Last Startup Weekend Ends Year of 2011

The AIS Startup Weekend planned November 2011 had been rescheduled to mid December — from 16 to 18 — due to heavy flooding in Bangkok, Thailand, where the event took place. In what was the worst flooding in the last 50 years, flood waters inundating north of Bangkok have reached the capital, thereby affecting events in the region.

Bangkok Post reports that the situation has returned to normal in most of the districts as of December 4, as announced by governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra. The AIS Startup Weekend made a new record of having the highest pitch rate in Southeast Asia, at almost 80 percent, or 96 out of 120 participants. In the next qualifying round of pitches based on amount of votes, 17 startups emerged as finalists.

Thunyawat Chaitrakul, Pratthana Leelapanang, and Dr. Thanachart Numnonda were judges from Thailand. Edgar Hardless and Hugh Mason represented Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) Innov8 and Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI), respectively, in the panel as well. Wong Meng Weng was a returnin mentors, together with new additions  Thomas Kjeldgaard, Ville Kumar and Luke Hubbard.

The Chatterbox!  Team took the prize as the first Startup Weekend winner, with their take on adding different levels of viewing interaction to TV. The tam will be eligible to join the 100 days JFDI–Innov8 2012 Bootcamp. Commencing January 25 in Singapore, the bootcamp will involve 15 startup teams from around the world, which will be given a chance to develop their ideas into prototypes, and then into actual products. During the bootcamp, participants are encouraged to do research, read blog posts, attend dozens of short talks over lunch and dinner, and meet and get along with customers, and investors on a regular basis.

Apart from the chance to mingle with investors, each team gets S$15,000 in initial investment, work space and intensive mentoring through the JFDI–Innov8 2012 Bootcamp. At the end of the event, they will also get a chance to pitch their ideas to international investors. Four teams who earlier won as runners up in the event that occupied at Lebua at State Tower received 100,000 baht.

The next StartupWeekend in Asian countries will be held in Bangalore on January 20 until 22, with  four hours’ startup boot camp for all participants the day previous to keynote speeches delivered by investors and entrepreneurs.