Science Ministry launches Startup Thailand 2018 to reach the global platform

Over 400 startups are ready to show their potential to investors from around the globe at Startup Thailand 2018: “Endless Opportunities”, which is expected to be a springboard for the startups.

It is the third successive year for the event, which is hosted by the National Innovation Agency (NIA), under supervised by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Dr Suwit Maesincee, the Minister of Science and Technology, said the concept of this year’s event reflected the Ministry’s goals to push Thai startups to be ready to grow in overseas.

Dr Suwit explained that the event has been organized to help develop the ecosystems to strengthen Thai startups. They have invited investors from both inside the country and many other countries around the world to explore Thailand’s potential. The event has brought together over 400 Thai startups with hot ideas and innovation to show off their achievements to venture capital, corporate venture capital (CVC) and angel investors.

Investors have an important role in fostering and nurturing Thai startups, Dr Suwit noted as the technology-based startups are importantly needed as a base to develop the economy to the era of Thailand 4.0 sustainably.

The Science Ministry has given the event top priority as one of the critical elements in helping its “Wit Sang Chart” project (Science to Build the Nation) to accomplish. This jigsaw stresses the development of science and technology, and new inventions to develop the economy from the grassroots said Dr Suwit.

“Thai startups are crucial to developing the innovations to push the Wit Sang Chart project. Our target is to adopt science in upgrading our farm sector to be “Smart Farmers”, improving OTOP producers to up to the market standard and the high efficient logistic systems. In achieving the mission, Thai startups have to move towards ‘Deep Tech’ creating cutting edge technology by Thais,” said Dr Suwit.

NIA Executive Director Pun-Arj Chairatana expects a minimum of 60,000 visitors at the event, which is filled with showcases on using technology and applications in every field, whether Fintech, agriculture, food or medicine.

“At this event, we have received cooperation from 25 countries, and we are showcasing over 400 startups. We are also looking for the Startup of the Year 2018, a contest with prizes of over 1 million baht,” said Dr Pun-Arj.

There are also various stages including Pitching and Speed Dating, as well as mentors are available for individual consultation.

A forum will enable over 500 experts to share their expertise. There is a forum for entrepreneurs who have achieved success in over 20 countries, a Hackathon and the Startup Thailand League for universities and vocational colleges.

A decade of changes through innovation and digital technology will create new seeds which will grow. The younger generation may compare this to the hope and future goal of enabling the country’s survival as a hub for startup businesses in Asia.