The Parkroyal Hotel conference room was abuzz with discussion on the weekend about how Myanmar tech company developers could help create conditions for a “Silicon Valley” in their country.
Ravi Chhabra, a director of the Founder Institute who spoke at the event, “Bringing Silicon Valley to Yangon,” run by the institute on October 4, said any person with the aspiration to run a start-up technology company should join the Founder Institute programme in Myanmar, aimed at fast-tracking tech start-ups.
Chhabra, the president and CEO of the Yangon-based Geo Mandalar Investment and Technology Co, Ltd discussed how the institute, said to be the world's largest entrepreneur training and startup launch programme, seeks to “globalize Silicon Valley” and help aspiring founders across the world build enduring technology companies.
Mr Chhabra told Mizzima on the sidelines of the event, “As a requirement, all trainees must establish companies, and then start their companies before finishing the programme.”
The Founder Institute is keeping the barrier to entry to the training programme and start-up incubator low, according to Chhabra, a Myanmar national. The institute will charge no admission fee, US$275 for the three-month course fee, and a small fee if the incubating process raises more than US$50,000 in investment for the start-up.
The Yangon-based Zwenexsys International Limited technology company’s managing director Ko Thar Htet, who is also a director of the Yangon branch of the Founder Institute told Mizzima October 7 that trainees are required to take a quiz test arranged by the institute’s headquarters as part of the admission process for the programme.
Ko Thar Htet clarified that the technology company should aim to be in the business of providing services via different technology platforms, but not produce software or web design.
Ko Thar Htet said applicants should be over 30, though the Yangon office of the institute is suggesting savvy applicants over the age of 20, adding the institute aims to select 25 trainees for the first intake of the programme.
The Founder Institute claims over 25,000 people worldwide have applied to join their tech company incubation process and have helped launch 1,249 companies in five years, according to their website.