Thailand represents one of the most promising opportunities for entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. It is the second largest economy in the region and has some of the most business friendly policies in the world. The impact of social media and mobile phone use is considerable and growing, a trend that leaders of 2014’s military coup found difficult to suppress. Bangkok, a longtime staple destination for vacationers, boasts a low cost of living and a strong entrepreneurial culture based around small, family-owned businesses. However, while the growing entrepreneurial community is garnering attention, it remains small and inexperienced, with a lack of skilled local developers, investors and mentors to carry it forwards. Much activity is still behind closed doors / between friends, which slows community development. And while the telecoms industry is increasing support and investment for local startups, overall access to capital can be significantly improved; most entrepreneurs look towards Singapore or Hong Kong for fundraising.
These businesses offer industry expertise and are a source of startup talent and potential customers. They help fuel the local startup community.
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Successful tech startup
Up and coming startup
Up and coming startup
As the founders of one of Bangkok's most famous success stories, Ensogo, the Srivorakul brothers have gone on to start their venture capital firm Ardent Capital in 2012. Ardent Capital aims to invest in mainly eCommerce sites in the Asia Pacific region, where the firm has invested over $20 million to date.
As the the founder of HUBBA, Thailand's first coworking space, Amarit is very well connected to the entrepreneur community in Bangkok. He is also the cofounder of the Thailand Tech Startup Association, where he is in charge of public relations. Additionally, Amarit is also an oraganizer for AngelHack, Startup Grind, and Startup Weekend.
Tiwa is currently a Head Coach at Kaidee.com, a web development company. Previously, he was the Managing Director for eCommerce website Sanook Online Lmtd. He has served as Director of Platforms at Omnicon Media Group and Managing Director for Admax Network.
Moo is the founder and CEO of Ookbee, a leading ebook publishing platform in Southeast Asia. The company has grown to include physical presence in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. He is also a prolific angel investor, with several of his investments being acquired by Ookbee.
Jakob is the CEO of Pocket PlayLab, the largest mobile game developer in Thailand, in addition to being an investor in and mentoring several startups. Previously, he was co-founder at Pagemodo.com, a social marketing platform that was acquired by Webs Inc in 2011.
Poramate is the founder of Thailand's most popular portal site, Kapook, and has long been a staple of the Bangkok startup community. He is also a philanthropist, and created Thaiflood.com which provided valuable information to concerned citizens during the 2011 Thai Floods.
Tom is a founding partner and the CEO of Inspire, where he is responsible for executing Inspire’s ASEAN investment strategy, including private, venture, and public capital markets. Previously, Tom was a partner at Indochina Capital, a fund manager and property developer in the Indochina region.
Adrian is an early stage investor and technologist in the digital media space. Adrian spent ten years with Blumberg Capital in San Francisco, CTO of Sausage Software, and CTO of LookSmart.
Jay is the chairman and founder of The Venture Catalyst Group (The VC Group), a group of companies that focus on building products and solutions to connect people to the Internet. Prior to founding The VC Group, he was an executive at True Corporation.
Pom is the founder and Managing Director of TARAD.com, an eCommerce site that was acquired by Rakuten in 2009. He is also President of the Thai eCommerce Association, a consultant for the Thai Webmaster Association.
The BOI provides investment incentives for both foreign and local entrepreneurs, and allows expats to circumvent domestic ownership requirements and offers generous tax incentives, inspiring more local startup activity.1997
A government agency under the National Science and Technology Development Agency, it was established to stimulate the development of the Thai software industry and grow developer skillsets.1999
The NIA promotes innovation culture and builds up innovation systems, with a broader aim to transform Thailand into an innovation-driven economy.October 2003
Thumbsup helped shed light on local tech activity, making the industry more accessible and connected.2011
The acquisition served as inspiration for Thai entrepreneurs and validation of their efforts. The founders of Ensogo have since started Ardent Capital -- providing much needed investment capital and support to local startups.June 2011
Prior to this, most tech was tied to ERPs and government contracts because of poor IT and internet infrastructure. In 2012, 3G hit the market and the consumer industry woke up. Everything became more affordable and local startup activity took off.2012
The first major coworking space in Bangkok, HUBBA helped anchor the local startup community.June 2012
The arrival of 500 Startups and Dave McClure's 'geeks' brought international attention to the Bangkok startup scene.July 2013
Ardent Capital and HUBBA hosted this event for current and aspiring investors to help them better understand innovation in their backyard.February 2014
This regional tech event helped further expose Bangkok to the SE Asia tech community and vice versa.September 2014