mekong​ Business​ Challenge​ 2019​ to​ promote​ startups​ in​ the​ region

25/03/2019

ABA​ Bank​ supports​ Mekong​ Business​ Challenge​ 2019​ to​ promote​ startups​ in​ the​ regionABA​ Bank​ supports​ Mekong​ Business​ Challenge​ 2019​ to​ promote​ startups​ in​ the​ region
ABA​ Bank​ supports​ Mekong​ Business​ Challenge​ 2019​ to​ promote​ startups​ in​ the​ regionABA​ Bank​ supports​ Mekong​ Business​ Challenge​ 2019​ to​ promote​ startups​ in​ the​ region
ABA​ Bank​ supports​ Mekong​ Business​ Challenge​ 2019​ to​ promote​ startups​ in​ the​ regionABA​ Bank​ supports​ Mekong​ Business​ Challenge​ 2019​ to​ promote​ startups​ in​ the​ region
ABA​ Bank​ supports​ Mekong​ Business​ Challenge​ 2019​ to​ promote​ startups​ in​ the​ regionABA​ Bank​ supports​ Mekong​ Business​ Challenge​ 2019​ to​ promote​ startups​ in​ the​ region
ABA​ Bank​ supports​ Mekong​ Business​ Challenge​ 2019​ to​ promote​ startups​ in​ the​ regionABA​ Bank​ supports​ Mekong​ Business​ Challenge​ 2019​ to​ promote​ startups​ in​ the​ region

On​ Saturday,​ March​ 16,​ ABA​ Bank​ became​ a​ sponsor​ of​ Mekong​ Business​ Challenge​ 2019,​ a​ leading​ annual​ entrepreneurship​ competition​ for​ university​ students​ across​ the​ Greater​ Mekong​ region.​ Held​ in​ Phnom​ Penh​ this​ year,​ the​ Challenge​ aimed​ to​ inspire​ and​ educate​ smart​ student​ entrepreneurs​ who​ launch​ businesses​ and​ social​ ventures​ that​ will​ deeply​ impact​ communities​ in​ the​ region.

The​ Challenge​ attracted​ 11​ university​ teams​ –​ Cambodia​ (three​ teams),​ Vietnam​ (two​ teams),​ Myanmar​ (two​ teams),​ Bhutan​ (two​ teams),​ Thailand​ (one​ team)​ and​ Lao​ (one​ team)​ –​ to​ compete​ for​ the​ opportunity​ to​ represent​ the​ region​ at​ the​ 2019​ International​ Business​ Model​ Competition​ (IBMC),​ the​ first​ and​ largest​ lean​ startup​ competition​ in​ the​ world,​ in​ the​ United​ States.​ The​ business​ ideas​ submitted​ for​ this​ year’s​ Challenge​ consisted​ of​ the​ employment​ of​ mobile​ technology​ for​ education​ and​ tourism​ as​ well​ as​ innovative​ solutions​ to​ improve​ medical​ conditions​ of​ people​ with​ Parkinson’s​ disease,​ and​ more.

Speaking​ on​ the​ event,​ ABA’s​ Head​ of​ Marketing​ Igor​ Zimarev​ said,​ “Mekong​ Business​ Challenge​ is​ a​ great​ initiative​ to​ promote​ entrepreneurship​ in​ Cambodia,​ as​ well​ as​ in​ our​ region.​ In​ line​ with​ our​ CSR​ policy​ and​ core​ values,​ ABA​ is​ delighted​ to​ support​ such​ an​ event,​ and​ we​ wish​ to​ see​ more​ and​ more​ young​ Cambodians​ jump​ into​ business​ sectors​ to​ drive​ further​ the​ country’s​ economic​ development.”

Among​ 11​ teams​ pithing​ their​ business​ model​ canvas​ to​ the​ judges,​ Myanmar​ Maritime​ University’s​ MM​ Tutors​ team​ was​ nominated​ with​ the​ Gold​ Medal​ and​ Champion's​ Cup,​ while​ Happy​ Walk​ from​ Mahidol​ University​ Thailand​ received​ the​ Silver​ Medal,​ and​ Job​ Seekers​ from​ Liger​ Leadership​ Academy​ Cambodia​ received​ the​ Bronze​ Medal.​ MM​ Tutors​ team​ from​ Myanmar​ now​ receives​ a​ fully​ supported​ trip​ to​ the​ US,​ to​ compete​ in​ the​ upcoming​ IBMC​ which​ will​ be​ held​ on​ 9-10​ May​ 2019.​

“The​ teams​ from​ this​ year’s​ Mekong​ Challenge​ were​ very​ inspiring,​ pitching​ a​ wide​ variety​ of​ ideas​ related​ to​ education,​ medical​ technology,​ mobile​ apps,​ agriculture​ and​ culinary​ arts.​ It​ shows​ that​ the​ future​ of​ entrepreneurship​ and​ innovation​ in​ Cambodia​ and​ the​ greater​ Mekong​ sub-region​ is​ very​ bright,”​ said​ Stephen​ Paterson,​ Program​ Coordinator​ of​ Mekong​ Challenge.

Initially​ hosted​ as​ the​ National​ Business​ Plan​ Competition​ in​ 2006​ by​ the​ National​ University​ of​ Management​ (NUM)​ in​ Phnom​ Penh,​ the​ Competition​ has​ later​ expanded​ to​ six​ countries​ in​ the​ Greater​ Mekong​ sub-region​ including​ Bhutan.​ With​ the​ encouragement​ to​ promote​ students’​ initiatives​ to​ startup​ business,​ the​ platform​ requires​ participants​ to​ design​ new​ innovative​ business​ models​ using​ lean​ startup​ methodology​ to​ experiment​ and​ validate​ their​ assumptions​ before​ they​ move​ further​ with​ their​ business​ ideas.