Thailand sets up $570 million startup fund

By GovInsider

Dedicated “startup districts” to be launched nationwide.

The Thai Government will provide THB20 billion (US$570 million) of funding to startups in the country, it announced this week. This will be split between two ministries.

The Ministry of ICT will set up a THB10 billion (US$285 million) Digital Economy Fund specifically for tech startups, Bangkok Post reported.

Another THB10 billion fund will be set up by the Ministry of Finance for a broader group of startups in healthcare, finance, agriculture, tourism, and digital technology, according to The Nation.

Beyond funding, the government wants to create a startup ecosystem in the country. It will set up “startup districts” across the country to help companies expand, Minister of Science and Technology Pichet Durongkaveroj said.

“This year, the government is committed to supporting startups to expand their customer base, not just in Bangkok”, but “in every part of Thailand”, he said Thailand is also planning for a startup incubator, involving the government, private sector and universities, said ICT Minister Uttama Savanayana.

The incubator will provide support for starting new businesses, investment to expand businesses, consultations with experts, partnerships for research and development, and a co-working space to do business. The government estimates that there are 1,000 to 2,500 startups in Thailand.

"We aim to increase the number of start-ups in Thailand to 10,000 by 2018", Savanayana said. It also wants home-grown companies to expand to other ASEAN countries.

Image by neajjean, used under CC BY-SA 2.0.