With a global health crisis that has forced major economies to carry out state-sanctioned lockdowns, businesses have had to come up with creative means to sell their products and services remotely. But what the pandemic has merely caused is accelerating the already increasing prominence of marketplaces.

Many of us might have learned about marketplaces for the first time through social media services such as Facebook, Instagram, Line, and even e-commerce sites like Shopee and Lazada. A marketplace is a space for people to buy and sell products and services. With an easy-to-use, convenient, and fast system, consumers and entrepreneurs can buy and sell products and services by themselves on a convenient platform. The more these products or services are searched for by consumers, the more likely they will be sold.

Also read: Angel Investors: leading the charge for startup growth in Thailand

For Thai startups, there are certainly a variety of factors to consider in making this shift: logistics, consumer demand, product relevance, marketability, the list goes on. In establishing a successful roadmap for innovative ideas to sell on a marketplace instead of general consumer products, is there any place where they can be conveniently sold to consumers, individuals, and corporates alike?

Bridging Thai startups to new markets

Realising the problems about access and limitations caused by COVID-19 that prohibits trade fairs organised for startups, the National Innovation Agency (NIA) of Thailand under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, in its capacity as the main agency responsible for the promotion and development of the Thai startup ecosystem, has launched a project called “Startup Thailand Marketplace” to educate Thai startups on how to create new markets and reach customers more easily. 

Startup Thailand Marketplace is the space fostered by the NIA to help promote Thai startups, enabling the public to know about them and increasing access to their products or services for B2B and B2C customers. They help raise awareness of these innovative products and services via the Startup Thailand social media channels and other channels in Thailand as well as other countries. Startup

Thailand Marketplace was launched in 2020 to promote Thai startups through three fundamental means:

  1. Startup Marketplace is Live Now: A live interview broadcast on the channels of three tech and innovation influencers — Ceemeagain, iT24Hrs, and LDA (Ladies in Digital Age).
  2. Video clips introducing each startup to help promote them on the social media pages of Startup Thailand (Facebook and Youtube).
  3. Articles published via online media to raise awareness and promote each startup to a wider audience.

The concrete success of Startup Thailand Marketplace is the number of Thai startups participating in the platform. Currently, as many as 100 Thai startups are joining Startup Thailand Marketplace.

Access to investors and corporates

A number of investors and corporates interested in the products of Thai startups after they watched
Startup Marketplace is Live Now have contacted the platform to ask for important networking details such as the name and contact of the startup that captured their interest. As a result, the startups’ sales have increased by as high as 10-20%.

2021 is the second year that NIA has successfully carried out the Startup Thailand Marketplace in a bid to keep over 100 startups afloat during these trying times caused by COVID-19 and the economic slowdown that came with it.

Also read: How Thailand’s Ricult uses deep tech to improve the lives of smallholder farmers

The project’s strategy this year focuses on the promotion of Thai startups among B2C and B2B customers via two social media channels including:

  1. Startup Marketplace is Live Now – Live interviews with 50 startups on the platforms of three influencers including Ceemeagain, iT24Hrs, and Noom Mueang Chan.
  2. Interview video clips and articles that highlight the visions and perspectives of over 50 Thai startup founders. The video clips and articles will be posted on the social media pages of Startup Thailand, the NIA, and other pages developed by various sectors.

This is the determination and commitment of the NIA to help promote Thai startups to a wider audience and make their voice louder so that they can overcome the COVID-19 crisis with strength and rigour.

The NIA builds a bridge to bring Thai startups closer to international consumers, investors, companies, and other business entities looking for solutions to their problems. It solidifying their commitment, Thai startups are well on their way to exploring new markets in the region and beyond.

For more information, visit their official page at https://startupthailand.org.

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This article is produced by the e27 team, sponsored by NIA

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