New centre in Bangkok to help S'pore start-ups

A new centre was launched in Bangkok yesterday to help Singapore start-ups spread their wings in Thailand.

Located at innovation space True Digital Park (TDPK), it is the second international centre set up by the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), a private-sector-led organisation to drive entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore. The first one was opened in Nanjing earlier this year.

The centres provide a support framework for start-ups beginning to operate in unfamiliar markets. This includes access to business matching events and legal advisory sessions, ACE said in a statement yesterday.

The one in Bangkok is open to start-ups and enterprises across all industries, and is a collaboration between TDPK and ACE, which signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last year.

"Given the limited size of Singapore's domestic market, internationalisation is core to the growth strategies of start-ups which are founded and based in Singapore," ACE said.

In conjunction with the launch of the Bangkok centre, a delegation of 14 Singapore start-ups interested in expanding into Thailand took part in a four-day market immersion programme to explore potential business opportunities.

Among the participating start-ups were container logistics firm Haulio and agri-tech firm Smart Animal Husbandry Care.

Mr Alvin Ea, co-founder and chief executive of Haulio, said that the centre's connectivity to the local tech and innovation ecosystem was beneficial for a growing start-up.

"The ability to localise and source for a strong and reliable local partner is one of the greatest challenges for any start-up with the ambition to internationalise," he added.

Mr Howard Tang, co-founder and chief technology officer of Smart Animal Husbandry Care, said the immersion programme allowed him to gain insights for his firm.

While stakeholders in Singapore and China provided perspectives on corporate efficiencies, Mr Tang said he gained insights into Thailand on the application of technology to help suppliers sell their products to farmers and improve farmers' revenue income.

ACE chief executive Edmas Neo said: "In an increasingly uncertain and homogeneous South-east Asian region, it is important as fellow ecosystem developers to come together as friends, support one another, and help our start-ups regionalise and gain strong footholds in the markets that are of strategic significance to them."

An MOU between ACE and the Singapore-Thai Chamber of Commerce was also signed yesterday.

Under the MOU, companies in both bodies will benefit from access to community events, workshops, business contacts, and investor networks, among others.