These Myanmar whizzkids were selected for Forbes Asia’s first 30 under 30 list

Eight young innovators from Myanmar have made it into Forbes Asia’s first-ever 30 under 30 Asia list.

Judges for the magazine selected talented people under 30 from across the continent to represent 10 fields including enterprise tech, arts and media.

The winners from Myanmar, announced in a media release this morning, are: Wai Phyo Kyaw, 27, founder of CarsDB; Htet Myet Oo, 25, co-founder of Rangoon Tea House; Myo Htet Aung, 28, and Ye Myat Min, 24, creators of Nex Labs, a tech venture that makes smart phone apps; Ye Wint Ko, 26, and Htet Will, 25, co-founders of Bindez; and Thet Mon Aye, 28, and Zarni Nwai Ooi, 25, who founded Star Tickets.

Htet Myet Oo, who founded RTH two years after graduating from City University in London, told Coconuts Yangon:

“It feels great, partly of course because it highlights how hard everyone has worked, but mainly because of what it is you’re representing. Everyone is looking at Burma right now and any time a Burmese person is under the spotlight, their actions represent the entire country.

“So it is amazing that so many Burmese names are in the list and it goes to show that if we can achieve this much with such little resources, the question of how much the country can achieve as a whole with more support is highlighted.”

Ye Myat Min, who dropped out of university to help start Nex Labs, echoed the sentiment.

“Feeling very humble and also the sense of urgency is stronger than ever now,” he said. “Wouldn’t have made it without support from colleagues, investors, loved ones and everyone else!

“Persistence always pays off in the end!”

Here’s a little bit more on the winning businesses:

  • Rangoon Tea House is an upmarket eatery in Yangon, opened by Htet Myet Oo in 2014, two years after he graduated from City University in London.
  • Nex Labs is a Myanmar-based design firm that develops mobile and web apps.
  • Bindez is a Burmese-language search engine created by university students Ye Wint Ko and Htet Will. They have also developed a news app.
  • Star Tickets allows Myanmar locals and visitors to buy bus tickets through convenience stores.
  • CarsDB is described as the country’s first site to “connect car buyers and sellers,” with listings of nearly 50,000 last year.

Congrats to all.

CORRECTION: The first version of this post said there were 7 winners. There are, in fact, 8. We regret the error.

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