RISE, a Thailand-based accelerator has unveiled plans to extend to Singapore through an established partnership with Enterprise Singapore, A Singaporean Government Agency.
Rise has procured support under the agency’s Startup SG Accelerator program, which provides mentorship and resources for startups based in Singapore. Rise plans to bring more thai startups to Singapore and the partnership deal will also gives more than a thousand growth-stage startups in Rise’s network a chance to make Singapore the first Southeast Asian country to expand to or even initiate their viability outside of Thailand.
Vice versa the partnership will also enable Rise to help foreign and Singaporean startups plug into Thailand’s innovation ecosystem and work with local partners and suppliers to solve set up and market needs through its global network of corporate and governmental agencies.
Through Startup SG Accelerator, the first official collaborative program of RISE and Enterprise Singapore is “RISE.AI”, Southeast Asia’s first corporate AI Accelerator program that will bring in 30 AI startups from all over the world to the region. AI Startups will work intensively with the top corporates in Singapore for nine weeks. The program will focus on delivering tangible business results to corporates rather than incubating early-stage startups, according to a statement. Ten thai startups will fly to the city-state for the program’s Singapore leg, which will run from August to September.
Rise hopes to explore more initiatives with Enterprise Singapore in sectors such as health care and energy following Rise.AI. and also to initaive more collaborative platforms and programs.
Enterprise Singapore’s Director for Global Innovation Network, Mr Jonathan Lim said: “Many startups fail not because they lack great ideas but because they lack product-market fit. Product development should be driven by a market need and customer validation from potential users. Enterprise Singapore is happy to partner with RISE in its inaugural AI program to enable startups to work closely with regional corporates.”
While the announcement of the collaborative partnership deals seems beneficial, many local thai academics questioned whether this could lead to a future brain drain or even financial and economic gains for Singapore and Singaporean Corporations and whether Singaporeans penetrating the local Thai market would be fair to local thais. Despite the obvious benefits of knowledge exchange, some academics also questioned whether the local Thai Startup ecosystem is conducive enough or perhaps there is too much bureaucratic processes in certain government agencies and also lack of resources, brains and finances to develop and sustain various types of local startups, hence many are looking at countries like Singapore.