BANGKOK, Mar. 7, 2014 – Dtac and Telenor Group today launch Dtac Accelerate, pledging investments of more than THB 100 million along with dedicated training and workspace resources for new startups to build their business.
Dtac Accelerate concentrates on funding and training high-potential startups to become high-tech entrepreneurs in both local and international markets. Dtac aims to push Thai startups to go global, create new jobs and income locally, promote mobile internet and applications, and help continue to build Thailand’s growing mobile internet ecosystem.
“Thailand has one of the strongest high-tech startup communities in the region, with rapid growth in digital services and local content development. Youth here are also extremely connected, tech-savvy and eager to share their experiences with friends and family, making this country a perfect testing ground for an incubator program like Dtac Accelerate. We think the next big online game-changers could emerge right here in Thailand, and when they do, Telenor Group’s backing will open to them the global platforms and markets crucial to both domestic and international success,” said Sigve Brekke, EVP and Head of Asia Operations, Telenor Group.
Mr. Jon Eddy Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer, Total Access Communication PLC or Dtac said, “Dtac sees a strong and emerging startup ecosystem in Thailand and great potential for the country to become a hub of digital innovation in the region. The Dtac Accelerate program this year is not just another competition for startups, but a long-term commitment to help drive innovation in the local mobile internet ecosystem. Data users will enjoy much more local content and creative applications for their dynamic lifestyles – content and services that we think will help improve quality of life all over Thailand. As part of this program, we are establishing a new corporate entity – the ‘Dtac Accelerate’ company – and are committing more than THB 100 million to spur creativity and technological development in the local mobile internet industry, which we see as part of our larger ‘Internet for All’ strategy. The Dtac Accelerate program help accelerate local startups’ success by helping them connect to the world.”
Mr. Andrew Kvalseth, Division Head of Corporate Strategy and Business Innovation, Dtac, said, “The startups we select will also be taught how to create sustainable and scalable business models around their core products and services with the potential to go to the next level in a very short time. We will then provide support for those that are ready to bring their product and service to international markets via our distribution and commercialization channels.”
Dtac Accelerate is open for any and all interested applicants. The applicants will be categorized applicants into two groups: Incubation is for those who have ideas but have yet to create product or business model and have time to attend training throughout the entire program.
Acceleration is for those who have developed a product and business model. This year, our program is open for various types of products, such as mobile applications, online health services, e-commerce, mobile commerce payment, online financial services, educational content, music, games, entertainment, books, online application services for SME, cloud applications for enterprises, and technology social venture.
The all-new Dtac Accelerate program includes the following new measures, which Dtac and Telenor see as making it standout from other incubator programs in the market and in the region:
Selected startups will immediately receive an investment of THB 500,000 each, which can increase to a maximum of THB 1.5 million if they meet all the consequent evaluation criteria.
The program is open to both new startups and established companies. Participants will receive the support and push based on the quality of their products.
World class experts from Silicon Valley and Asia will come to mentor participants on pitching, building user experience, business models and marketing. They will conduct workshops for the participants to practice their pitching to prospective venture capitalists, and leading consultant companies, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, have been invited to provide legal and financial consultations.
The program will make a serious marketing effort to allow the chosen startups to reach Dtac customers and 150+ million customers of companies under Telenor Group worldwide.
The program gives the winners an opportunity to participant in a two-week Blackbox Connect program in Silicon Valley and to pitch their products to VC in Singapore and Europe. They will receive valuable experience and learn necessary skills and knowledge to become a successful startup.
The program will be open for applications from March 7 – April 16, 2014.
Interested persons can submit their proposals, including business model, product use instruction, revenue potential, target customers, and benefits to customers. Online applications are available at www.dtac.co.th/accelerate. The selection of the top 20 teams will take place April 17-20, 2014. The final five teams will be announced on Pitch Day, April 22, followed by orientation on April 28, 2014. They will then train in an extensive bootcamp from May to July. The final round of pitching and ultimate winner announcement is slated for Demo Day in August this year.