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Five start-ups reach final round of Depa Phuket smart-city project

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FIVE START-UPS have reached the final round of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency’s “Start-up Challenge for Smart Cities” event in Phuket. The five are Travelism, an online travelling platform in kiosk, Web and mobile applications; AirportTels, which provides fast and safe suitcase delivery between airport and hotel; MoonFoi, a platform for turning waste into cash for Phuket; SmartQ, an online booking system for outpatients to reduce waiting periods at hospitals; and Market Price, a smart online purchasing system. These five teams are eligible to win a Bt500,000 cash prize. The winning proposal will be implemented as a real service in a sustainable way.

The criteria for the challenge focused on seven perspectives: smart tourism, smart economy, smart safety, smart environment, smart healthcare, smart education and smart governance. Pracha Asawateera, manager of Depa Phuket, said the development of smart cities overseas had been rapid and sustainable as it was partly driven by the private sector, particularly start-up projects that helped cities gear up for such projects in a practical and sustainable way.

Out of 55 teams who submitted proposals, 13 were shortlisted. The eight that did not reach the final round were the following.

PillPocket: A personal health assistant for long-term patients through chatbots.

PaiDuay: A carpooling system for travel resource management.

CoinEx: Coin exchange automation for tourists before returning home.

Fak-Rod: Online vehicle parking.

FreeLance Hub: A real-time application and website to match employers and employees.

LareDoin: A wireless service to locate people.

Mr Phuket: A smart chat for a smart city.

Park Lot: A real-time parking-space locator.

The 13 shortlisted teams attended workshops conducted by start-up gurus such as Patai Padungtin, founder of Builk.com and former president of the Thai Tech Startup Association, and Kittinan Anuphan from Ciaim Di and Police I Lert U, as well as Surawat Promyothin, an expert in insurance and fundraising from Stylhunt, a fashion start-up.

The judging committee included Thanapong Na Ranong, head of the venture capital team of Intouch Holding, Sam Tansakul, head of Krungsri Uni Startup; Watcher Aimwat from Computelogy and chairman of the Thai Tech Startup Association; and Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, vice president of the Phuket Tourist Association and Phuket Smart City Committee.

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