5 reasons why Bangkok is the right place for launching startup
Could Bangkok be your startup paradise?
Bangkok is currently one of the fastest booming startup scenes. While it used to be the underdog of the global startup hub, it is now the leading startup scene in Southeast Asia. These are the 5 reasons why Bangkok is the right place for launching your startup now:
1. VC and high chance to get funded
One of the difficulties when it comes to launching your startup is to find financial support. Funding for startups is becoming more and more accessible in Thailand. According to The Nation, Thailand secured over US$30 million in global funding for startups in 2014.
There are five VC firms based in Bangkok. In addition to this, six foreign firms actively invest in Thailand’s businesses. Not convinced yet? There are also five major incubators and startup accelerators fund startups to bootstrap your startup, and more firms are coming on board as growth increases.
There are tons of startup summits and conferences where you can present your startup with a potential raise funding.
2. Low cost of living
Bangkok is attractive for startups or foreign entrepreneurs not only for being a metropolitan city, but also because of the city being highly affordable to live in, with a high quality of life. In the case of launching your startup, you may not need a fancy office just yet. In fact, many startups are utilising co-working spaces to foster a collaborative culture as your startup grows.
How cheap is it to live in Bangkok? A few days ago, a friend from France called me saying that she just bought a new pair of leather shoes which costed her 250 euros. It blew my mind because that is exactly what I pay for my modern condo in the centre of Bangkok, with 40m swimming pool and gym facility!
Having said that, living in the lower cost indicates that you can stretch your money out and create a longer operation for startup business.
3. Bangkok is filled with entrepreneurs
The prevalence of co-working spaces has allowed for manageable business operations. And it is precisely why more and more startups and entrepreneurs are taking their full advantages out of it. Where there are co-working spaces, there are entrepreneurs. There are many opportunities to network with other like-minded entrepreneurs with lots of creative ideas.
Last Friday, I was fortunate enough to attend entrepreneur summit Thailand 2016 where one of the leading founders and aspiring entrepreneurs have given inspirational pitch. This is just one out of so many. If you cannot meet entrepreneurs while you are in Bangkok, then you are intentionally avoiding them.
4. Quality of life
Needless to say, Bangkok is one of the modern and attractive destinations. According to Travel & Leisure magazine, Bangkok has been voted the world’s top destination four years in a row. Thus, Thailand came 2nd for tourism in Southeast Asia. Now that Bangkok has improved its downtown and business areas with modern sky-rises and large shopping malls, Bangkok is ready to accept startup founders more than ever.
As a guy who was born and raised in Tokyo, I personally think Bangkok is more modern and more comfortable to live in, with its great quality of life. If you’ve ever visited Bangkok you’d understand this. Thai people are, in my opinion, the coolest and most warm-hearted people. The country is filled with smiles to kick off your day in a good mood.
5. Tax free incentives from the Thailand BOI
The Thailand BOI, which stands for board of investment, is one of the biggest factors for your decision when launching startup. Thailand BOI operates under the ministry of industry and is the principal government agency for encouraging investment. It was aimed to actively promote Thailand as one of best investment locations in Asia.
One of the benefits your startup can get from the BOI is an attractive and competitive package of tax incentives, imposes no foreign equity restrictions on manufacturing activities. And it doesn’t stop here. They provide assistance in the provision of visas and work permits to facilitate entry for a foreign-owned business.
If you are looking to do business in Asia, you definitely should aim for getting investment promotion from the BOI. There are many companies in Bangkok such as MSNA Group, that helps you facilitate application process so that you don’t need to complicate your life.
I hope it tickles your mind to start wondering about the opportunity to launch your startup in Bangkok. Choose wisely.