Innovation has a home in Chiang Mai. And that’s where we’re kicking off Splice Beta.

Chiang Mai University's Science & Technology Park links industry and startups.

Chiang Mai University Science & Technology Park is the official venue partner of Splice Beta.


When we decided to hold Splice Beta in Chiang Mai, we weren’t sure what kind of venues we’d find.

We knew of small co-working spaces, but those wouldn’t fit everyone. There was a cavernous Brutalist-architecture space that would have been perfect but had zero furniture (or air-conditioning); and there were many, many windowless conference rooms, which were exactly what we didn’t want.

And then we came across this shimmering oval structure on a green lawn.

Chiang Mai University Science & Technology Park has co-working spaces, a fabrication lab, meeting rooms, an amphitheater, and an exhibition space.
Chiang Mai University Science & Technology Park has co-working spaces, a fabrication lab, meeting rooms, an amphitheater, and an exhibition space.

Chiang Mai University Science & Technology Park’s auditorium (affectionately called the Rice Grain), opened in 2018. It’s the anchor building for a complex whose goal is to jumpstart and nurture innovation, inclusive growth, and ultimately, economic development in Northern Thailand.

Supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, it links Chiang Mai University to industry and the private sector, opening up opportunities for R&D, technology transfer, and collaboration.

The campus has co-working spaces, a fabrication lab with 3D printing and other maker tools, meeting rooms, an amphitheater, and an exhibition space that showcases the products they’ve incubated since STeP was founded in 2012.

A platform for startups

STeP’s incubation programs have helped bring to market companies that operate in the digital economy, deep technology and biotech.

Take The Little Onion Factory. The company, working with organic farms and operating a Halal-certified factory, extracts properties from local Thai herbs and sells them under their own brand. STeP provided mentorship for two years, helping the startup build capacity and connect with the commercial world. They are also expanding overseas, and have won innovation awards in Thailand and China. Today, their co-founder and CEO, Pattaporn Kanyamee mentors other startups.

There’s also Smile Migrane. CEO Dr. Surat Tanprawate recognized that migraines are the main cause of debilitation in adults under 50 worldwide. 10 million Thais suffer from it, and 70% go without treatment, such as proper headache assessment, medication adjustment, lifestyle, and behavioral modification. He built the Smile Migraine application to recommend personalized solutions to migraine sufferers. Doctors and patients record headache days, migraine triggers and daily behavior. The data is then analyzed using machine learning. The next step? Migraine Telemedicine, to reach patients everywhere that need support.

STeP also has its share of the typical marketplace startups, locally-born to solve problems like access to employment and healthcare.

BeNeat helps connect employers to trained cleaners. They developed a viable business model while enrolled at the STeP incubation program in 2016 and graduated in 2018 when their revenue grew to 15x of their initial investment. Today the platform provides employment opportunities for 5,000 cleaners in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Chonburi and Rayong.

Ocare is a data-driven corporate wellness solution for corporate wellness management. Designed by a team of occupational doctors and data scientists, Health Business Intelligence helps companies use data to provide and manage personalized health plans for employees.

And what would an innovation center be without a blockchain-based startup? Dek Design, developed by Settapol Yamsawat while at Dec Art School Institute, is a community-driven education platform that helps students learn design through video and photos, preparing them for admission to design universities. Designers can create digital records using blockchain technology, which certifies ownership and allows them to sell their digital work online.

Timi is a digital media professional with 20 years of creative and commercial experience. She’s helped build digital media businesses in Asia from the ground up, including CBS Interactive and Outbrain, and has held management roles in audience development, product, sales management and campaign ops. Follow Timi Siytangco on Twitter.

more about us

Our mission is to drive radical change by supporting bold, forward-looking media startups in Asia. In order to do this, we report on, teach, transform, and fund newsrooms in Asia.

Our newsletters are read by some of the smartest people in global media.

We’re Alan Soon and Rishad Patel, and there’s more about us here.

The Splice Beta Fund is a prototyping grant that helps news and media entrepreneurs in Asia to quickly ideate, launch, test, and iterate products and services for audiences and customers. See our six grantees here!

Splice Lights On is our way of supporting the media community. We are working with Facebook to distribute $5,000 micro-grants in support of small- to mid-sized news orgs and their freelancers in Asia financially affected by Covid-19. See the grantees here.

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