Today, Huawei held the finals of their long-running startup competition, the "Spark-Ignite Pitching Day & Award Ceremony", at the flagship Spark Founders Summit event, Asia's fastest growing startup event. The finals were held in Bangkok, Thailand, in conjunction with Huawei Connect 2022, to empower startup capabilities and the Thai digital startup ecosystem through the competition. The winners will receive up to 125,000 USD in cloud credits and professional support from Huawei to help them grow in the market and become a driving force behind Thailand's digital transformation into a digital hub for the ASEAN region.
Mr. Abel Deng, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Huawei Technologies Thailand Co., Ltd. concluded at the event: "I would like to thank all participants for your impressive pitches. You have shown us some truly exciting ideas about the integration of digital technology solutions in business models. Startups have become a force for discovery and drivers of innovation. This is why it has brought us all here today, and Huawei is completely confident in the potential of startups to create more job opportunities and inject new energy into the digital landscape to support post-pandemic economic recovery. Innovation never stops and neither does our commitment to supporting Thailand's digital ecosystem. We are ready to provide technological expertise and go-to market partnerships for a wide range of startups. I hope Huawei will walk the road of entrepreneurship together for shared successes and to become the driving force of digital transformation in Thailand."
"Looking into the future, we remain committed to contributing to Thailand's economy and society, with a special focus on building ICT talents. As a leading ICT partner for digital transformation, as well as a continuous societal contributor in Thailand over the past 23 years, I would like to reiterate our commitment once again to Grow in Thailand and Contribute to Thailand, as well as to bring digitalization to every person, home, and organization for a fully connected, intelligent Thailand." He added.
Dr. Pun-Arj Chairatana, Executive Director, Thailand National Innovation Agency (NIA), delivered the opening speech at the event: "Building a digital startup ecosystem is very important for the development of the country. The NIA would like to thank Huawei for actively supporting and promoting the startup ecosystem in Thailand. Also, thank you very much for organizing this Spark-Ignite Pitching Day competition as well as supporting technologies, business knowledge, startup funding, go-to-market, and the opportunity for Thai startups to have access to fantastic projects like this, in order to encourage any investment in the future. I would like to take this opportunity to recommend Thai digital startups to give priority to practical business models to ensure that your projects are both credible and have the foundation for success in our current digital ecosystem."
Mr. Leo Jiang, Chief Digital Officer, HUAWEI CLOUD APAC, said: "Spark Founders Summit 2022 is a follow-up of last year's success in Singapore and Hong Kong. We're coming back bigger and better; having government and industry leaders from the region share important conversations on shaping regional and local startup ecosystems, as well as addressing opportunities and challenges intersecting technology, society, and digital economies."
Mr. Vitavin Ittipanuvat, Executive Director of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India, a Huawei Spark ecosystem VC partner, believes that: "Through every crisis there's always an opportunity. We are happy to support Huawei's Spark Founders Summit event as part of their continuing trust and commitment in the Thai startup ecosystem. There is obviously a lot of work ahead for everyone in the community, but we trust it will be another exciting year for all of us to collaborate and grow stronger together through the challenging times."
In August, Huawei launched the "Spark-Ignite 2022", together with depa, NIA, and our partners. The Spark Ignite Thailand startup competition gives Thai startups the opportunity to enter the Huawei Spark Accelerator program, to gain more exposure, and to scale up their potential to an international level. To date, over 1,700 startups in Thailand were directly reached. The Spark Founders Summit bring together key ecosystem players; connecting founders, policymakers, enterprises, and investors to discuss Asia's digital future, harness thought leadership and best practices, and showcase products and upcoming startups.
The winning team for the Spark-Ignite 2022 competition was Globish, an online English teaching platform focused on speaking skills for corporate clients and schools. In an interview, Ms. Chuencheewan Wongsaeree, co-founder of Globish Academia (Thailand) Co., Ltd., said: "Our purpose for joining this project was because we wanted to expand our business to other countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Middle Eastern countries, etc. By joining this project, it will support us in expanding to other countries like these where Huawei is operating. More importantly, we also want to use Huawei's cloud technologies to collect teaching data and we hope to continue using other technologies to support teaching and learning as well."
The first runner-up team was Finema, a startup delivering Public Key authentication solutions on mobile devices to prevent identity theft in the digital world. Their technologies are compatible with identity registration systems in various industrial sectors, such as the financial sector, health sector, tourism sector, and education sector, etc. Mr. Chatchai Chanvej, Business Development Lead, Finema Company Limited, stated that this competition has helped Thai startups learn more about Huawei's products, solutions, and management, which will in turn develop Huawei's products and support their adoption into a range of businesses. Finema soon hopes to use Huawei's OCR solutions to help verify ID cards, including expanding business connections with Huawei partners. The second runner-up was BKK Management Group led by Mr. Kriangkrai Pipatvilaikul, Managing Partner & Co-Founder of BKK Management Group Co., Ltd., a startup that provides ERP (enterprise resource planning) solutions for data collection and rapid reporting to help increase efficiency in manufacturing processes and reduce operational costs. He shared his opinion that the ERP market is currently worth $8 billion in the Asia-Pacific region alone, and thanks to Huawei's competitive projects, this will give Thai startups the opportunity to access experts and technological knowledge in order to push them to the next level.
The startup teams that won 4th through 8th place were Dynamic Intelligence Asia, Edvisory "We Assess", Covest, Vecabo "Fleetex", and Easy Rice. The eight final teams receiving select one-on-one mentorship sessions with top Huawei executives. The 1st place winner will go on to win 125,000 USD in cloud credits and benefit from access to Huawei technologies, expertise, and go-to-market partnerships. The 2nd & 3rd place teams, 4th & 5th place teams, and 6th - 8th place teams will receive 80,000 USD, 20,000 USD and 5,000 USD in cloud credits, respectively, to help their startups grow as well and quickly generate profits. In addition, they will all receive an opportunity to be admitted to the Huawei Spark Program "Accelerate" Tier and "Incubate" Tier, as well as to Huawei Spark Fire and the Spark Go-China program.