Review: Geeks on a Plane BBQ Cookout at Hubba

Geeks on a Plane @ HubbaGeeks on a Plane was back in Thailand. Led by 500 Startups, the largest accelerator in the world, Geeks on a Plane consists of a contingent of leading Silicon Valley and global startup founders, investors and corporate executives in Southeast Asia to explore the various vibrant startup communities in this explosive region.

Dave McClure and his 500 Startups crew are here in Bangkok for an intense series of welcoming parties, meet ups and events from July 17-20, 2014 to meet startup founders and other members of the Thai startup community.

TSR Survey Results: Where did you meet your co-founder and why did you join a coworking space?

Congratulations to Hubba Coworking Space who just celebrated their 2nd anniversary with a party last night! (July 3rd, 2014) They were Bangkok’s pioneering coworking space and they deserve much credit for their large role in building our local startup community. With the approach of Hubba’s 2nd birthday and the opening of several new coworking spaces in Bangkok, I became curious of why local founders joined coworking spaces and how many founders have met their co-founders at coworking spaces. For an answer, I decided to conduct a survey to answer these questions via e-mail and distribution of questionnaires at Pun, Pah, Hubba and MA’D coworking spaces.

Why Did You Decide to Join a Coworking Space?     

Review: The Hive – New Coworking Space in Thong Lor Creative Area

The Hive BangkokOn May 20th, 2014, a new coworking space opened their doors to expats and Thai entrepreneurs on Sukhumvit 49. It is called The Hive and it certainly lives up to Bangkok’s reputation of having the best designed coworking spaces. Khun Constant Tedder, the founder of the Hive group of coworking spaces, already has three Hive Locations in Hong Kong. He has decided to expand to more locations throughout Southeast Asia and selected Bangkok as his first expansion location because of the notable success and excitement of the Thai startup scene. 

Review: BKK Entrepreneurs Event Featuring Andovar

Bangkok EntrepreneursOn Monday, June 23rd, 2014, BKK Entrepreneurs once again held their monthly event at Doubletree Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 26. Approximately 150 attendees came to hear the geo-leveraging strategy and practices of Andovar.

Button Phonics

The event kicked-off with a brief live performance of costumed performers by Button Phonics, an engaging ESL learning program for Thai children learning English. Their Batty Buttons program leads kids through the first series of sounds, the initial 26 sounds of the alphabet letters. The kids can sing, dance and learn with their favorite Button Phonics songs and with their fun-loving characters! There’s an action, word, song and video for each of these 26 sounds.

Review: WebMob Event - June, 2014 - What local angels are looking for?

WebMob June, 2014 - ThaiStartup.netYesterday evening, June 16th, 2014, I attended the monthly WebMob event at Aloft Hotel Bangkok on Sukhumvit Soi 11. There were about 120 attendees that were treated to an enjoyable and informative networking event. The theme this month was what local angel investors are looking for in startups. The two angel investors sharing both their views and experiences were Khun Natavudh Pungcharoenpong (Moo) of Ookbee and Khun Paul Srivorakul of Ardent Capital.  Yojiro Koshi, Founder/CEO of TalentEx shared his story of moving to Thailand from Japan, establishing a startup and befriending Khun Moo, who recently invested in the innovative Jobs Talent service developed by the TalentEx team.   

Events like these in which active investors share what it takes for local startups to secure investment funding I believe represent the most informative and productive startup events. The benefits of attendance for founders of local startups is quite valuable and it was nice to see that about 40 hands were raised when Bart asked how many members of startup teams were here.

Upcoming JFDI-Asia Programs

JFDI ProgramsSingapore-Based JFDI-Asia, one of the most successful and longest operating accelerators in Asia, has just commenced accepting applications for its highly-renowned 2014B Accelerator Program and the launch of its new monthly JFDI Discovery Program. The founders, Meng Wong and Hugh Mason, deserve accolades for consistently assembling exceptional mentoring teams and serving as a last bridge for many startups from all over Asia before landing investment funding from notable institutional investors.    

JFDI Accelerator 2014B Program

Once again, JFDI are looking for the most promising startup teams seeking venture funding and developing an innovative product, platform or medium with a high-growth Southeast Asian regional or global strategy. 

TSR Special Situation Notice on Travel to Thailand, Event Attendance and the Thailand Startup Community

Thai Military Coup 2014As many of you already know, there was a military coup in Thailand on May 22nd, 2014. We would like to provide an update to TSR viewers with plans to travel to Thailand on the situation for travel, attending startup events and the affects to the Thailand startup community in general.

Thailand is currently officially controlled by military junta that governs through The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), lead by General Prayut Chan-O-Cha. The military junta has initially imposed a curfew between the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. It has since been loosened to 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. This curfew does not apply to those travelling to or from the airport and it is expected that the curfew will gradually be lifted, particularly in popular tourist areas. TSR has not received any notifications or reports that any startup events have either been or will be re-scheduled or canceled due to the curfew or the coup, however, late events have had to end early. The military has also prohibited political gatherings of more than five people. This should not affect non-political related startup events, particularly those held indoors. 

Thailand’s First World Summit Awards Nominees

WSA Abu DhabiCurrently, tech startups are garnering most of the attention directed on our local startup community. Indeed, for prospective investors, the flashier and potentially higher financial returns offered by our growing list of promising e-commerce and social media startups has elevated interest in Thai startup community happenings as a whole. However, Thailand is home to an impressive variety of social impact ventures as well that have been developing and operating under the radar. Of course, we at TSR would like to see these passionate and deeply committed social impact teams receive their just attention. 

Review: Startup Asia Singapore 2014 – Thailand Represents!

Startup Asia Singapore 2014From May 7-8, 2014, I was in Singapore to attend the perennial Startup Asia Singapore 2014 event organized by TechinAsia. I was pleased to see three promising Thai startups manning exhibit booths at this highly-esteemed event attracting investors, media and startups from all over Asia.

Thai Startups Represented

The three Thai startups that had booths were MergePay, StockRadars and Taamkru.

MergePay is a mobile application that offers businesses a simple and pleasing way to track and manage their financials. Features include financial transaction and recurring bill tracking & notifications and digital receipt capture. A feature I particularly like is their burn value computation which gives a helpful relative perspective of an expense.  All of this is delivered on a very appealing interface, with security superior in many respects to other online banking services and the compatibility to integrate with popular selling tools such as Stripe, Square and PayPal. MergePay was one of ten startups selected out of hundred to pitch on the second day in front of a large audience I estimate at about 500 people. Ian Borders, the Pai-based founder, did an excellent job pitching and was awarded fifth place for his efforts. This was even more impressive given the size of the stage and this being his first time pitching in front of a panel of judges. Hopefully they will succeed in their main goal of finding a strategic partner that could help them further improve their product and expand throughout the region.