SCB unit launches accelerator scheme

Economy November 23, 2016 01:00


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DIGITAL VENTURES, the financial-technology investment fund set up by Siam Commercial Bank to drive changes in the banking industry, has launched the Digital Ventures Accelerator programme to serve as a catalyst for accelerating support for start-ups to achieve sustainable growth. 

The programme also accentuates Digital Ventures’ vision to make Thailand one of the best start-up ecosystems in Southeast Asia. 

The first 10 teams chosen from more than 140 applicants are now attending an intensive workshop designed to help them put together actionable plans for expansion in Thailand as well as overseas.

Support comes from veteran industrial specialists and global business partners like Baker & McKenzie, PrimeStreet Advisory, Google, Microsoft and Ananda Development.

Thana Thienachariya, executive chairman of Digital Ventures, said yesterday that the support from SCB and business partners from various industries comprised essential knowledge for doing business, especially in financial, legal and technological aspects, and Bt300,000 for each team for product development. 

The teams can have an opportunity to work with SCB in bringing their ideas to fruition by developing products for the bank’s customers in the future. 

Teams with viable projects will also have the chance to receive a minimum Bt1 million in seed money from SCB after finishing the programme. 

Charle Charoenphan, accelerator head at Digital Ventures, said the company had seen some Thai start-ups with good potential, but they cannot grow their business as well and as fast as they should because of the lack of funds, necessary business knowledge, and most important, a strong customer base. 

DVA is claimed to be the best accelerator programme for Thailand and Southeast Asia, with the ambition to help start-ups achieve at least 20-per-cent growth. 

The first three months of the course provide fundamental knowledge for business preparedness, with the Start-up Essential Programme led by Surawat Promyothin, legal knowledge from Baker & McKenzie and financial knowledge from PrimeStreet Advisory. 

The next three months will be spent on accelerating growth with a hacking technique from Chris Tweten. 

Each team will be matched with a business specialist who is also their dedicated mentor for experience sharing and advice, as well as a core mentor who steps in to set the key performance indicators for each team and conduct weekly follow-ups. 

Another key strength of the programme is that each team will have the opportunity to seek professional advice on investment and technology from the management team of Digital Ventures. 

The first batch of 10 teams comprises both financial and non-financial businesses. 

Fintech businesses are, for example, KYC Chain, or Know Your Customer service on Blockchain, for enhanced financial transaction experience in the future; Refinn, a low-interest refinance service platform; and PeerPower, a personal-loan service. 

Some non-financial businesses are PetInsure, the first online pet-insurance service in Thailand, and Seekster, a job-hunting app for people in general and small and medium-sized enterprises.