News & Updates

JETRO held the “Zest Thailand ―Thailand-Japan Fast Track Pitch Event 2023―” in Bangkok to accelerate global open innovation of Japanese companies/startups

Aug 29, 2023

- 17 Startups pitched solutions to open innovation challenges provided by 7 Japanese companies and PTT group companies in tota -

JETRO and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), co-organising with PTT Public Company Limited (PTT Group), the Thailand Board of Investment, and Ministry of Energy of Thailand, held the “Zest Thailand ―Thailand-Japan Fast Track Pitch Event 2023―” (the "Zest Thailand") in Bangkok on August 7th.

In front of more than 300 participants (more than 170 in-person and more than 130 online), 17 startups from Japan, Thailand, and other regions presented their proposals on the open innovation challenges provided by the 7 challenge owners, including Japanese companies and the PTT group companies.

JETRO continues to support open innovation between startups from Japan and ASEAN to generate innovations as outcomes of the Fast Track Pitch event through various menus such as “J-Bridge”.

1. Opening Remarks

Prior to the presentations, Mr. NISHIMURA Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, Mr. NASHIDA Kazuya, Ambassador of Japan to Thailand, Mr. Kulit Sombatsiri, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, and Dr. Buranin Rattanasombat, Chief New Business and Infrastructure Officer of PTT Public Company Limited, gave opening remarks, stressing the importance of strengthening cooperation for the creation of innovation between the two countries.

Minister Nishimura, METI

Mr. Sombatsiri, Ministry of Energy

Dr. Rattanasombat, PTT Public Company Limited

2. Pitch session by the finalist startups

During the application period, about 110 startups from all over the world submitted proposals to challenges provided by challenge owner companies, including 4 Japanese companies and 3 PTT group companies. From among these, the following 17 startups selected as finalists by each challenge owner presented their proposals.

People concerned1
People concerned2
 Before the pitch session
Pitch session1
Pitch session2
Pitch session3
Pitch session4
Pitch session5
Pitch session6
Pitch session7

Please refer to JETRO’s special website for the detailed challenge statements and finalist startups.

A challenge owner is Kubota. Finalist startups are Durio Innovation Co.,Ltd., Intello Labs Pvt. Ltd., A challenge owner is PTT Group. Finalist startups are AccuPredict Services Pte Ltd, HedgeSPA Limited, and TBM
A challenge owner is PTT EP. Finalist startups are sustainacraft, Inc., Sagri Co., Ltd, and VEKIN (Thailand) Co.,Ltd., A challenge owner is Unicharm. Finalist startups are Talk to PEACH, FEMENOVA, and MEDICAL HEALTH SERVICES、Liclass Education co.,ltd.,
A challenge owner is IRPC. Finalist startups are Algal Bio Co.,Ltd., Emulsion Flow and Technologies, AC Biode。 A challenge owner is Minebea. Finalist startups are Unerry、Neural Group (Thailand) Co., Ltd., and VCONNEX INDUSTRIAL、TECHNOLOGY J.S.C,
A challenge owner is Ajinomoto. No finalist startup to pich. Ajinomoto's representative will present activities to generate innovation.

3. Panel discussion sessions

In addition to the pitch session, at the Zest Thailand, leading Japanese companies and PTT group companies which are keen to generate innovation discussed their strategies and projects at panel discussion sessions. These sessions were opportunities to facilitate open innovation with these companies.

Mitsubishi Company Ltd, Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology, PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited ARUN Plus Co., Ltd., DENSO INTERNATIONAL ASIA CO., LTD., PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, Global power synergy public company limited, Thai Oil Public Company Limited,
Panel discussion1
Panel discussion2

4. Networking session

At the pitch event venue, participants, including challenge owners, startups, VCs, accelerators, government organizations, and co-organisers, actively engaged in the network session and built networks with other participants.

Networking session1
Networking session2

5. Co-organizers and Supporters

Zest Thailand, the second Fast Track Pitch Event, was co-organized by JETRO, METI, and the Embassy of Japan in Thailand from Japanese government, and PTT Public Company Limited (PTT Group), the Thailand Board of Investment, and Ministry of Energy of Thailand from Thailand, with extensive support from about 40 supporting companies and organizations.

AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC) Secretariat, BEENEXT, beacon venture capital, ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC), Council of Local Authorities for International Relations(CLAIR), DBJ, depa, East Ventures, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), FTI, Genesia Ventures, Global Brain, Gobi Partners,
ICMG Pte Ltd, Incubate Fund, InnoSpace (Thailand), Indonesia capital, JBIC, JPX, Japan SEA Innovation Platform (JSIP), KDDI, KK Fund, Krungsri, Krungsri Finnovate, Leave a Nest, Mars Growth Capital Pte. Ltd., Mizuho, MUFG Bank, Ltd., NEXI, NVEST, One&Co, Openspace Ventures, Real Tech Holdings Co.,Ltd.​,
Rebright Partners, SBI Ven Capital, SMBC, Thai startup, TVCA, The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners Co., Ltd.,

6. (Reference) About the ASEAN-Japan Co-Creation Fast Track Initiative

(1) Overview
Because of a young population with a rapidly rising income level and emergence of a middle-income class enjoying urban city life, ASEAN represents a dynamic growth center that drives global economic development. This dynamic growth has minted fast growing startups, which play critical roles to generate innovation in a wide range of fields, such as logistics, payment and financial services by deploying digital technology.
While startup ecosystem has rapidly developed in ASEAN and Japan during the last decade, access to collaboration opportunities with large corporates in the region is still very limited though such collaborations can co-create open innovation and boost the expansion of startups’ businesses to the next stage.
With this understanding, and taking the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation this year, METI and JETRO have decided to launch the “ASEAN-Japan Co-Creation Fast Track Initiative” to support the creation of open innovation through collaborations between startups and large companies from both ASEAN and Japan. This initiative proposes a new format of cooperation with ASEAN countries to create new innovations.
In June, 2023, JETRO signed an MOU with ASEAN-BAC for cooperation to promote the ASEAN-Japan Co-Creation Fast Track Initiative.
(Reference) Press release by JETRO
Three MOUs Signed with ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC)
Under the ASEAN-Japan Co-Creation Fast Track Initiative, startups from ASEAN and Japan will have the opportunity to (1) receive support not only from Japanese organizations such as JETRO, but also from the government agencies of ASEAN countries, and (2) access not only major Japanese companies but also a wide range of startup ecosystems, including global companies based in ASEAN.
Moreover, finalist startups will receive additional points in the selection process in the Asia Digital Transformation (ADX) Promotion Program to support their PoCs.
(Reference) Website of the Asia Digital Transformation (ADX) Promotion Program by JETROPDF file(898KB)
(2) Schedule of the future events
The future rounds of the Fast Track Pitch Event will take place in Jakarta, Indonesia, on September 1, and Hanoi, Vietnam, on November 3.

Vietnam-Japan Fast Track Pitch Event 2023
(Website is under preparation. Details will be announced as soon as finalized)

(3) Past event of the Fast Track Pitch
In Singapore, the first "Singapore-Japan Fast Track Pitch Event" was held on April 20th, co-organized with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Enterprise Singapore, and Singapore Economic Development Board.
For more information on the Singapore-Japan Fast Track Pitch Event and the challenges, please refer to the press release below.
(Reference) METI held the “Singapore-Japan Fast Track Pitch Event” in Singapore to accelerate global open innovation of Japanese companies/startups

About J-Bridge

J-Bridge is a business platform to facilitate collaboration between Japanese and overseas companies. JETRO supports cross-border open innovation for accelerating digital and green transformation.

For more information, please contact:

JETRO Bangkok Office
Wakasugi (Ms.), Miyakoshi (Mr.), Miyaguchi (Ms.)
127 Gaysorn Tower, 29th Floor, Ratchadamri Road, Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: + 66-2-253-6441 E-mail:
JETRO Singapore Office
Ishikawa (Mr.), Yokoi (Mr.). Colling (Ms.)
16 Raffles Quay, #38-04/05, Hong Leong Building, Singapore 048581
Tel: +65-6221-8174 E-mail:
JETRO Investment and Alliance Division, Innovation Deptartment
Hara (Mr.), Ishizuna (Ms.),Yamada (Ms.)
Ark Mori Building, 6F 12-32, Akasaka 1-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6006