TechInPacific – In order to support innovation in the Pacific region, Seedstars in partnership with the GSMA and Australian Government held a startup competition in Papua New Guinea. The event started on July 16 in Port Moresby that included a two-day bootcamp joined by local startups which then followed by a pitching competition.
Being a moderator at the event was Kaung Sitt from the GSMA’s Ecosystem Accelerator team. He moderated a fireside chat with Rosie Keller from Seedstars World and Gary Seddon from Kumul Consolidated Holdings. The discussion tried to look for the insights from emerging tech ecosystems that can be applied for the growth and prosper of Papua New Guinea. Seedstars’ Rosie explained that the pitching competition helps the participants to collaborate, learn, and share with each other which ultimately help them to grow together through their shared experiences.
Prior to the two-day bootcamp, the GSMA held an ideation day at the University of Papua New Guinea aims at their students, faculty, Australian Award Alumni, and the Business Coalition for Women. The ideas shared are local-centered, thus it is uniquely Papua New Guinea, including a drone transport solution for remote regions.
Finally, at the third day of the event after the bootcamp, was pitching day. There were seven local startups demonstrated their solutions on stage, including the third winner Agri-tech Organics (PNG) Limited, a blockchain-based financial services solution; the second winner Kumul Garden, an all-female startup that provides working housewives fresh produce from the market and farmers; and the first winner Nuinet, a start-up that has created a Wi-Fi box which supplies cached educational content for its subscribers.
By the end of 2019, a new sub-sea internet cable is expected to arrive and open new opportunities for the startups to expand their services. This will also open further opportunities for digital and financial inclusion for Papua New Guineans. Furthermore, it can also open new possibilities for the tech ecosystem in the country and help PNG to move forwards a digital economy.
All the series activities of Seedstars Port Moresby are supported by the Australian Government, including TechLab PNG, and funding of Pacific Ads Group’s PNGHomeTask.com through the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator program. The winner of the pitching competition, Nuinet, with its educational solution will represent PNG to participate in the Seedstars Regional Summit in Cambodia and the Seedstars Global Summit in Switzerland.