‘Spark Ignite 2021 – Thailand Start up Competition’ winners announced

Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd., together with partners from government and the private sector, on September 29, 2021, announced the winners of the technology startup competition entitled “Spark Ignite 2021 – Thailand Start up Competition”, also collaborating with many experts from various industries to provide advice and consultation for startup teams. The competition aims to enable Thai startups to grow at the regional level and to promote their products and services while fostering digital talent in the country, as a part of Huawei’s commitment to supporting Thailand in becoming the ‘Digital Hub of ASEAN’.

The three winners, from a total of 132 competitors across the country, included ReverseAds, online advertising service platform who took home the first-place winner title. Zipevent, the online event organising service provider and ChillPay, the end-to-end payment platform, won the second and third place, respectively. The three winners will receive HUAWEI CLOUD credit worth 9 million baht and an opportunity to join Huawei Spark program which will provide them with business counsel and technological resources from Huawei, as well as introduction to potential partners that will help them thrive in the global market.

At the award announcement ceremony, Mr. Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, and Mr. Abel Deng, CEO, Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd., gave keynote speeches and congratulated to the startup teams.

The judging committee in the final pitching of this competition comprised Dr. Chinawut Chinaprayoon, Executive Vice President of Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa); Mr. Pariwat Wongsamran, Director of Innovative Entrepreneur and Enterprise Director of Startup Thailand at NIA; Dr. Monchai Lertsutthiwong, Principal Research Engineer of KLabs at KBTG; Mr. Paisan Jeanuthaithamrong, Incubation Manager of TusPark WHA; Mr. Udomsak Dornkhampai, CTO of Zanroo; Mr. Leo Jiang, Chief Digital Officer of Huawei Cloud & AI Business Group, Asia Pacific Region; Dr.Chawapol Jariyawiroj, President and Mr. Surasak Wanichwatphibun, CTO of Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

“The Spark Ignite 2021 – Thailand Start-up Competition” began in May 2021 with 132 participating teams from various industries to find the best technology startup in the country. The companies making up the 10 finalists shortlisted featured product and service providers using smart technologies in a variety of applications. These included developing adaptive AI for trading and financial industries, an e-commerce application that successfully supports Thai beauty businesses, and an intermediate platform for buying and selling Renewable Energy Credits (REC), targeted to small-to-medium clean energy suppliers in Thailand.

ReverseAds emerged as the winner in Huawei’s Spark Ignite 2021 – Thailand competition, with the Phuket-based online advertising provider utilising Machine Learning technology to service customers. The company’s CEO, Mr. Michael Hahn, said, “We at ReverseAds are very excited to be awarded first place in this competition. Cloud technology is at the core of our service and HUAWEI CLOUD is one of the best cloud service providers in the world. We will use the awarded HUAWEI CLOUD Credit and the company’s technological support to further develop our platform, particularly utilising AI to enhance our Machine Learning application and adding to our back-end infrastructure to support more users for our global service expansion.”

ReverseAds is an online advertising platform that uses AI technology to predict user behaviour and likely websites visited, and then shares banner advertising to those predicted websites to match the right target audience – without using cookies-based programming. The company aims to be a unicorn startup, with US$1 billion valuation, hiring 1,000 employees in the Thai market, and becoming a competitor of Google Ads and an alternative online marketing platform for all Thai marketers within three years. The ReverseAds team will receive HUAWEI CLOUD Credit worth US$125,000 (4,000,0000 baht), and be eligible to participate in China’s Huawei Spark Program, the Huawei Spark Fire Program, and the Spark Go Program, which aims to incubate and elevate the growth of tech startup businesses in order to build a digital ecosystem.

The 2nd and 3rd winner teams were Zipevent, a one-stop service for customers to set up online virtual events, placed second, while payment platform ChillPay that provides fast transactions for all businesses came in third. Zipevent shared that being one of the competition’s winning teams was only the first step to start working with HUAWEI. The team will use its HUAWEI CLOUD Credit to support operation costs and will utilise VDO Livestreaming, Data Mining, and VR technology to enhance their online, offline, or hybrid event organising services. The company will also expand its services to twelve additional countries (including China) within three years.

Meanwhile, ChillPay commented that this was also their first opportunity to collaborate with HUAWEI and expand their business together. ChillPay believes that core to any payment platform is the security of its service and flexibility of its back-end infrastructure, which are key strengths of HUAWEI CLOUD.

Both teams will also receive HUAWEI CLOUD Credit worth 80,000 USD and be eligible to participate in China’s Huawei Spark Program, such as Spark Go China.

In addition, the other six teams entered the final pitching are Zupport and Blockfint, ranked in 4th and 5th places accordingly and will receive US$20,000-worth of HUAWEI CLOUD Credit. While the honourable mention teams; FoodDee, Snappink, PolarBear 100X and ElysianNxt will receive US$5,000-worth of HUAWEI CLOUD Credit each.

The event was also joined by Mr. Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, Minister of Digital Economy and Society (MDES), who witnessed and shared his views about the Spark Ignite 2021 – Thailand Startup Competition.

“To drive domestic economy amid this crucial moment, Thai startups are a key element that can create new innovations,” he said. “I would like to thank Huawei for continuous commitment to help foster ecosystem development in Thailand as well as accelerate Thai startup growth, in turn enabling them to create innovations and use technology to create access to global markets for Thai startups, which will enhance the potential of Thailand 4.0 to the fullest and will help support Thailand in becoming an ASEAN digital hub.”

Asst. Prof. Dr. Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, President and CEO of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), mentioned about the collaboration in the program that, “Depa's vision is to focus on promoting and leading Thai startup entrepreneurs and Thai technology startups to grow strongly. The Spark-Ignite 2021 – Thailand Start up Competition project by Huawei Thailand is a great endeavour in helping Thai tech startups leap forward. I would like to congratulate the winning teams. depa believes that they will gain valuable knowledge of technologies applicable for their businesses and the opportunity to grow their businesses. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Huawei for helping Thai startups enhance their capability to be accessible to the global market.”

Mr. Abel Deng, CEO, Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd., speaking on the goals of the Spark Ignite 2021 – Thailand Start-up Competition, said that: “The competition represents a great collaborative model between Huawei and partners to open the door for knowledge sharing and know-how that can spark ideas and provide practical support. On behalf of Huawei, I am deeply thankful to both the government sector and all partners from the private sector, who put a great effort into this collaboration to enable this platform enhancing Thai startups capability. As a leading ICT partner as well as a continuous social value contributor in Thailand for more than 22 years, our commitment remains to ‘Grow in Thailand and Contribute to Thailand’, and bring digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent Thailand.”