Academy aims to accelerate corporate culture of innovation 

Tech June 10, 2018 12:52

By Asina Pornwasin
The sunday Nation

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RISE Academy, a two-year-old corporate innovation accelerator, is aiming high and expects to contribute 1 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020. 



The academy is an umbrella with two key facets – the RISE Accelerator and RISE Innovation Week.

The RISE Accelerator has been in place for two years, helping build the success of over 1,000 start-ups with a combined valuation of Bt3 billion and providing experiential learning for up to 500 corporate executives. 

This year, the Academy launches RISE Innovation Week in Thailand, with an aim to create a community of corporate innovators in both government agencies and large corporates as it seeks to raise awareness and encourage widespread adoption of the innovation ethic.

Supachai Parchariyanon, founder and CEO of RISE Academy said the organisation positions itself as a corporate innovation accelerator. It aims to be a growth engine, driving Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia forward with corporate innovation. In doing so, it aims to help contribute 1 per cent to the country’s GDP. 

More immediately, it will oversee RISE Innovation Week from June 19 to 23.

“Innovation and innovators in the large corporates are fundamental to making change through creating innovation within the corporates,” said Supachai. “Currently, economy of speed is more important than speed of scale.” 

“We worked with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, PTT, and Krungsri Ayudhaya Bank to set up the Regional Accelerator in Thailand by bringing innovation from the regions to drive innovation in corporates,” Supachai said.

RISE Accelerator provides experiential learning for executives, teaching them how to create innovation, he said. RISE Academy has now trained over 500 executives of large corporates. Those companies together have valuations equal to 22 per cent of the value of the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

RISE Innovation week will be a five-day innovators meet-up for corporations, start-ups and venture capitalists from across the region to meet and connect. It offers corporate innovation topics including entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, venture capital, accelerators, and so on.

This year’s mission is to help create Bt12 billion of economic value to the country – a 0.1 per cent contribution to GDP. That economic value is calculated based on the company valuation of start-ups associated with this year’s RISE Accelerator and from the increased revenue of corporates through joining hands with start-ups. 

Moreover, it also aims to get more than 1,000 corporate innovators into experiential training, double last year’s participation. 

RISE Innovation Week also aims to help more 10,000 executives from government agencies and corporates to learn more about corporate innovation throughout the week.

RISE is the only accelerator from Thailand to have a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government agencies of 10 countries to work together to drive and encourage innovation. Those countries include Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

“We expect to have 1,500 start-ups, venture capitalists, corporate venture capitals and investors join RISE Innovation Week, while having 200 well-known speakers from around the world,” said Supachai.

He said the number of start-ups in Thailand had grown continuously over the past five years. The top investment value per round has risen in that time from around US$2 million to US$20 million. Moreover, the numbers of venture capitalists and corporate venture capitalists has jumped to almost 50 combined locally, regionally and globally. “However, Thailand is still behind other countries and therefore we cannot stop,” said Supachai.

There’s now a lot more opportunity for start-ups to survive and grow, especially if they work with large corporates, he said. Start-ups know how to innovate and move fast, while corporates have customers. When corporates utilise the innovative drive of start-ups, they together create new revenues – and that is a win-win strategy.

“To get them – both start-ups and large corporates – to a win-win situation is our job. Thailand is a small market, so start-ups and large corporates join hands to go regional and go global, to gain more customers, users and revenue,” said Supachai.

“Open innovation and change-oriented mindset can help change and increase the country’s competitiveness. Thailand has competitive advantages, including tourism tech, travel tech, agri-tech, food tech, and health tech.”