U.S.-Funded Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Hosts ASEAN Entrepreneurs at Inle Lake

The five-day event builds the ASEAN startup ecosystem by accelerating 39 impact enterprises representing all 10 ASEAN member states.

INLE LAKE, MYANMAR – Thirty-nine entrepreneurs between ages 20-30 representing Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam are converging for a five-day accelerator event to build Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem together with U.S. and ASEAN experts during the 2018 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Impact XL at Inle Lake from May 13-18, 2018.  These entrepreneurs share a passion for building enterprises that will make a positive social impact on their communities.  They will hone their skills with peers and mentors and deepen their networks during the five-day event.

“The United States is proud to support young leaders from across Southeast Asia.  You are paving the way for the next generation of entrepreneurs in this region,” U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel said in his remarks to the participants at Inle Lake on May 14.  The U.S. Embassy is hosting the first YSEALI regional workshop to take place at Inle Lake, supported by the U.S. Department of State and organized by the East-West Center.

ASEAN emerging entrepreneurs at YSEALI Impact XL will share best practices, develop their skills, and showcase their ideas at a Peer Investment Gallery. They will work with mentors on business models, customer and values discovery, and investor engagement.  They will also share experiences about the journey from doing community service to building an impact enterprise.  After participating entrepreneurs return home, they will train their own teams and improve networks of startups in their own countries.

Many impact enterprises are using business savvy to tackle important challenges in ASEAN today.  They incorporate having a positive social and environmental impact in their business models in creative ways.  For example, RecyGlo provides recyclables pick-up service for organizations in Yangon by scheduling and arranging pick up and delivering the recyclables to factories and recycling plants.  Crafugees equips refugees to Malaysia with craft-making and product development skills and provide avenues to sell and market their crafts.  Design for Dream is a crowd-helping platform to advocate for and realize the dreams of people with disabilities in Indonesia through product campaigns and donations.

Six mentors from the United States, Myanmar, and Singapore will work with the participating entrepreneurs.  Blue Startups LLC from Hawaii, U.S.A. is a key partner and a top 100 U.S. accelerator that helps technology companies compete globally.  Phandeeyar, Rockstart, and Social Enterprise Development Association Myanmar all foster the startup ecosystem in Myanmar.  Additional experts from Touch MBA and the East-West Center in Hawaii, U.S.A will also join.

The five-day YSEALI Impact XL event will build the ASEAN startup ecosystem by investing in the next generation of impact entrepreneurs and investors with ties to the U.S. and global startup network.