of I2N Challenge Myanmar

In Myanmar, access to affordable, safe and nutritious food has been a big challenge and that has been leading to imbalanced or inadequate consumption of different food groups. To address this issue, Innovative Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the food sector play an important role to be able to deliver adequate and diverse, safe, nutritious food to the consumers, especially to the low and middle income communities as there has been an example of how innovative SMEs can positively impact nutrition. In order to do so, the SMEs need to have access to critical services such as business development, market research and finance to be able to effectively design and scale the solutions to these problems. At the moment, the SMEs are struggling to access these support services as the overall business environment is not conducive to scale the solutions in addressing these issues.


SUN Business Network Myanmar which is a movement to support national leadership and collective action to scale up nutrition. Impact Hub Yangon which is a business incubator, creating socio-economic development through social impact and entrepreneurship in Myanmar. These two organizations collaborated together to bring up a program called “The Innovate to Nourish (I2N) Myanmar Challenge” for making the support services work for SMEs to sustainably address the issues limiting the availability of safe, diverse and nutritious food.

What is I2N Myanmar Challenge?

The Innovate to Nourish (I2N) Myanmar is a MSMEs Challenge Activity from SBN Myanmar that aims to harness the power of innovations by working with SMEs and startups in the food systems to address the systemic issues in the food systems that impact nutrition. The activity aims to provide technical support to SMEs with respect to business and market development and providing them with the platform to develop linkages with investors, academia and the food industry to scale their solutions.


The challenge aims to distill the current discourse of  food innovation to challenge and support SMEs in Myanmar to identify and scale up disruptive, appropriate and commercially viable innovations that can improve the availability of affordable nutritious foods, especially to vulnerable populations.


I2N Challenge will crowd in the broader investment community to channel investment towards the scaling up of transformative innovations in food systems that can spark a fundamental shift in the way food is grown and supplied to consumers by SMEs. I2N Challenge  also aims to crowd in technical assistance partners that can support SMEs to develop and integrate new innovations into existing business models and effectively manage the associated risks and challenges in the adoption of food system innovations.

Innovate to Nourish

Myanmar Challenge

What innovation areas are we looking for?

Some of the examples of these solutions are traceability solutions, food safety tool and technologies, consumer engagement and empowerment solutions etc.

Food Safety

Solutions such as digital platforms, farm to home business models etc.



Product solutions such as fortified food, functional food, healthy food ingredients, bio-fortified seeds etc.




Any solution which can address the problem of high post-harvest losses in nutrient dense value chains such as fruits, vegetables, poultry, meat etc.


Loss Reduction

Solutions to ensure access of workers in factories and offices to access healthy food.


Nutrition & Wellness

Solutions to educate consumers on importance of healthy food and nutrition.

Consumer Awareness & Empowerment


1st Week

Mid September - November


Mid December

December Onwards

August, 2021

Announcement of

Selected SMEs

Capacity Enhancement


Product development

(Training & Mentoring)

Investment Readiness


Pitch Training

Pitch Day


Enterprise Showcase

Matchmaking with

Investors, Partners

and Donors

Call for application


Recruitment of SMEs

Program Timeline



The company is a for profit company. 



The company is a financially viable business (i.e. the business model counts on sales revenues to cover all of the company’s expenses).



The company is an MSME in the post-revenue stage that has generated revenues and turnover of less than USD 500,000.



The company is presenting an innovative solution that aims to develop or adopt technological solutions that address one of the competition challenges.



The company produces and/or distributes nutritious products and/or services for local markets and for human consumption as part of its main business model in the following food value chains: fruits, vegetables & pulses; quality proteins (eggs, dairy, poultry, fish); alternative proteins (example insects); fortified staples and fortified blended foods; nuts and seeds; lean red meat; refined cereals and grains.

Who are we looking for?


Capacity enhancement trainings which tailored to your business needs

Technical Assistance

Technical assistance for product improvement


Mentoring by experts from food technology, business, retail and finance sectors

Investment Readiness

Investment readiness preparation to accelerate your financing and technical needs

Business Showcase

Showcasing your business pitch to potential investors, partners and donors

What can you

Expect from this?

1st Runner-up

USD 1,500

2nd Runner-up

USD 1,000

Winning Prize

USD 2,500

Program Benefits

The I2N Challenge Myanmar will select top 10 MSMEs and Startups and will provide them with targeted technical assistance and capacity enhancement through training, mentorship and provide them the opportunity to pitch their innovative business solutions to a group of investors, support providers and a panel of judges. 


The I2N challenge will culminate in a final Pitch Competition in which the selected SMEs will pitch to investors and a panel of judges to raise investments and win prizes. The Competition Winner and runner up will be awarded with cash prizes award shields. 

In 2010, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement was launched to support national leadership and collective action to scale up nutrition. The SUN Business Network (SBN) is one of the four global networks that support SUN countries (along with UN, Civil Society and Donor Networks). It is convened by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and further supported by an Advisory Group comprised of senior business leaders.


The SBN aims to reduce malnutrition in all its forms through mobilising business to invest and innovate in responsible and sustainable actions and operations. To do this SBN provides a neutral platform to broker partnerships and collaboration between business and all actors on nutrition at national, regional and global level to support SUN Country plans. 

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Contact us

SBN National Coordinator

Dr. Zarni Htet

+95(9)2057961, +95(9)961000481

I2N Challenge Coordinators

Bhone Myat Kyaw

+95(9) 9734 74141

Thazin Htut

+95(9) 9632 87912

Copyright © 2021, Impact Hub Yangon. All rights reserved.

About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Innovate to Nourish (I2N) Myanmar Challenge 2021?

The I2N Myanmar Challenge 2021 is ‌a challenge activity from SBN Myanmar that aims at identifying “Innovative Solutions” in the food systems that target and contribute to increased demand, availability, and affordability of safe, nutritious food, and support them to develop and scale. Moreover, it aims to help them to develop linkages with investors, academia, and the food industry at large to secure investments and develop partnerships.

Why do you initiate Innovate to Nourish (I2N) Myanmar Challenge 2021?

An important pathway to nutritional impact lies in the transformation of the food systems that deliver the food to the consumers. Transforming the food systems from promoting unhealthy and less nutritious food to safe, healthy, and nutritious food is critical to address the issue of malnutrition in Myanmar.

Where can I apply Innovate to Nourish (I2N) Myanmar Challenge 2021?

Apply in the link: by filling necessary information!

Can I submit the application form in Burmese?

You can submit the application form both in Burmese and in English.

Can I get support in filling the application form?

You can get one-on-one application support sessions (approximately 20 mins) with Impact Hub Yangon.

Does it need to include customer contract and invoice in the application form?

Customer contracts and invoices are not required to be included in the application form if they are confidential with customers and clients. Otherwise, they can be provided to make validation.

Is it eligible to apply for an idea stage business?

It is eligible for idea stage business. However, it is better if the company has the resources to implement that innovative idea profitably as well as the capacity of the company to develop or adapt profitably the proposed innovation solution.

How will the program be conducted? in Burmese or in English?

The entire program will be conducted in Burmese. However, if foreign mentors provide mentoring sessions, there will be assistance with translation.

Business in which stage are better suitable to apply for I2N Myanmar Challenge 2021?

According to the program's criteria and limitations, it is better suitable for businesses who already have innovative solutions or those that are in the ideation stage and can come up with new ideas within two to three months. As one of the program's key components, I2N Challenge will connect SMEs or startups with potential investors and partners and investors are also seeking businesses with a minimum viable product.

Is it possible for a simple family-owned business to apply for the I2N Myanmar Challenge?

It is possible for the simple family-owned business to apply for the I2N Myanmar Challenge with the existing products, and can be specified in the application form as it is currently functioning.

If the business doesn’t have company registration, is it eligible to apply for the I2N Myanmar Challenge?

Yes, it is also possible to apply if the business doesn’t have company registration.

How do I get help for filling up forms for this application?

You can contact our team via phone: +95 (9) 9734 74141, +95(9) 9632 87912 (or) Email: and get one-on-one application support sessions (approximately 20 mins) with Impact Hub Yangon.

If the business is a startup and its product is almost ready to launch, is it eligible to apply for I2N Myanmar Challenge?

According to the program timeline, it will be better if the product is launched and reached to customers in November 2021 because there will be a pitching session in December 2021 and the investors prefer if the business already has customers and revenues.

If the product is partly made of ingredients imported from foreign markets, is it eligible to participate in I2N Myanmar Challenge?

It is eligible to participate in I2N Myanmar Challenge and please mention which countries are imported in the application form.

If the product price is too high, is it eligible to apply for the I2N Myanmar Challenge?

As the program aims for the low and middle income population, it is not acceptable for the product that targets high end consumers.

How will the program carry on if the business gets chosen?

The chosen business will get capacity building training and will also get mentoring sessions by experts and mentors related to the retails sector and food within two months. In December 2021, there will be a final pitching session and the chosen ten businesses will get the chance to pitch their business in front of potential investors, partners and donors.

The requirements mention that the sweet products are not acceptable to the challenge, how much percentage of sugar is allowed for the product to apply for I2N Myanmar Challenge?

There is usually net value in good labelled products and it is okay if the product’s net value is not over the defined net value.

  • Recognition in marketing & promotional materials 

  • Organization profile in paid-social media campaign

  • Company branded award (Cash and other prizes)

  • Logo placement (main banner, venue, website, social media)

  • Speech slot on the final Pitch Competition Day

  • Formal appreciation and recognition from the  organizers/certificates

  • Logo on the main banner of the event 

  • Booth space at the event

  • Access to media interview session

  • Logo Placement at Facebook Live Streaming (different package has different frequency and interval)






Technical Support Partners

We are welcoming organizations or companies which can provide technical support to accelerate the development of innovative solutions by I2N Myanmar Challenge 2021 finalists as official technical partners. The areas of technical support we are looking for are

  • Food safety

  • Mobile and Digital Technologies

  • Food Product Development

  • Certification and Process Improvement

  • Logistic and storage

Market Linkage Partners

We are welcoming retailers, wholesalers and online platform to provide access to market for the innovative products and services offered by the finalists of I2N Myanmar Challenge 2021

  • Product displays at store locations

  • Dedicated I2N branded shelf at store locations

  • Market Insights

  • E-commerce Product Highlights

Partnership Benefits

Official partners of I2N Myanmar Challenge will enjoy benefits such as

  • Networking and partnership with key stakeholders, SMEs and entrepreneurs on the final Pitch Competition Day.

  • Market insights and access to investment opportunities.

  • Formal recognition from I2N Myanmar Challenge hosts and partners  including SUN Movement  and World Food Progamme.

  • Brand visibility on social medias, in-event displays and live-streaming.

  • Chance to work with innovative enterprises in agro-food system.


  • Cash Prizes to Challenge Winner, 1st Runner Up and 2nd Runner Up.

  • Awards and Shields for the winners and finalists

  • Provide Technical Assistance (In cash or in- kind) to support I2N Myanmar Challenge 2021 Top 10 Finalists in business improvement areas.

  • Support specific events/activity during the challenge (We’re open for discussion)


  • Networking and partnership with key stakeholders, SMEs and entrepreneurs on the final Pitch Competition Day.

  • Formal recognition from I2N Myanmar Challenge hosts and partners  including SUN Movement  and World Food Program.

  • Company branded Awards and Prizes, handed over by the CEO with Chief/Key guest of the event.

  • Market insights and access to investment opportunities. 

  • Brand visibility on social medias, in-event displays and live-streaming.


Partners of the I2N Myanmar Challenge 2021 are ideally organizations with a shared interest in entrepreneurship and innovations strengthening across the food systems with a nutrition lens. They can offer their support and resources to the  finalists, winner or runners-ups to scale their innovative solutions, ultimately building the case for greater investment in SMEs and innovations to scale up nutrition in Myanmar.




 I2N Challenge Myanmar is a first ever innovation challenge in Myanmar for SMEs and startups in the food system. The challenge connect the key stakeholders across the food system including private sector, investors, retailers, wholesalers and technical support providers to support startup and SMEs scale up their innovation solutions to improve the availability of affordable nutritious foods, especially to vulnerable populations.


The final Pitch Competition day will be held in December together with representation from international organizations, private sector including business and network association, investors, medias and other key players from food systems.


Thus, it offers a great opportunity for visibility, networking with a wide array of food system stakeholders and access to investment opportunities in growth-oriented innovative SMEs.


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event will be conducted  with limited seating  for special guests only. The whole event will be live-streamed through Facebook including from paid media channels.