Digital Startup support and promotion are a key mission of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency. DEPA has tried to encourage many entrepreneurs through promotion measures for access to finance and trade negotiations. To continue supporting digital startups and innovation and technology entrepreneurs, DEPA reveals 4 promotion measures including intellectual property promotion to add value to innovative works, access to finance, investment promotion and building trust via the entrepreneur registration system.
First measure DEPA has encouraged more than 200 Digital Startups and innovation and technology entrepreneurs to register their intellectual property each year, and raised the awareness of DEPA’s target groups on the importance of intellectual property laws. The agency has conducted a comparative study on intellectual property laws of Thailand and AEC and other relevant laws (industrial design patent law, invention patent laws, trademark laws and copyright laws) to present details of legal problems and obstacles that have impact on digital industry development and to provide policy suggestions for growth and strength of the digital industry. DEPA is going to propose commercial guidelines on intellectual property valuation to financial institutions.
Second measure is access to finance. DEPA does not provide funds, but has joined forces with Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG) to encourage entrepreneurs to access finance under the entrepreneur credit guarantee project with a credit line of 10,000 million baht to assist Digital Startups and innovation and technology entrepreneurs. Initially, TCG will have two groups of credit guarantee support that are Digital Startups: individuals with credit line of not over 1 million baht and juristic persons with credit line of not over 5 million baht; innovation and technology entrepreneurs: individuals with credit line of not over 1 million baht and juristic persons with credit line of not over 20 million baht, to support and motivate entrepreneurs to access finance provided by more than 20 public and private organizations that are DEPA’s alliances. Target groups desiring to participate in TCG’s credit guarantee project must be certified by DEPA. DEPA will support these target groups to access the investment promotion in the third measure to generate new trade and investment.
Third measure is investment promotion. DEPA has teamed up with the Board of Investment (BOI) to disseminate and promote BOI’s investment promotion policies and benefits to target groups, especially the digital cluster. DEPA has also provided entrepreneurs with training programs and consultation to enhance knowledge and understanding and disseminated e-Learning lessons regarding investment promotion. Following the collaboration between DEPA and BOI, 264 projects in the digital cluster were granted BOI investment promotion with total investment amount of 4,230.30 million baht in 2016. These projects created 6,224 jobs in the digital industry, up from 123 projects in 2015 having a total investment amount of 1,120.30 million baht and creating 3,129 jobs in the digital industry.
Fourth measure is registration of software and digital content entrepreneurs to build trust and confirm their identity. Currently, 70 entrepreneurs have been registered and 310 entrepreneurs are in the consideration process. The measure is aimed at expanding markets for digital users, Digital Startups and innovation and technology entrepreneurs in the future.