Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society to organise digital transformation event

Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society is set to hold a tech exhibition called “Digital Thailand Big Bang 2017” as part of its plans to drive digital transformation of its major industries.

The four-day exhibition, covering 40,000 square metres, will feature tech companies from private sectors, government, startups, financial institute and agencies across the world.

It will feature keynote speakers such as Jeff Hoffman, Co-Founder and Ex-CEO of Priceline, and Raffaello D’Andrea, ETH Zurich’s Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control.

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“Prime Minister H.E. General Prayuth Chan-o-cha has given his government a mandate to strongly push Thailand towards a digitalized nation in which technological innovations help drive economic growth,” said Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DE) in an official press statement.

“They are fundamentally important for community, public healthcare services and digital workforce development that should be implemented at all levels of society.”

The exhibition will be divided into four zones.

The first zone “Digital Ecosystem” focuses on initiatives of current and future technological innovations that have been developed and widely used in several industries.

The second exhibition “Digital Community and Smart City” features smart cities and future application showcases.

The third exhibition “Digital Park” will allow visitors to experience digital policies that will be implemented in Thailand. These would include digital real estate, logistics and transportation, for example.

The fourth zone “Digital Playground” is a creative space where visitors can experiment, share and exchange their ideas to create innovations. It will feature a co-working space, maker space and new innovations, participants will be provided with inspiration and insight into future businesses. Other highlights include an on-stage robot battle, and an e-sports section.

The Digital Thailand Big Bang 2017 will take place on September 21 – 24 2017 at IMPACT Challenger Hall 1-2, Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok.

Marvelstone Group inks partnership with Seoul Metropolitan Government

Singapore-based fintech-focussed investment group Marvelstone Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Seoul Metropolitan Government to cooperate on fintech.

This partnership will give fintech startups and investors more opportunities to tap into Seoul’s burgeoning fintech space.

An official press release stated that possible collaborations could include “investment and consultancy, fund management, opening a space in Seoul’s startup-supporting area near the financial centre, and joining Seoul’s upcoming Fintech Incubation Centre as a fintech partner.”

Also Read: Singapore government set to merge SPRING and IE Singapore to promote growth and internationalisation

“We see many synergies and areas of opportunity between what Marvelstone Group is trying to achieve – with our not-for-profit hub LATTICE80 – and the way Seoul is making tremendous efforts to innovate in fintech,” said Gina Heng, CEO of Marvelstone Group.

Uber launches UberFLASH and UberTAXI in Malaysia

Ride-hailing giant Uber has launched two new services UberFLASH and UberTAXI in the Klang Valley.

As the name implies, UberTAXI allows riders to request for taxis. UberFLASH connects riders to drivers closest to them, regardless of whether they are taxis or UberX private hire cars; this service is similar to Grab’s JustGrab feature in Singapore.

UberTAXI’s pricing will be based on the taxi meter fees while all UberFLASH rides will display the fee upfront.

True Incube partners with new four VCs

True Incube, an incubator launched by Thai-based telecommunications conglomerate True Corp, has brought on four heavyweight VCs as co-investors to help Thai startups expand internationally, reported Bangkok Post .

They are: Israel’s AGW Group, China’s Ant Financial, US’s 500 Startups and Japan’s Itochu.

Itochu has already invested in one Thai company and will seek to bring Japanese startups over, while Ant Financial will be exploring ways to ramp up adoption of its e-payment platform Alipay in the country (as it has done so in other markets in Southeast Asia).

Also Read: Visio Incubator on the journey to support West Sumatra’s startup ecosystem

AGW Group is looking to invest in about 3 companies with an investment amount ranging from US$250 – 450,000 each. 500 Startups first partnered True Incube in 2013 to provide mentoring and training.

Founded in 2013, True Incube has invested over THB 78 million (US$2.35 million) in 42 startups and 30 university projects.

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