Building a startup ecosystem does not always lead to innovation acceleration. Let’s talk more about educational reform.
In Thailand, according to the latest Thailand 4.0 policy, it can’t be denied that innovation is one of the core topics. Startup ecosystem here has been growing rapidly since I guess about ten years ago. And growing even faster during the last few years. However, I still think that something is missing here. Why the impressive growth rate does not take Thailand to where we should be?
I went to a startup event in Bangkok today and attended a panel discussion among speakers from Berlin. The discussion talks about strengthening the relationship between 3 different angles as a means to grow startups in Thailand including; the relationship between stakeholders in the startup community, the relationship between corporates and startups and the relationship between all stakeholders in the startup community in different countries. These are interconnected elements in the complex startup ecosystem. The talks would summarize that we need to develop them all to create an effective startup ecosystem that leads to innovation.
Don’t get me wrong. These suggestions are all valid and I agree. For me, the interesting point lies in the question from the audience, Why Berlin is so successful with startups and innovation? Diverse culture, openness, young vibes, technology, policy, … I guess the answers could be so many! but one thing I think, it is a critical factor is about education.
Education is the fundamental basis of creating an innovation-intensive economy. To have the innovation-intensive economy, the knowledge-based economy needs to be created, and that is where the emerging of startups community, where people value more about creative, using knowledge to create a more valuable work than selling just labour jobs. And that leads us to the discussion of the practice of entrepreneurship and startups stuff. For me, this is something that happens as a cause and effect. You can’t expect the effect without creating a good driver.
So that’s why for me, I encourage policymakers or anyone in the Thai startups’ community to maybe take into account more about the side of education and culture when thinking about building a good startups ecosystem or innovation ecosystem. There is a strong interconnected relationship between these different communities too that we need to connect and change them altogether.