I spoke with Pariwat Wongsamran, the Director of StartUp Thailand, at an event at KX Knowledge Exchange in conjunction with WhatNot Innovation Studio. Mr. Pariwat has deep technology knowledge and his working experiences at Infosys and Nok Air were great preparation for his role at Thailand’s National Innovation Agency (NIA).
According its website, “Startup Thailand operates under the Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with related organizations, helping startups to utilize local resources for their product and service development, and local employment and revenue distribution, leading to new target industries in driving the country forward.”
The Thai government has made a strong commitment to develop the startup ecosystem in Thailand in particular and also attempt to become the global startup hub in Southeast Asia. Inside the NIA, StartUp Thailand has become one of the most important government initiatives, connecting all of the important and relevant players.
StartUp Thailand excels at providing support and services for startup companies across the board. While the system in Thailand is made of many robust sectors, StartUp Thailand has partnered with 35 universities, more than 1,000 vocational schools and a full scope of Thai corporates.
Going forward, the sector focus for Thai startups will move towards AgTech / FoodTech, HealthTech and Travel and Tourism related technology companies. These have been identified as sectors where Thailand has very strong advantages.
We talked about how the ecosystem developed, who the key players are and how Thailand positions itself in the startup ecosystem both regionally and globally.