Thailand-based telco AIS is teaming up with Singtel to create a regional startup community. The goal of this community is to support startups in the region and help them to compete in the global market.
At an AIS-hosted Regional Seed Network Workshop in Bangkok, representatives from many SingTel associate companies came together to focus on this new community. There were reps from the Singaporean telco’s SingTel Innov8 program, Kickstart Ventures from the Philippine’s Globe, Teman Dev from Indonesia’s Telkomsel, Optus Innov8 Seed from Australia’s Optus, Malaysia’s Maxis, and AIS The StartUp from Thailand’s AIS.
At the workshop, there was also a showcase for startups who participated in the AIS The Startup Weekends event to present their projects with a view to expanding their reach – with help from other nations’ telcos – beyond Thailand. Noonswoon, iButler by Fourleaf, AIS Privilege app by Buzzebees, Dolphin I/O, BentoWeb, Molome, and ShopSpot all got a chance to pitch.
Although, there’s no concrete strategy or plans about this community or what SingTel will do with it, it’s good to see a conglomerate help expand Asia’s startup ecosystem to a global level. Of course, the telcos want a cut of the profits too.
AIS has been an active player in the Thai startup ecosystem with its startup incubator program. In addition, Intouch, AIS’s holding company in Thailand, has launched a VC called InVent which has invested in a few Thai startups already.
(Editing by Steven Millward)