Incubators and mentors show the way at ‘Startup Thailand 2017’ 

business July 10, 2017 01:00

By Wichit Chaitrong 
The Nation 

Hoping that young inspired entrepreneurs will drive the future economy, the Thai government has been trying to promote startups and in recent years has organised special yearly events. The latest “Startup Thailand 2017” event was at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center from July 6-9. 



Statistics suggests that 90 per cent of startups fail and only 10 per cent succeed. Yet about 60 per cent of startups that have gone through an incubator programme survive, said Pavel Latetin, general partner of TechGrind, an incubator venture capital company. 

Latetin claimed that an incubator offers key help for people considering launching a business. Incubators can train them, advise them on technical issues and introduce them to syndicates of partners, customers and angle investors, he said. His company has identified reasons why many startups fail and can help new businesses find solutions, Latetin said. 

“We don’t charge startups. We take 8 per cent of equity of that company. We want to be a coowner, we will only succeed if the startup grows.” The incubation will take about 18 months. His company also provides oneonone mentorship for potential startups. 

Over the past two and a half years, TechGrind received about 1,000 applications for incubation but the company picked only 21 of them, according to Latetin. Most of the companies were foreign companies based in Thailand. There were only about four or five Thai companies. 

TechGrind has registered in Hong Kong and has headquarters in Bangkok. 

PYMLO, one startup that has passed through incubation with TechGrind, provides cloudaccounting service to small businesses and startups. “I recommend the TechGrind incubation, I think it is helpful for startups,” said PYMLO cofounder Kyle McComb. 

PYMLO provides accounting service in four languages: Thai, English, Chinese and Indonesian. The company aims to support small and mediumsized enterprises. They claim that their product can cut costs on accounting and so far there are about 700 companies using their accounting software. 

Many startups showed off their products and services at the Startup Thailand event. 

Siriwat Suptawepong, cofounder of Keeate.com said he provides mobile application service for small and mediumsized enterprises that want to promote their business via smart phones platform. The service cost is only about Bt13,000 yearly.

Fonn Corporation, a JapaneseThai joint venture, plans to launch a small electric car next year, priced at about Bt500,000. Hideo Tsurumakit, CEO of Fonn, said that a small car is suitable for navigating traffic jams in big cities like Bangkok. It can also swim in the event of a flash flood on street.