Are you a tech entrepreneur in Myanmar?

Join Phandeeyar Accelerator and get funding, office space, hundreds of thousands of $ of free services and mentor support!

What is Phandeeyar Accelerator?

Tech startups need funding, a wide variety of skills and a strong network to grow. At Phandeeyar Accelerator, we provide you that - and much more! Throughout our intensive 6-month program your startup will be based at the Phandeeyar Accelerator offices in downtown Yangon. While you build and launch your product and get traction, we provide you with training, mentorship, introductions to investors and loads of free services that will help your startup reach the skies. We believe in the lean startup model.

  • June 08, 2017

  • July 31, 2017

  • August 16+17, 2017

  • September 4, 2017

  • March 2018

What you get

Seed funding

$25,000 in seed funding to get your startup off the ground.

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Mentors

Access to some of the most experienced business mentors from Myanmar and the region.

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Free Services

We have tied up with a wide range of partners to provide you free services - cloud hosting, advertising, startup tools and applications worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Office Space

Move your startup into a 6000 Sq. ft. office in downtown Yangon. We have all the office support you need, a dynamic environment and Yangon’s best view!

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Network

Phandeeyar is Myanmar’s innovation hub. Take advantage of our strong network of creatives, developers, makers and startup gurus.

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Training

We are bringing in the sharpest brains to give you the skills you need to succeed.

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Meet the Startups

2017/2018 Cohort has not started yet.
If you are interested in joining,

Who can Join

To be eligible for Phandeeyar Accelerator you must:

  • Be a tech startup based in Myanmar.

    We invite international teams to apply, too - but you must be based in Myanmar, and your startup must be targeting a Myanmar audience.

  • Be a single founder or a team.

    Individual founders are welcome to apply, but we believe strongly in the power of the team. With the multitude of skills required to build a startup, teams of several co-founders often have a better chance of success than single-founder teams. Looking for a business partner? Check out the Phandeeyar Facebook page, attend our events and meet co-founders.

  • Be working on your product already.

    You don’t need to have launched your product, but you must have a clear vision, a business model and you must be working on your MVP and on getting validation. During the 6-month accelerator program, you will be building out version 1 of your product, launch it to the market and generate traction.

  • Be ready to commit to your startup full-time.

    Building a startup is a full-time gig - at least. We don’t require you to sleep under your work desk, but we do ask that startup teams in Phandeeyar Accelerator don’t have any other work obligations when they enter the program.

You don’t need to have a registered business, as we will help you register and incorporate your company on favourable terms.

Have you already launched? That’s great, too. Phandeeyar Accelerator is open to founders that have already gained traction, as long as you haven’t raised VC funding yet.

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Upcoming Events

Meet Our Mentors

Access to some of the most experienced business mentors from Myanmar and the region.

Our Advisors

Strategic Partners

As Seen On

Meet the accelerator team

FAQ

Who is behind the Phandeeyar Accelerator?

Phandeeyar Accelerator is founded by Phandeeyar: Myanmar Innovation Lab. Established in 2014 to harness the potential of technology to accelerate change and development in Myanmar, Phandeeyar was born out of Code for Change Myanmar, an initiative which ran the country’s first-ever hackathons at the beginning of Myanmar’s connectivity revolution. In less than two years, the country’s mobile and internet penetration has soared from single digits to more than 75%. In 2015, Phandeeyar ran more than 100 workshops, seminars, meetups, hackathons to help foster Myanmar’s technology and innovation ecosystem. In 2016 Phandeeyar received a $2 million investment from Omidyar Network to expand its work. In addition to its Accelerator, Phandeeyar has launched an entrepreneurship program, a Makerspace, a grants program for civic and social entrepreneurs, and an open data portal.

What is the Phandeeyar Accelerator?

Phandeeyar Accelerator is a business accelerator for technology startups in Myanmar. An accelerator is a fixed-term cohort-based program that provides seed capital, office space, mentoring, training and access to follow-on investments for startup entrepreneurs and teams. Phandeeyar Accelerator is an opportunity for early-stage startups in Myanmar to get the necessary support to grow their businesses to scale. Startups accepted into the Phandeeyar Accelerator program will be provided with free office space at the Phandeeyar offices in downtown Yangon, and will be working from here over the course of 6 months, from September to March.

Each year, Phandeeyar Accelerator will accept 8-10 techstartups into the program. To be considered, startups must apply during the application period (application deadline: July 31). The best applications will be invited to pitch their startup to a panel of judges of startup mentors, who will select the final startup teams for the cohort starting on September 1. Startups in the Phandeeyar Accelerator will receive USD $25,000 in seed capital, mentorship from a roster of highly accomplished entrepreneurs, investors and professionals from Myanmar and the region, and a wide range of free services, worth more than $100,000. In return, Phandeeyar Accelerator takes a 12% equity stake in your startup, through a convertible debt note.

At the end of the cohort, Phandeeyar Accelerator will host a Demo Day, where investors from Myanmar and the region will evaluate all of the startups from the cohort. Only investors with a stated intention of investing in Myanmar startups will attend Demo Day, and so this is the time to close your next round of capital. After Demo Day, your startup needs to be fully self sustainable, and will be on track to be one of the future tech giants of Myanmar.

What's in it for me?

Many of the people behind Phandeeyar Accelerator are entrepreneurs themselves, and know exactly what is so hard about starting a new business. We spent a lot of time thinking about what we need to provide entrepreneurs to support them in building their startups. The result is a package of seed capital, mentoring from some of the most experienced entrepreneurs, investors and business professionals in Myanmar and the region, intensive training in key entrepreneurship skills, free office space and a range of free products and services worth more than $150,000.Read more about the benefits provided by Phandeeyar Accelerator under the "What You Get"

What's the difference between the Phandeeyar Accelerator and a Venture Capitalist or Angel Investor?

We're interested in businesses at their earliest stage, potentially just a great idea you are looking to get off the ground. Venture capital firms typically look for companies who are further along. Some angels will invest at early stages, but more often they are individuals without the kind of structure and support that Phandeeyar Accelerator offers. Although we have made our own angel investments, and have worked extensively with venture and other investment firms at later stages of development, we realize the unmet needs of entrepreneurs at their earliest stages. We strive to meet those needs, then guide you in the direction for further funding.

How do I apply?

Please click here and fill out the form. You can apply until July 31, 2017.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is July 31. The Phandeeyar Accelerator team advises you to take a look at the application form early so you'll have enough time to fill it in and submit an application of good quality. We are not reviewing applications until after the application deadline, so don't worry if you don't hear from us before then.

Does the application have a fee?

No. It is free to apply to, and participate in the Phandeeyar Accelerator program.

Who can apply for the program?

Although we are not restricted to any nationals or age group, we fund technology startups. Software or hardware, IoT, VR or FinTech - you name it, as long as you have a technology focus, and you are very early stage (i.e., have not raised a large investment round yet), we are interested. Your product can be targeting consumers, businesses and enterprises, government, however you must demonstrate product/market fit, ideally through product validation or research, and a path to profitability.

It's also ok if you haven't launched your product yet - our key focus is early stage, high quality teams. So if you have an idea for a great tech product, have tested it in the market and are currently working on your MVP or version 1 - Phandeeyar Accelerator may be the right place for you.

Do you fund competing companies?

We have no hard and fast rule about this. As a rule of thumb, we prefer that the accelerator cohort is as diverse as possible, and we will generally avoid having two direct competitors on the same cohort. However, it is very likely that there will be two or more startups in the same cohort working in the same industry - and that they may even be able to mutually benefit from this.

Are the applicants required to have prior startup experience?

First-time founders are welcome! We don't have any fixed requirements in terms of your background, experience or skill set. All we need to see is a high level of passion and commitment to your team and your product.

Can I apply if our company or founders are not from Myanmar? Can you help with visas?

Founders and teams of any nationality are welcome to apply, although you must be based in Myanmar by the time of submitting your application, and your startup must be targeting a Myanmar audience (but can of course also target audiences in other countries, in addition). We do recommend that you have at least one member of your team who is a Myanmar national, and who grew up here, as in our experience it is essential to have a strong local knowledge, and a high level of cultural awareness, in order to succeed.

Phandeeyar Accelerator cannot assist in arranging Myanmar visas for foreign nationals.

How do you select the companies that get accepted into your program ?

The selection panel is made up of the Phandeeyar Accelerator team, and an external panel of judges including our mentors, advisors, investors as well as industry experts. There are many factors that go into evaluating a startup, along with a healthy portion of intuition. However, here are three of the most important elements we look at:

  • Team : This is by far the most important factor. The co-founders need to be passionate, possess a high level of skill in their respective areas of work, be adaptable and understand the market. Finally, they must have grit and determination.
  • Product/market fit : Your idea might be great on paper, but does it meet the demands of the market? We are looking for ideas that have been validated on their target group, and we expect the teams to show the facts and figures to back it up.
  • Growth model : How are you going to take your product to the market? Get traction? Generate revenues? Your idea may be great, and your product may be awesome, but if you don’t have a solid plan for how you are going to attract your audience and get someone to pay for it, you have a challenge. When filling out the application form for Phandeeyar Accelerator, please be careful to fill out, in as much detail as possible, how you are planning to turn your product into a business.

What kind of companies is the Phandeeyar Accelerator interested in?

Phandeeyar Accelerator accepts only startups that are creating tech-based products. Do note that this is not limited to consumer apps or web-based products. We are happy to evaluate applications from hardware, IoT or enterprise product startups, to name a few examples. However, we will not accept startups in our accelerator that do not work in technology. We believe that by concentrating our focus in this field, we will be able to better support the startups in Phandeeyar Accelerator, and help them grow by attracting investors and partners that also have a technology background.

We typically fund a company that has a working prototype and a business model that has been validated or one that is in the growth stage.

What kind of ideas isn't the Phandeeyar Accelerator searching for?

We accept technology focused startups only. We recognize that there are tons of people doing cool things not related to tech, but in order to increase the chance of success among the startups we accept, we found that it was necessary to stay within this space.

Does my business need to be a B2C or B2B business?

Whether your targeted customers are in the B2C, B2B or B2G (Business-to-government) segment, you are welcome to apply to Phandeeyar Accelerator. All we require is that you have plan for how you can turn revenues and grow profitable.

I don't have a team. Can I apply as a single founder?

You are allowed to apply as a single founder, but you will stand a better chance of getting accepted if you apply as a team. In order to accept a single founder into the accelerator, the founder must possess a high skill level in a wide range of skills, along with an ability to independently execute on a business plan - something that, in our experience is rare.

If you are a single founder and looking for technical or business co-founders, consider attending some of the events at Phandeeyar Accelerator. We regularly host founder networking events and workshops where you can meet likeminded founders. Check our facebook page to stay updated on events.

I have a great idea but no technical knowledge. Will you help me find a co-founder?

You need to have a plan for how to implement your idea. If you or your co-founders don't have the skills required, you can consider outsourcing the development of your product. However, we usually prefer that there is at least one technical co-founder on the team. The good news is that Phandeeyar Accelerator regularly hosts founder networking events and workshops where you can meet like-minded founders. Check our facebook page to stay updated on events.

How many startups will be selected for each batch?

For the 2017 cohort we will accept 8-10 startups. Our focus is entirely on quality, and we will only accept the startups we believe in, and have a chance to succeed.

Does my age play a role in the selection?

No.

When will I hear back from Phandeeyar Accelerator? How long will the evaulation take?

Applications close on July 31. After that, we will spend 1-2 weeks evaluating the received applications. Shortlisted candidates will be called for an intensive pitch day on August 16 and/or August 17, shortly after which we will make the decision on which startups to accept into the accelerator. Startups will be expected to move into Phandeeyar Accelerator on September 1, 2017. Also see the section What is Phandeeyar Accelerator for more details on the timeline.

Do I need to send you my business plan?

No, we are not interested in reviewing long business plans. All we need for you to be considered is to fill out the application fom, with as many details as possible. The more data you have about your market, your research, product validation, etc., the better. We do ask that you link to your pitch slide deck from the application form. You are welcome to link to your business plan as well, but it is likely that we won't review it.

How will you protect my idea if I apply? Will you sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)?

We don't sign NDAs. Generally, as an early stage startup founder, having your idea stolen should be among the least of your worries. Many of the Phandeeyar Accelerator team members, mentors and investors are experienced entrepreneurs themselves, and see several new business ideas every month. Chances are, your idea has come up before.

Keep in mind the startup mantra that ideas are good, but execution is gold! Success, in our experience, is much more about how you implement and execute your idea, than the idea itself. In fact, when we evaluate startups for Phandeeyar Accelerator, the idea is just a small part of what we look at. We are equally - if not more - interested in the collective skillset and commitment level of the team, the execution plan, the viability of your business model, and the quality of your product.

My team has a great idea but at this point it's not more than that. Can we apply for the Phandeeyar Accelerator or is it too early?

Ideas are good, but execution is gold! It's ok if you haven't launched your product commercially yet. However, we do expect that you have taken your product beyond the idea stage. This includes market research, validation, building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and testing the MVP on real users. We may still consider your startup if you haven't built an MVP yet, but it is essential that you can show data regarding market research and product validation. If you would like to learn more about how to validate your idea, please attend some of the Phandeeyar Accelerator events in June and July 2017. Check our facebook page to stay updated on our events.

We already received some funding. Can we still apply?

As a general rule we don't accept startups that have already raised an investment round. If you have received funding from friends and family, that's totally fine though. If you have received any funding so far, please indicate this in the application form.

We are just interested in the funding but not in the program. Can we still apply?

Startups accepted for Phandeeyar Accelerator must commit their full time and effort to the program, and must relocate their startup to the Phandeeyar Accelerator offices in downtown Yangon. We require this level of commitment in order to be able to support each startup the best way possible, and for you as a startup to be located in an environment with other high growth startups, where all the help and benefits you need is right at your fingertips.

Our company has been running for more than a year. Can we still apply?

We don't have any threshold for how old your company can be. However, as a general rule we don't accept startups that have already raised an investment round. If you have received funding from friends and family, that's totally fine though.

Can I just come by your office to introduce my self and ask some questions?

At this stage, no. However, you may be interested in our Startup Clinic, which has office hours twice a week, and is staffed by senior members of the Phandeeyar Accelerator team. Here, you can get feedback on your startup idea, advice for your business plan, help with general startup problems, and advice for applying to Phandeeyar Accelerator. You must book a time in advance for Startup Clinic. Click here to book.

Can I submit the application in Myanmar language?

We really prefer that you submit your application in English. Although Phandeeyar Accelerator is for Myanmar startups, tech startups are global by default, and as a co-founder at Phandeeyar Accelerator you will be spending a good amount of your time speaking in English - for example when pitching to investors, liaising with mentors and interacting with partners who may not be from Myanmar. We understand this can be frustrating if your English skills are not the best - but don't let that stop you! Through our partnership with Edulink, we are providing free English classes to all founders at Phandeeyar Accelerator who would like to improve their English skills.

If you need help submitting the application in English, we suggest you ask a friend or a fellow team member.

What if my company does not succeed?

Failure is a part of startup life. Many startups end up not meeting their goals - maybe the idea was not a good fit for the market, maybe they failed to raise the necessary funding, or maybe the composition of the team was wrong. When accepting startups into Phandeeyar Accelerator, we look for startups that have strong product/market fit, a solid business model and a stellar team. However, success is no guarantee and even some of the most promising startups have failed. Phandeeyar Accelerator is created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, and we understand this. If your startup did not achieve the desired goals, or maybe had to close, we encourage you to embrace the valuable learnings you have gained during your work with the startup, and recognize the opportunity to start something new. In fact, having failed with a startup may even help your career.

Do you need help with your startup problems?

Have an idea, but struggling with how to take it to the next level?

Already launched your product, but need advice to scale it?

Startup Clinic

Startup Clinic can help with that – and much more. If you are an entrepreneur or a startup team and you need advice from some of Myanmar’s sharpest startup coaches, book an appointment with Startup Clinic at Phandeeyar! This is entirely free – but we have limited slots, so make sure to book well in advance.

Reserve a time here

Contact Us

Phandeeyar Accelerator

561 Merchant Rd (Corner of 35th St). 11th Floor,Kyauktada Tsp, Yangon