“Pitch Day” found the 11 finalists for a spot in the “batch 6” edition of the programme for start-ups, as 25 teams of digital entrepreneurs competed to sell their idea to start-up mentors.
Sompoat Chansomboon, managing director of dtac accelerate, said the top 11 were selected from over 500 start-ups pitching to Thailand’s top nine start-up mentors.
The standard of presentations by start-ups has dramatically improved on several fronts, he said. Teams had done their research in market validation to make sure there was market demand for their product, ensuring product-market fit that validates the product through garnering the first 100 customers, and “growth hacking” that aims to expand the business to potentially reach one million customers.
Most of the start-ups included team members who are domain experts in the industry and have a good understanding of problems or pain points.
For example, there were many doctors or medical professionals involved in the health tech start-ups, including Doctor A-Z, whose co-founder is a doctor.
Teams had also started to adopt new tools, such as AI and machine learning. Women made up more than 50 per cent of founders or co-founders of this year’s start-up teams, which is significantly higher than previous years.
All finalists will receive seed funding ranging from Bt500,000 to Bt1.5 million per team, along with commercialisation support from DTAC worth more than Bt100 million. They will also participate in an intensive boot camp that will run from this month through to August.
All finalists will participate in an intensive boot camp with respected mentors, including Nir Eyal, whose “Hooked Model” is behind Facebook and Instagram’s success, and Hai Habot, one of the world’s top “Objectives and Key Results (OKR” experts.
The final pitch and the announcement of winners will take place on “Demo Day” in August.
The programme will also provide tools from global partners, such as Google Cloud, Facebook, Microsoft Tencent Cloud, and AWS and commercialisation support worth over Bt100 million from DTAC and fellow companies under Telenor Group in 13 markets.
“The 11 finalists bring what dtac accelerate is looking for – creativity, business innovations to the Mobile Internet Ecosystem, and new-concept lifestyle applications to improve the quality of life of the Thai people,” said Sompoat.
Eleven start-up finalists
1 Kohlife – Travel and transportation. To plan and book all ground transportation, as well as flight, activities and events in Thailand and worldwide.
2 Zwiz.AI – AI, business services. The first AI chatbot platform, allows quick access to AI chatbot and analytics tools.
3 PenguinT - Travel tech. Brings the best options from local travel agencies to mobiles through a chat channel.
4 Kochii – Entertainment tech. Platform to help gamers improve their skills.
5 Event Banana – Real estate tech. Online platform for property owners to rent and promote their under-utilised spaces, and for customers to easily find and book spaces for their meetings and events.
6 GoWabi – Beauty tech with a mobile app. Offers special deals for spa and beauty services.
7 Ooca – Health tech. Online platform connects patients and psychologists via video calls.
8 Somjai Home Loan – Property tech. A one-stop home loans application service for property
9 CareerVisa – Education tech. Platform offers personalised career development to explore career choices with mentors, set career goal, identify and close skill gaps and land a job.
10 Noburo – Fin tech. Lending-as-a-service platform enables easy lending by businesses to customers.
11 Doctor A-Z – Health tech. Platform matches medical tourism surgical patients to accredited hospital and specialist doctors.