THE SEED GLOBAL RETURNS TO MEKONG / SOUTHEAST ASIA TO CONTINUE STARTUP COLLABORATION IN MYANMAR, CAMBODIA AND LAOS
VA Angels international arm partnering with JE Austin,US State Department and Micro Empire
(18 July 2017: Yangon, Myanmar) The Seed Global, the international face of VA Angels, has returned to Southeast Asia to continue efforts to spur growth of a healthy angel investment infrastructure and lay a foundation for a successful startup culture in the region.
“We have had great success over the past decade in helping to build startup and entrepreneur ecosystems both at home in Canada and around the world,” said R. Stewart Thompson, CEO and founder of VA Angels and 2014 Startup Canada Investor of the Year. “Our team at The Seed Global has earned a strong reputation in Mekong and Southeast Asia and we are proud to return to the region to further this important work.”
In partnership with Virgina-based JE Austin Associates - a strategy and management consultancy focused on developing and emerging economies, and The US State Department’s Tigers@Mekong program - an entrepreneurial ecosystem accelerator in the region, The Seed Global is currently in the middle of a ten-day trip to Yangon (Myanmar), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Vientiane (Laos) leading angel investor training, offering local entrepreneurs its renowned Base Camp program and meeting with leading local angels to seek out potential co-investment opportunities.
“One of the most satisfying parts of this return tour is the chance to continue to work with the Micro Empires accelerator and its second graduating cohort,” said Luke Krueger, President and co-founder of The Seed Global. “It’s exciting for us to have seen progress in the past year to the point where we are moving several local companies to the due diligence stage and we anticipate making our first formal investments in the region in the very near future.”
Micro Empire is an accelerator that has been supporting micro businesses development in Myanmar since 2012 with a mandate of leveraging cultural value into economic freedom for local entrepreneurs.
The former Canadian Ambassador to Myanmar, Ron Hoffmann, is taking notice of the efforts of VA Angels in the region.
"I am very impressed by the capacity building that Calgary-based VA Angels is undertaking in Myanmar's innovation space. Budding Myanmar entrepreneurs have a vital role to play in contributing to the country's economic and social development, and to create much needed jobs,” said Mr. Hoffmann. “I am delighted to see Canadian investors helping start-ups in this Southeast Asian nation that has so much promise. Both Canada and Myanmar will benefit by these exciting and forward looking partnerships."
Workshop participant Tuan Anh Phan, a sophisticated investor and founder of the Ho Chi Minh-based Angels 4 Us network said, “This is by far the best Mekong Business Initiative workshop regarding angel investment that I’ve had the chance to attend. The VA Angels group from Canada provide practical knowledge and know how regarding building and managing angel investment groups within the context of Mekong Area.”
The Seed Global is part of the Valhalla Private Capiital (VA Angels) umbrella organization with a robust Canadian Angel investment network at its core. The network boasts more than 130 members in five chapters (Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Kelowna and Medicine Hat) and has invested over $44 million in 150+ deals since 2003. A core VA Angels offering, BaseCamp, is an exclusive investment seminar for startups where Mr. Thompson and other experienced investors provide insight from an investor’s perspective about how to successfully raise the right type of capital at the right valuation.