Thailand pushes nascent startup scene

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Chong Nonsi bridgeAmid sluggish economic growth, Thailand is now trying to create the foundations for a flourishing startup scene, initiatives from which the country could certainly benefit in the long-run.

One such initiative was the Startup Thailand 2016 event held in Bangkok from April 28 to May 1 which saw 36,000 attendees and participants from startup businesses world, as well as a visit by the prime minister. Startups in five categories, namely lifestyle, medical, education, finance and agriculture, presented themselves, while applications and business ideas span over themes such as event managing applications, golf court reservations systems, health and elder care, ride sharing, job searching and financial assistance applications.

The event has been marked a “major success” by the the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The ministry said will be extending similar activities across the country, and other ministries should further develop and support startup projects and cooperate with educational institutes to help encourage young business founders and entrepreneurs to utilise the opportunities startup businesses bring with them.

In end-April, the Thai government also said that it will set up a $570-million venture fund to support the build-up of a startup ecosystem. The fund will finance some 2,500 existing startups in Thailand, according to Information and Communication Technology minister Uttama Savanayana. He said the aim was to raise the number of startups in the country to 10,000 in two years.

Half of the amount will be allotted for tech startups, and the other half will go to “general” companies that are just being set up.

The government money is expected to give startups a boost since there are still few international venture capital firms moving to Thailand. The country has not really figured prominently on the radar of investors so far, who, when they come to the region, rather go to more advanced neighbours Singapore or Malaysia, or population-rich Indonesia.

As a result, Thailand’s startup scene is still very nascent with limited activities. Venture capital firms include Ardent Capital, InVent, Sparx, CyberAgent, Inspire, and, as of recently, now 500 Startups which has set up a dedicated fund called 500 Tuktuks. A small number of business incubators and accelerator exists, mainly are sponsored by mobile phone firms, and there a a few co-working spaces in the capital.

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Amid sluggish economic growth, Thailand is now trying to create the foundations for a flourishing startup scene, initiatives from which the country could certainly benefit in the long-run. One such initiative was the Startup Thailand 2016 event held in Bangkok from April 28 to May 1 which saw 36,000 attendees and participants from startup businesses world, as well as a visit by the prime minister. Startups in five categories, namely lifestyle, medical, education, finance and agriculture, presented themselves, while applications and business ideas span over themes such as event managing applications, golf court reservations systems, health and elder care, ride...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Chong Nonsi bridgeAmid sluggish economic growth, Thailand is now trying to create the foundations for a flourishing startup scene, initiatives from which the country could certainly benefit in the long-run.

One such initiative was the Startup Thailand 2016 event held in Bangkok from April 28 to May 1 which saw 36,000 attendees and participants from startup businesses world, as well as a visit by the prime minister. Startups in five categories, namely lifestyle, medical, education, finance and agriculture, presented themselves, while applications and business ideas span over themes such as event managing applications, golf court reservations systems, health and elder care, ride sharing, job searching and financial assistance applications.

The event has been marked a “major success” by the the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The ministry said will be extending similar activities across the country, and other ministries should further develop and support startup projects and cooperate with educational institutes to help encourage young business founders and entrepreneurs to utilise the opportunities startup businesses bring with them.

In end-April, the Thai government also said that it will set up a $570-million venture fund to support the build-up of a startup ecosystem. The fund will finance some 2,500 existing startups in Thailand, according to Information and Communication Technology minister Uttama Savanayana. He said the aim was to raise the number of startups in the country to 10,000 in two years.

Half of the amount will be allotted for tech startups, and the other half will go to “general” companies that are just being set up.

The government money is expected to give startups a boost since there are still few international venture capital firms moving to Thailand. The country has not really figured prominently on the radar of investors so far, who, when they come to the region, rather go to more advanced neighbours Singapore or Malaysia, or population-rich Indonesia.

As a result, Thailand’s startup scene is still very nascent with limited activities. Venture capital firms include Ardent Capital, InVent, Sparx, CyberAgent, Inspire, and, as of recently, now 500 Startups which has set up a dedicated fund called 500 Tuktuks. A small number of business incubators and accelerator exists, mainly are sponsored by mobile phone firms, and there a a few co-working spaces in the capital.

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