Eleven startups chosen for MIST program
HANOI – The Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) have announced that 11 innovative tourism startups in Vietnam have been picked for the Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST) Startup Accelerator program.
More than 250 travel tech and traditional tourism startups applied to the MIST program. The Travel Startups Incubator, based in the U.S., screened applications based on their potential for investment and the quality of their business plans.
MBI experts performed additional due diligence, considering sustainability and other socio-economic criteria. Finally, selections were verified in partnership with the Danang City Incubator (DNES).
The qualifying startups will advance to a MIST Startup Accelerator boot camp from May 5 to 7, 2017 in Cambodia alongside nine innovative tourism startups from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Market experts including deputy director of TMG Cong Nguyen, investment director of Gobi Ventures Victor Chua and founder of Triip.me Hai Ho will mentor startups at the boot camp.
Dominic Mellor, head of the MBI, said, “We’re proud of this batch of startups. They are fueling the right kind of tourism growth that positively impacts the tourism experience and local communities.”
Some half of all Startup Accelerator finalists, selected by mentors, will advance from the boot camp to an investor showcase at the Mekong Tourism Forum in Luang Prabang on June 6. There, startups will present their business plans to media, investors and an expert judging panel. Ultimately, four will receive innovation grants of US$$7,000-10,000.
MIST is a leading tourism accelerator for Asia’s top growth markets, giving startups what they need to launch successfully, achieve profitability, create jobs and impact communities in the Greater Mekong Region.
In addition to grants up to US$10,000, the MIST program offers exposure, connections to local stakeholders and ecosystems, individualized coaching and the chance to network with investors and global accelerator programs.