Depa consolidates accelerator programme

Depa consolidates accelerator programme

Digital startups can apply until Aug 1

The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) is working with Techsauce Media, a tech media firm, to launch the Smart City Accelerator Program Batch 2 to search for digital startups which can bring digital solutions to support its smart city schemes.

Depa president and chief executive, Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, said the programme aims to create liveable and smart cities to improve people's quality of life.

It is also aimed at all participating digital startup firms to gain new knowledge, hands-on experience and opportunities to further drive their business operations, he said.

Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, the Digital Economy and Society (DES) minister, has also instructed Depa to accelerate efforts to drive smart city development.

This is the second batch of startups under the programme, Mr Nuttapon said. The first Smart City Accelerator programme, which was launched last year, achieved success, he said.

The programme is the first of its kind in Asean that serves as a bridge to connect digital startups with demand for urban development.

The goal for smart city transformation covers seven dimensions -- economy, mobility, energy, living, people, governance and the environment.

The participating startups must be in the pre-Series A stage or those that have been in operation for at least one year.

They must provide solutions in regard to smart cities with market demand. Those who run the service must be fluent in English at the business level and one or two members must be with the team from the start.

In this year's programme, 40 startups will be picked after the application process and a judge's panel will later narrow it down to 25. The 25 startups will have to attend an orientation workshop prior to taking action and work with representatives of cities slated for smart city development.

They will acknowledge on-site problems, factors and inputs before coming up with solutions to challenges using digital technologies and innovations.

The digital technologies and innovations from the programme will be leveraged to solve the right problems in five urban areas that have received smart city promotion certificates and the Thailand Smart City logo. The five projected smart areas are Bangkok's Sam Yan neighbourhood, Wangchan Valley in Rayong, Mae Mo district in Lampang, Khon Kaen and Phuket.

The winning startup will get 300,000 baht each to further develop their business, including a foray into the global market. The application runs until Aug 1.

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