The programme, first started in May 2013 in partnership with 500 Startups, rewards finalists with an initial funding of THB 500,000 (US$15,598) and gives a chance to join its 99-day boot camp to kickstart growth.
UPDATE: While finalists will receive THB 500,000, which includes all applicable taxes, True Incube will be awarded five or more percent of equity. The percentage and end value will depend on the startup’s valuation amount, which is finalised by investors, when it receives funding after completing the programme. If the startup does not take outside funding, True Incube will negotiate with the startup to determine its valuation.
Its first edition saw six finalists, namely, Fit Me, SellSuki, Sticgo, Taamkru, Todok and Zeekamore, instead of the usual five. Punnamas Vichitkulwongsa, Managing Director, True Incube said, “In the beginning, we felt that five was the right number for us. However, with so many high quality teams applying, we saw the need to take in an additional team.”
Virachai Chusakulporn, Incubation Programme Manager, True Incube shared that they are very satisfied with the programme structure of the first batch of startups. “Therefore, there will be no major changes to the programme. 500 Startups and Gobi Partners will continue to work closely with us, providing valuable insight.”
Participating teams should be made up of no more than five individuals, regardless of gender, age, nationality and education. They will have to submit a short video of one- to two-minutes introducing the team and the product.
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The slogan of the initiative has been changed to ‘Don’t just think, start doing!’ to emphasise the urgency Thai entrepreneurs need in order to rise to the occasion. In an earlier interview with Chusakulporn, he had stated that they are looking for courageous entrepreneurs who are able to stand up for their dreams and do something about it.
Chusakulporn said, “Thailand has a decent amount of high quality entrepreneurs, especially those with design expertise. Following this, we strongly believe that we will discover even more capable entrepreneurs in (the second batch).”
He added that his team has learnt from running the first incubation programme that it is easy for Thai startups to lose focus due to the lack of experience. He advised these young startups to choose up to three key metrics to focus on, and achieve them in 99 days to make sure their products solve a problem for key users.
Other than the seed funding, True Incube will also present startup finalists with mentors and business opportunities through True Group. For one selected team, there will also be an opportunity to visit and study at the US-based incubator 500 Startups.
To apply, please head over to this website.