In a move that promises to transform the high value economy and quality of life in Korat, Suranaree University of Technology and the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) have joined forces with the Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Administrative Organization and 13 private organizations to push the establishment of the Korat Startup City.

The ambitious project aims to create an infrastructure and startup ecosystem that will attract investors from all over the world, the parties said in a statement on Friday.

The project is part of the National Budget’s 2023 from Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Action Plan, which aims to support entrepreneurs, community enterprises, farmers, new graduates, and the general public.

To kick off the project, the Aggie Haven Accelerator has planned a Startup Boot Camp “Program on Fundraising and Management of Startups in Agriculture and Food” between March 14 to 16 and March 21 to 23 at Kantary Hotel (Korat) Nakhon Ratchasima Province.

The training program will help entrepreneurs and agripreneurs in the region develop sustainable startup ideas and learn how to create maximum value.

Dr. Yalada Wangsuphakitkosol, Mayor of Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Administrative Organization, emphasized the importance of building a robust economy that will improve the lives of the Korat people.

She said that Korat has enormous potential in driving the “Korat Startup City” project, and the provincial administrative organization is committed to supporting and promoting it.

Husadin Suwatanapongched, Advisory Board to the Mayor of Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Administrative Organization, highlighted the role of the “Korat City of Business Opportunities” in linking research, technology, innovation, and capital sources to develop regional industries.

He said the project aims to speed up the establishment of a special economic zone coordination center under the development of the Northeastern Economic Corridor.

This will help accelerate the growth of businesses and startups in the region and provide them with the necessary support to compete at the regional level, he added.

The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) is one of the driving forces behind the project.

The organization has formulated an action plan to promote small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), focusing on creating growth and aiming at potential groups.

The plan aims to provide a framework for preparing project proposals and budgets for government agencies in driving SME promotion that is appropriate and adequate.

Suranaree University of Technology, one of the project’s partners, is a university that promotes the use of research for economic, industrial, social, and environmental utilization.

The university is committed to promoting and developing entrepreneurship for students and being a regional strategic research and development center for science and technology.

Dr. Non Arkara, a senior expert in smart city at the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), emphasized the potential of the area to become a center for the development of agricultural innovation not only in Thailand but also in Southeast Asia and the Mekong Sub-region.

According to him, the establishment of the “Korat Startup City” promises to create a big ripple in the Northeastern Economic Corridor, with the potential to transform the region’s economy and create new opportunities for entrepreneurs, community enterprises, farmers, and new graduates.

Sayan Wairangkun, Managing Director of Backster Co., Ltd., recently announced plans to offer a fundraising and startup management course in agriculture and food.

The program aims to foster human capital development in agriculture and food startups and ultimately create maximum and sustainable value.

The goal is to turn Korat into a global startup hub by leveraging its potential and readiness in terms of infrastructure, industries, and networks, particularly in Pak Chong District.

Thanks to its favorable climate and environment, Korat could attract startups from all over the world.

Dr Kamrai Buensanteai, Program Director of Fundraising and Startup Management in Agriculture and Food to Create Maximum and Sustainable Value at Suranaree University of Technology, also emphasized the importance of the Northeastern Economic Corridor (NeEC) as a driving base for the bioeconomy under the BCG model.

She urged startups to take advantage of the region’s bio-resource advantages to unlock production in the agricultural and traditional industries.

Kamrai also recommended that startups combine technology and innovation with knowledge to create added value throughout the production value chain and achieve cost-effective use of resources, reducing pollution and promoting environmental sustainability.

She also noted that Korat is a city that is ready to support startups.

With a thriving agricultural industry and a community of private sector partners and educational institutions, she said Korat is poised to create a strong startup ecosystem.

Kamrai also suggested that by working together, the ecosystem could accelerate the growth of startup businesses and even mold startups that can compete on a global scale.

To achieve this vision, she said there are needs to be an integration of policies that attract business and investment from Thai and foreign investors.

She opined that Creating Korat as a Northeastern Economic Corridor by Thai people for Thai people, as part of the “Promotion of SMEs in the 7th benchmark under the development plan National Economy and Society Issue No. 13” would be a crucial step in generating sustainable high-value income for startups and Thai businesses based in Korat.

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