Bangkok Bank and Thammasat University provide Thai startups with knowledge, experience, networks and funding

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Tuesday September 19, 2017 15:16
Bangkok--19 Sep--Bangkok Bank

Bangkok Bank Senior Executive Vice President Siridej Aungudomsin revealed that the bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with Thammasat University to support the business growth and development of startup companies. This collaboration aims to develop the capabilities and build the potential of business operators to grow sustainably, as startup businesses play a greater role in the growth of the Thai economy.

"Bangkok Bank places high importance on the business development of startups and SMEs as they are key drivers of economic growth. In 2016, Thailand GDP for SMEs expanded by 4.8% and accounted for 42.1% of total GDP according to the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP). Startup businesses were important components of this and their contributions to the development of the Thai economy are expected to increase further. The collaboration between Bangkok Bank and Thammasat University will provide support and assistance for the development of startup businesses in Thailand with both practical and academic knowledge about business development."

Under this collaboration, the two parties will use their expertise to jointly promote and develop the capabilities of Thai startups. Thammasat University is proficient in the academic disciplines required for operating a business while Bangkok Bank has the experience to help SMEs be successful. For example, Bangkok Bank supported an agricultural startup to develop tools for overcoming constraints by using a mobile phone application to test water and air quality and this gave the operator a high level of precision in calculating risks. Moreover, the bank can connect with customers in the Modern Agriculture project the bank has run for 18 years and these connections will help agricultural startups to advance even more quickly.

Mr. Siridej said Bangkok Bank has a great business network which can help link startups with other business networks so they can reach a wider market more easily and quickly. The bank can also provide financial management advice for startups with limited capital and help them find appropriate sources of funds such as loans or venture capital. The bank's subsidiary, Bualuang Ventures, can invest in startups and provide them with advice and support.

"This is a collaboration and knowledge-sharing project between the government, private and educational sectors. Thammasat University will select the startups and analyze their business, develop an initial development framework and work with the entrepreneurs to set goals. The bank will then help with strategy, planning and advice about financial management, link startups with markets and help them find appropriate sources of funds. The goal is to enhance the competitiveness of medium and small businesses through technology, law, marketing, finance, accounting and systematic management," Mr. Siridej said.

Thammasat University Rector Professor Dr. Somkit Lertpaithoon said that as Thailand moves toward 'Thailand 4.0' it will require an ecosystem and innovative technologies that support startups' growth. This will require collaboration between many parties such as educational and financial institutions and the government and private sectors to contribute their expertise to drive innovative businesses.

"Recently, Thammasat Business School and the Thammasat Consulting Networking and Coaching Center (CONC) collaborated with Bangkok Bank to support innovation development for startups under an exchange program using a mentoring approach. Thammasat University will provide support and guidance in planning and expanding business, help with strategic planning and incorporating innovation into the business model, as well as connecting SMEs and startups with companies in the value chain. Bangkok Bank, which has business experience and strong corporate and SMEs networks, will act as a mentor, providing support and advice and coordinating with related businesses in the bank's network to help startups grow their business in a sustainable way," Dr. Somkid added

As Thailand's leading educational institution committed to developing Thai society through strong academic services, especially in Business Management, Science and Technology and Medical Science, Thammasat University aims to be at the center of the 'Startup District' and an 'Entrepreneurial University' by capitalizing on its research innovation. At present, it has more than 100 research projects in its pipeline waiting for sponsorship. Each year more than 50 percent of the university's research projects are turned into commercial ventures. Thammasat University plans to create over 50 innovative technology startup entrepreneurs, focusing on the following six business strategies: 1) Agriculture and Biotechnology; 2) Medical technology, 3) Robotics, 4) Services, 5) Digital and 6) Energy and Environmental.

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