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Huawei collaborates with the Ministry of Digital for Economic and Society (MDES) depa and NIA including private partners to set up ‘Spark Ignite 2022 – Thailand Startup Competition’ aiming to enhance and support Thai startup to regional level

Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd. is partnering with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES), the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) of Thailand, the National Innovation Agency (NIA),

KASIKORN Business-Technology Group (KBTG), and Zanroo, to organize ‘Spark Ignite 2022 – Thailand Startup Competition’ in order to enhance and accelerate Thai startups’ innovations to the global market. As the first partner to support the next generation of startups in Thailand, Huawei has been providing leading ICT technology, capital resources and commercial know-how. Huawei is committed to be a key enabler for Thai startups to grow globally, meanwhile help pushing Thailand to become the ASEAN Digital Hub. Huawei has also partnered with global and local venture capital firms including Vertex Ventures SEA & India, True Incube, Disrupt, Stormbreaker Ventures for funding support to accelerate startup growth.

Mr. Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, Minister of Digital Economy and Society (MDES), shared his views on the Spark-Ignite 2022 – Thailand Startup Competition: “Over the last few years, Thailand has accelerated its progress in accordance with the national plan on digital development for the economy and society. It can be seen that Thailand’s digital infrastructure and data economy have made significant progress in key areas, particularly telecommunication infrastructure, in order to support the goals of promoting the digital ecosystem together with government authorities, industrial partners, start-up businesses, and Thai digital products developers. We have witnessed Huawei has demonstrated its continued commitment to laying a solid foundation through a variety of initiatives, including the Spark project, which supports ecosystem growth.

Mr. Abel Deng, CEO, Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd., spoke about the goals of the Spark-Ignite 2022 – Thailand Startup Competition: “Globally, digital transformation is accelerating. SMEs and startups play a major role in most economies and have become the innovators of our times. Huawei’s goal is to be the first impactful partner to the next generation of startups in Thailand, to bring out the best of what Thailand’s startups have to offer. We will achieve our mission by leveraging startups in three ways. The first is to support with Huawei’s leading ICT technology, such as cloud, AI, 5G, energy, and digital transformation. Secondly, we will support the growth of startups through capital, brand marketing, and HMS (HUAWEI mobile system) App platform support and promote apps for start-ups. Finally, we will help build bridges between startups and startups, between startups and VCs, and between startups and enterprises to support startup growth.”

He also added that Southeast Asia’s tech startups will more than treble in a mere five years, from US$340 billion to US$1 trillion in 2025. As a leading ICT partner and enabler, Huawei hopes to help SMEs digitalize their business and boost Thailand’s economic recovery and industry digitalization. Huawei is fully confident in SMEs’ potential to create more job opportunities, to support the post-pandemic economic recovery, and inject new energy. Huawei deeply believes that the key to driving sustainable digital development lies in an upskilled workforce, and a thriving SME and startup ecosystem. Moreover, he added that Huawei would make a US$100 million investment in a Southeast Asian startup ecosystem over the next three years.

Asst. Prof. Dr. Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, President of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), said: “Digital startups are an indispensable factor for driving Thai digital economy and society. In contrast, we have found that there are some gaps between digital startups and large corporations in this country, in terms of strategy, skills, and digital capabilities as well as the availability of funds. Throughout the past, depa has accelerated operations in all dimensions to close those gaps. For example, promoting digital startups under depa’s measures, pushing for digital applications among populations as well as being an intermediary linking between different sectors in order to drive the economy and the digital society in a concrete way. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic is considered an important factor in urging digital technology adoption in diverse contexts to increase rapidly, which caused the development of digital infrastructure and the potential of Thai digital startups to become an urgent issue in order to keep up with the changes. We are thankful for the stable and good cooperation between depa and Huawei, and the “Spark Ignite 2022″ will be another important project that reflects the integration of public-private partnerships with the aim of scaling-up Thai digital startups’ potential to compete and enter the world market stably.”

Dr. Pun-Arj Chairatana, Executive Director of the National Innovation Agency (NIA), Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation said: “NIA under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) is glad to witness the Thailand Spark Program 2022 officially launched today. In Thailand, innovation is becoming important drivers for economic development and opportunities. Apart from providing financial support for innovation project, NIA also aim at upgrading innovation capabilities of entrepreneurs and enhancing innovation networks nationally and globally. Over the years, NIA has created global startup hubs in 3 areas: Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to offer various activities and services, such as business acceleration, business, marketing, legal and intellectual property consultation, and startups’ and investors’ networks to facilitate networking and business negotiation. Also, we have NIA Growth Program, which has successfully raised more than 500-million-baht funding for startups. Therefore, NIA is willing to work together with partners including Huawei to cultivate the innovation ecosystem and enable Thailand to successfully build a global hub.”

The ‘Spark Ignite 2022 – Thailand Startup Competition’ launched officially on Monday, August 1, 2022, at the Royal Maneeya Ballroom, M floor, Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel, in order to leverage the growth of Thai start-ups to regional levels and support the digital workforce in Thailand. This year’s edition is calling for a new batch of startups who dare to exceed the boundaries of their perceived limits by partnering with Huawei to help realize their ambitions and surpass their potential. In addition to US$125,000 (4,500,000 baht) Cloud Credits and admission to Huawei’s Spark programs, the Grand Winner will gain the opportunity to work with one of the world’s leading technology innovators to bring their products and company to another level, and onward to a global platform. Huawei Spark Ignite was launched in 2020 across Asia-Pacific with the objective to incubate and accelerate domestic deep tech startup growth by providing financial, technical, go-to-market training, mentoring & networking support. Please visit  https://www.huaweispark.com/en/challenges/ignite-thailand-2022 for details of the programme.

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