Thu, January 20, 2022

in-focus

NIA wants to see startups in every corner of country


The National Innovation Agency’s (NIA’s) dual mission is to encourage startup entrepreneurs to help solve grassroots economic problems through the use of innovation and technology and to get more people in every region launching their own startups.

That was the summation this week from Pariwat Wongsamran of the NIA’s “innontrepreneur” development department.
The NIA, he said, embraces the 4Es – Entrepreneurs, Enterprise, Equity and Economy.
It wants startups to deploy their skills in innovation and technology to help farmers, retailers and community enterprises boost production capacity, add value to what they make and find more or better trade channels.
“If they launch a startup in their own region, it can grow to a national or even global level,” Pariwat said. “We also want to reduce the number of people immigrating to Bangkok and other big cities for jobs by helping them find work opportunities close to their own communities.”
Previous NIA efforts have included “Startup in Residence”, which encouraged the creation of regional startups by establishing centres where the basic knowhow could be exchanged on developing products and securing financing.
A project in three southern border provinces sought to enhance entrepreneurs’ potential and help people start businesses. “They could learn about budgeting and marketing and had access to a network of experts,” Pariwat said.
Another way to promote regional startups is to develop “innovation districts” and creative spaces that would attract business owners.
“The owners will assemble in these places and develop them together, while in the meantime improving the quality of life for residents. There are now innovation districts in Chiang Mai, Phuket and Khon Kaen.”
The NIA has about 2,000 startups participating in its “Startup Thailand” programme. About 1,600 arose from a collaboration between the NIA and universities.
“This year we want to get at least 200 startups operating in local communities, especially in the fields of agritech, foodtech, health and tourism,” Pariwat said.

Published : January 03, 2020

By : THE NATION