Thailand Startup Community – Tao Santimakorn

Meet Tao Santimakorn. Founder of Startup Bangkok, a rapid growing hyper-local startup community and support group based in Bangkok, Thailand with over 10,000 members in their network. StartUp Bangkok was born to help talented founders learn how to build businesses by leveraging the hindsight and experience of partners which includes serial entrepreneurs, lean startup experts and startup mentors. This is his entrepreneurial story.

Where did you get the idea for your business?

After engaging within the entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem in Melbourne, my brother and I later founded our own startup. Initially, we were new to the startup scene so we experienced many problems and had to overcome challenges that we had never experienced before. We spent a lot of time learning, attending events, speaking to the people around us and failing over and over again. After passing through all those obstacles, We realise that we should do something to help others start their own business more easily and that’s where the idea began.

How did you get your business started?

We believe that people are the most important asset within every startup organisation, therefore, we grew from humble beginnings to evolve our startup community called Startup Bangkok. Startup Bangkok is a community focused organisation providing inspiration, education and networking for people who have the passion to start their own entrepreneurial journey. It took us a bit over a year to go from 0 to 10,000 members which far exceeded our expectations.

What has been your greatest business moment/achievement?

We established a mother company, Bangkok Ventures, with the objective to help people turn their ideas into viable businesses by providing access to our resources, networks and technical capability. Now out of those 10,000 members, we have about 200 startups. Five out of those are ready for investment and are spread across 3 industries including agriculture, aerospace, health and wellness.

How important for you has it been to have a mentor?

A lot of people starting up their business hunt for funding, but for me personally, I think the most important thing is searching for at least one mentor that understands your business and who is able to give you clear direction and avoid distraction. Luckily, we found one very quickly.

What lessons have you learned so far on your business journey?

Along the way, you will discover a lot of exciting opportunities. This is great, but on the other hand, it can also be a distraction that could cause you to deviate from your initial goal.

What are your top three tips for starting a business?

  1. Find good people; your team, mentors and partners.
  2. Understand why you are starting the business.
  3. Relax, enjoy life and travel often.

Tao Santimakorn is a graduate of the Bachelor of Engineering (Aero Engineering) and Bachelor of Business (Management) 2011.

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