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lifestyle December 17, 2015 01:00

By THE NATION

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A brand new Thai crowdfunding initiative serves up a wealth of worthy projects



Crowdfunding websites have been around for the best part of a decade but only now is Thailand getting its very own online platform and it’s been designed to support creative artists, 
The new platform recently presented its ideas via www.Asiola.com, a website run by a team that includes IT and marketing specialists Jon Lor and Chris Hwang, Sanji Tandan, former managing director of Warner Music UK, artists Khanngoen Nuanual and Montonn Jira, and social entrepreneur Pranitan Phornprapha.
Spread across the four key categories of music, food, fashion and art, Asiola gives fans an unprecedented opportunity to have a closer connection to the artists they admire. By contributing towards the funding goal, they can also earn exclusive rewards. And to waylay participants’ concern about their donation, Asiola has entered into partnership with Kasikorn Bank to create a safe, fast and easy online payment platform known as K-Payment Gateway, which makes the online payment process more effective and practical.
“Asiola is Thailand's first curated crowdfunding platform, built to support creative artists,” Lor explains.
“We see this as the beginning of something new for online businesses and start-ups in Thailand. Artists joining the campaign will have the opportunity to do what they want. Likewise, their fans will be able to support the artists and help them fulfil their dreams with the help of Asiola. The ideas proposed by the artists are creatively groundbreaking as they come from the artists themselves without any limitations. These ideas will in turn inspire and push youngsters to express themselves more freely and to break the mould. It’ll make a difference and give fans the ability to personally connect with some of their favourite artists.
Khanngoen Nuanual of leading Thai hip-hip outfit Thaitanium says his aim is to crowdfund an educational workshop that will allow the band members to share their extensive knowledge, skills and insights into the music business, accrued over years of experience, with the next generation of Thai rappers.
“Fans that support the Thaitay Rap Boot Camp can receive first-hand tips and techniques on rapping, composing and recording directly from us. Some friends from Thaitanium Entertainment like freestyle rap champion Tong Twopee from Southside will also help us to teach everything up-and-coming Thai rappers need to know.”
Ploi Horwang has also launched a campaign and it comes with rewards for her supporters. 
“I’d like to take Thailand’s fashion industry to a new dimension with lively, unusual designs showcased in the very first fashion show for the latest Him and Her Studio collection, at an event that will be anything but ordinary. If this campaign succeeds, one of my supporters will get the chance to have a head-to-toe makeover with us, or join us for an exclusive shopping trip in South Korea for 4 days and 3 nights”.
Representing the food campaign, chef Chalee Kader of Inside Knock’s Kitchen says support for his Knock’s afterhours Food Truck campaign will allow him to launch the perfect late night dining destination, open from 11pm onwards to satisfy partygoers’ cravings following hours of dancing. 
“With the satisfaction of hungry customers in mind, we’re hoping to add a new flavour to Bangkok’s late night cuisine scene, with the additional convenience of a mobile app that pinpoints the location of the Knock Food Truck in seconds,” he explains. 
Heading up the socially responsible campaign is Duangrit Bunnagm who wants to bring his design of a modular house for the 2004 tsunami victims to fruition.
“These houses never went into production because of the high cost. Thanks to Asiola, I see the opportunity to crowdfund the production of the ‘Good House’, a pre-fabricated wooden house that can be assembled by hand using basic tools, in case another disaster hits. This campaign gives supporters a chance to help those in need.”
Artist Alex Face aims to promote civic consciousness and unity among young citizens via his campaign, “Peace for Bangkok”, a symbolic bronze sculpture, which he hopes will instil peace in the heart and minds of children as they climb on it. A miniature bronze sculpture is among his rewards. 
The other artists currently using Asiola as a platform to make their innovative ideas come to life include Yellow Fang, Hugo, Montonn Jira and Hanna, Black Tiger, The Creative District, O Witaya and Zieght.