Food tech startups impress at hackathon

Food tech startups impress at hackathon

William Heinecke, (third from right) founder and group chief executive of Minor International, with Krating Poonpol (third from left), managing partner of 500 TukTuks, presiding over the food-centred startup competition.
William Heinecke, (third from right) founder and group chief executive of Minor International, with Krating Poonpol (third from left), managing partner of 500 TukTuks, presiding over the food-centred startup competition.

Food tech startups were showcased recently in Bangkok at the first ever "Minor Tasting The Future" Hackathon.

"Wake Up, The Coffee Intelligent Machine" is a digital coffee machine capable of making hot and cold drinks that remembers user preferences. Wake Up is a coffee shop franchise in Bangkok, but the company wanted to branch out into making their own machines and selling them to other cafes.

"This was the first event we ever competed in and we are very happy that we won it," said Tawatchai Meeklin, co-founder of Wake Up. "We thought if we had a great idea and collaborated with great brands, we would be able to accelerate our growth quickly."

Minor International Plc, the hospitality, restaurant and lifestyle company, hosted the event along with support Disrupt Technology Venture and 500 TukTuks, a startup funding group in Bangkok. Minor aims to collaborate with the winning startup to help build it up.

The intelligent coffee machine won the top prize, receiving 100,000 baht and future support from top companies.

"Being the market leader means we cannot stay in one place," said William Heinecke, chief executive of Minor International Plc. "We must continue to expand our mindset and evolve. The Hackathon has given us more than what we expected. It has given us a taste of startups' thinking process and allowed us to explore new ways of thinking while working with the start-up teams."

In second place was Food Hunter, a crowdfunding platform for franchises to raise capital from investors to start businesses. Coming in third was Eden Agritech, which has developed a method to extend the viability of fresh fruits and vegetables.

"The overall startups this year were better than what we saw last year," said Ruangroj Poonpol, managing partner of 500 TukTuks.

"There are more business varieties and new startups have more interesting concepts. Food and dining tech is a huge market, with great growth potential that will continue to grow throughout next year, with the ability to generate revenue faster."


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