A Week of Innovation, Community, and Coordination towards a bright future.
Since it’s inauguration back in 2015, Thailand Startup has been showcasing, advising, and paving the way for many Thailand based startups, within a wide variety of specialties such as Finance, Food and Agriculture, Education, and Entertainment to achieve their ultimate goals with ease. This year, Startup Nation in Thailand once again accomplished an influential full week where entrepreneurs from all across Asia and around the world congregate together for fruitful discussion and potential collaboration soon. This stems from the aspiration for Thailand to become the startup capital of Asia and to make the marketing very attractive for many international startups to plant their base in this country. In a way, this event seemed to have overachieved on their goals and the future looks extremely bright for the country of Thailand.
A New Approach: Participatory Ecosystem Tours
This year marks the first time where Partners from all stakeholders – the National Innovation Agency (NIA), Siam Innovation District, True Digital Park, TCDC, dtac Accelerate, AIS D.C.,
KX, NapLab, GlowFish, and many others – are utilizing their strengths to host sub-events that align with their capacity. No Spoilers participated in a collaborative event at WeWork headquarters where Luke Firmowski and Christopher Reyes had the opportunity to attend a keynote speech from Yod Chinsupakul, Founder of Wongnai. His story on the early struggles as a tech startup and the perseverance he and his colleagues made to propel Wongnai to become one of the leading companies in the food industry in Thailand was indeed inspiring. After his speech, the group of over 20 individuals ventured on a tour through his office to get a glimpse of what startup culture is truly like, and his way of delegating certain tasks to a team of over 250 workers. This display sends inspiration for how No Spoilers can divide their resources for effective and efficient production in the future.
Another significant event throughout the week was a panel discussion involving key figures from the Food Tech industry. Piotr Grabowski, Co-founder Food Tech, Poland, Matthias Schmidt-Rex, CEO Smarthector Innovation GMBH, Germany, Semi Hakim, Co-founder Kok Projekt, Christina Sem-Jakobson, Vertical Lead Food & Retail Kickstart, Switzerland all shared a panel discussion on The Role of Accelerators in Feeding the World. The dialog between these experts was intriguing, particularly from Semi Hakim. His insight provided information about agriculture and food tech startups having different development cycles, especially agriculture tech, implementing new technologies and gathering data about results which they bring require more time because of the crop growth cycle and animal husbandry limitations. It will take years, rather than months to introduce, evaluate and develop innovative technologies but the results will be grand. Mrs. Sem-Jakobson also added to the dialogue; with knowledge towards agriculture and food accelerators that are missing a chain link between corporate companies and startups. She emphasized that corporates should ‘get to startups level’ in communication and cooperation to benefit from startup creativity.”
The information provided leads to a layout of what entrepreneurs can establish new innovations in the near future to address new opportunities to better improve the environmental impact that the food industry contributes to.
A Memorandum of Understanding
Meanwhile, back at the main event at True Digital Park, Startup Thailand hosted a signing ceremony in recognition of the benefits to be gained through a startup ecosystem support that promotes new technologies and investing in startups, collecting data and information about the ecosystem and contributes to the economic development, Startup Poland and the National Innovation Agency in Thailand enter into this agreement. The agreement is intended to stimulate and facilitate the scope of the activities of both organizations. Startup Poland from Poland, duly represented by Julia Krysztofiak – Szopa, CEO and National Innovation Agency from Thailand, duly represented by Pun-Arj Chairatana – Executive Director. Both parties are extremely eager to move forward in a more collaborative way to promote and help small tech startups achieve success in different markets.
More highlights from the event were statistics and success stories from last years event:
49% of startups in Thailand were in the seed stage, 26% were in series A stage, 9% were in series B, and 6% were bought or taken over. Encouraging any tech entrepreneurs who have a great idea that there is an opportunity for growth in this industry and a chance for your passionate idea to become successful.
In 2018, the total market value of e-commerce in Thailand was 3.15 trillion baht (over 101 billion USD) and it is expected to increase by close to 10% in 2019. A true accomplish for the overall economy and a true progression from the previous years of stagnant growth.
The highest investment in startup business was in the food and restaurant sector at 14%. E-commerce came in at 11% and Fin-Tech, Prop-Tech, and Digital Content came in at 9%. This information provides No Spoilers a golden opportunity to enter into the Thai market with a solution to help the restaurant industry cut down on their waste and increase the profits for restaurant owners new and old who see food spoilage as a major problem in their establishment.
To expand on this last point, No Spoilers had the opportunity to speak with a few restaurant entrepreneurs including a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Association, Yoo Fishball. Ms. Yoo had an extremely high interest in our services due to the high wastage that her restaurants produce monthly. With a collaboration between No Spoilers and her chain of restaurants, the success could lay the groundwork for collaborations with other restaurant chains throughout Bangkok. But the bigger picture from this moment gives us insight that many more restaurant entrepreneurs are looking towards simpler and more convenient solutions to help them save money and labor cost.
The information about an increase in investment in the restaurant sector also showcases that Thailand is no small player in the tech world. With an increasing amount of investor eager to increase their portfolio in the Asian market companies like No Spoilers collaborating with an increasing number of restaurants and bars in the area will open the door for an even greater opportunity to plant our seeds in other markets like Vietnam, Japan, and the Philippines.
Finally, No Spoilers had the chance to land their first client right before Christopher and Luke packed their bags to head back to Warsaw. Smalls Jazz Club, located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand and also been award Asia’s 50 best cocktails bars was introduced to our inventory solutions for their bar that spans three levels. David Jacobson, owner and partner of Smalls along with Danny Yeung, Head Bartender were enamored with our software solution and were more than eager to get started immediately. A case study from our collaboration will be displayed soon.
Thailand Startup 2019 seems more of a launch towards more fruitful relationships and exciting opportunities in the not too distant future. With the relationships that Christopher and Luke have established, there is no limit we can not reach with the potential that our services can bring the restaurant industry and to the world.