Thailand sets to Become a Global Destination for Startups

The startup trend in Thailand continues to prosper while experiencing some growing pains. The National Innovation Agency (NIA) remains optimistic that Thailand will become one of the world’s great financial resources for startups with working capital exceeding 100 billion baht this year.

For the past three years the government has embarked on a plan to boost the startup industry, while developing a strong, nurturing ecosystem of support through legislation, increased tax incentives and other benefits.

Today Bangkok is one of the top investment destinations in Asia with more than 2,000 startups already plying their craft, and with more than 30 projects led by university students that are ready to register and be set up as companies.

Thailand has an enormous amount of investment capital already flowing into the country, including 35 billion baht from Corporate Venture Capital (CVC), 60 billion baht from the government and startups’ financial resources, and 20 billion baht from venture capitalists both in Thailand and abroad.

“This year, Thailand’s startup sector should focus on being a target destination of the global startup network as to export the startup businesses overseas. We do not focus only on the domestic market,” said Dr Pun-Arj Chairatana, director of the NIA.

At present, the NIA has partners in over 25 countries including Sweden, Germany, Japan and many others. This year, the agency intends to lift the Thai startup ecosystem to meet and exceed international standards.

Recently, the NIA joined hands with Germany Accelerator South East Asia (GASEA) and enpact, an organisation under Startup AsiaBerlin (SUAB) of Germany. The partnership’s objective is to develop the ecosystem and promote Thailand to the global market. Some of the projects include developing a market data platform for Asia and Europe, and to create an analytical tool for an urban ecosystem to help facilitate a company’s setup process and business operations.

Under the partnership, Thailand will focus on various sectors, including agriculture, finance and medical, while its German counterpart will focus on developing the urban technology and fintech sectors.

The NIA also has developed a database on the website to be a communication channel for Thai startups. The NIA will provide Big Data services by helping to assess and make an in-depth analysis to help Thai startups keep abreast of a changing environment.  The NIA also will provide financial resources to support innovation and an accelerated ecosystem, such as introducing the “Smart Visa”, by offering tax incentives to encourage tech talents to make their investment in Thailand.

Startup-NIA Infographic