We’ve been thinking about how to promote mobile innovation for some time. Many governments are also grappling with this issue. What Ooredoo is doing in Myanmar is worth the attention of all in this space. They are picking innovators from large competitions and giving them expert help. What is truly unusual is that they will not take the equity stake they are entitled to take, unless the new company grows to USD 1 million.
“We have a fairly well tried and tested program for what should happen to accelerate these companies. We’re just rolling that out as a very solid education and rhythm to the teams working with the start-ups every week,” explains Morle.
“And just as importantly, we have mentors and investor relationships which should give them all an advantage.”
He finds one of the most interesting developments is watching the foreign interests move into Yangon and other parts of Myanmar before his very eyes.
The expectations for the chosen few businesses on the IdeaBox program are high.
Oooredo won’t be investing in any slow movers.“They have what I think is a pretty radical approach to investment,” Morle says.
“They only want a piece of the action if they can get the company to be worth US$1 million. If they don’t get there, they won’t be taking any equity at all.”