Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) have announced their support for 10 innovative travel and hospitality companies in their upcoming Startup Accelerator and Market Access programmes.
To identify and support travel and hospitality businesses that can help contribute to sustainable tourism in the Mekong region, the Startup Accelerator programme aims to teach business fundamentals to early startups and connect them to the industry and investors. The Market Access programme invites international innovators to solve the Mekong region’s industry challenges.
Here are the five finalists of the Startup Accelerator Programme (in alphabetical order) :
1. BambooLao – Lao PDR
Produces reusable bamboo straws to replace single-use plastic straws.
2. Ecohost – Vietnam
Provides and improves local homestay experiences by developing the management of homestays and the ease of internet booking.
3. Go Explore – Vietnam
Organises “workation” programmes targeted at international and domestic remote workers.
4. Sidesbag – Cambodia
A mobile application that enables airline passengers to purchase available luggage allowance from fellow travelers.
5. VDEs – Vietnam
Connects event planners with venues and provides the ease of booking through their database.
The five finalists attended the Mekong Tourism Forum in Thailand to showcase their solutions and explore industry partnerships. In October, they will reconvene at ITB Asia in Singapore where they will pitch to investors and vie for innovation grants worth up to USD 10,000.
Here are the five selected international travel and hospitality innovators for the market access programme:
1. Adventoro – In Malaysia, hoping to enter Vietnam market
A medium for users to book their bucket-list of adventures in Southeast Asia.
2. DidaTravel Technology – Currently in China
Offers backend technology for hotel booking and providing real-time inventory and rates.
3. hereO – Currently in the United Kingdom
Creator of the child-focused heroO GPS watch. Looking at IoT solutions for last-mile tourist transportation in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
4. Moneybay – Currently in Malaysia
Provides a digital cross-border currency exchange platform. The fintech is convenient for tourists to make payments online and collect currency from local partners.
5. Monkey Theory – Currently in Malaysia
Used branded sporting events to encourage healthy and fun social activity.
Dominic Mellor, senior investment advisor for the Asian Development Bank is excited to see what the future holds for the 10 selected innovations and their impact in the Mekong region.
“MIST has received more than 350 applicants from all over the world, demonstrating the Greater Mekong Subregion’s dynamism as a destination and its attractiveness to innovators. We are excited to see how these technologies and business models will transform an already fast-growing industry.”
Geeks In Cambodia is certain that MIST will take travel & hospitality startups to greater heights. As the shortlisted 10 teams continue their journey, we would like to wish them the very best as they continue to shape the tourism & hospitality sector in the Mekong Region.