By The Nation
Stormbreaker Venture, the very first ed-tech focused accelerator of its kind in Thailand and Southeast Asia, aims to revolutionise Thailand’s Education industry and enrich society’s capability and readiness for the digital era.
StormBreaker said it has set an ambitious goal of revolutionising the education of one million Thais by 2020. The venture has already made great strides towards its goal, with its first batch of promising Startups positively impacting the lives of over 150,000 students since the inception of the program.
The program is confident that Thailand’s ed-tech ecosystem can elevate itself into one of the top ecosystems in Southeast Asia and create a Thai born and bred Ed-Tech “Unicorn” within the next five years.
The four startups from StormBreaker’s Accelerator’s first batch, having gone through an intense action-packed accelerator program, are now ready to scale up their impact starting from; Team Vonder, an educational chatbot pioneer, that has already transformed the way 70,000 students learn, in addition to 30,000 more working professionals.
Team Voxy, a revolutionary English learning platform utilising AI for personalised learning.
Team InsKru, uniting forces across the nation to enhance the way Thais teacher teach by disseminating ideas to over 38,000 teacher and 50,000 students.
Lastly, Team OpenDurian, an industry leader in online education boasting revenues of over Bt49 million, aiming to breed more than 500,000 skilled talent to prepare and respond to the impending digital disruption.
Looking forward, Stormbreaker is now accepting applications for ed-tech startups to join its 2nd Batch from today up until 17th May 2019.
Krating Poonpol, founder of 500 TukTuks and Disrupt Technology Venture, explained that StormBreaker Venture stages incubation programs for operators in the ed-tech industry, which stems from a desire to revolutionise the Thai education system by leveraging technologies in order for the nation to be able to thrive in today’s digital age.
The first batch of the StormBreaker incubation program serves as a successful first step in ramping up the capabilities of the education sector to answer the global demands of employment in the age of digital disruption.
Furthermore, the program constitutes a step towards realising a goal through which one million individuals can easily access quality education and gain new educational experiences within 2020.
With only four months having passed since its inception, the program has positively enriched the learning experiences of more than 150,000 students and laid the foundation to place Thai ed-tech startups on the global stage as members of Southeast Asia’s top thriving ed-tech ecosystems.
Krating said: “The Edtech investment market shows promising trends which are quickly catching the eye of investors given its substantial growth. This can be confirmed by the amount of VC investments in ed-tech which is greater than $9.52 billion (Bt299.6 billion). What’s more, this success was achieved from a pool of only 813 ed-tech startups and at more than 30 per cent growth.
“Next year, 2020, holds true to this tend of growth, where global Edtech Startup investment is expected to exceed $10 billion USD, or Bt313.005 billion. In Southeast Asia alone, it is anticipated to make up more than Bt4.695 billion of the global total, with Thailand accounting for Bt156 – Bt313 million of this.
“The future of ed-tech looks promising and is certain to disrupt and enhance large pre-existing educations sectors, e.g. English or other language training, professional reskilling, personalised learning pathways, as well as career accelerators. We are starting to see applications of deep tech, for example AI, Machine Learning, Mixed Reality, IoT, and Cognitive Learning find real manifestations in the newer generations of Edtech Startups. Thailand’s ed-tech ecosystem may still be in its beginning stages, but with such talent and creativity we anticipate growth of up to 100 per cent within this year.”
Krating added that StormBreaker Venture stands ready to act as the catalyst for Edtech Startups in propelling them to the forefront of the Southeast Asian ecosystem.
Complementing the StormBreaker Venture program, Krating said various forms of support are also being offered by the government, including matching funds, which support ed-tech startups by providing funds higher than those provided to other sectors; the Edtech Marketplace which offers tax deductions for public and private organizations using ed-tech products and services; incentives for pilot experiments in education institutions who support using edt-ech in innovative areas or projects related to ed-tech at all levels which can be classified as using online media to enrich a school’s learning program; and even lower interest rates for ed-tech startup loans.
All in all, these forms of support are all guidelines that can help drive the education ecosystem to new heights as well as foster education innovation in Thailand through rapid growth.