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Korea Opens its Doors and Wallet to Global Startups Eying Asia

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Korea will host an all expenses paid acceleration program for 40 high­ potential startups from around the world this autumn.

The first of its kind in Asia, the program is sponsored by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, which was created in 2013, as part of President Park Geun­hye’s initiative to transform Korea’s economy.Startups selected for the acceleration program, known as the K-­Startup Grand Challenge, will receive $4,100 per month to cover living expenses, along with free round­trip flights to Korea for three team members.

The government will further provide them with offices and lab space in its $160 million Startup Campus in Pangyo. The campus is within walking distance to the R&D labs of many Korean tech giants, which have signed on to mentor the startups. It is also just 14 minutes from Gangnam by subway.

At the facility’s opening ceremony held on 22 March, President Park Geun­hye said, “I hope that the Startup Campus will become the cradle of creative economy, a gateway that links Korean startups to the world.” The president also expressed the government’s support for the campus and its initiatives to help Korea step up as Asia’s startup hub.

Based on online applications, representatives…
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Techsauce is the partnership of two titans in the Thai technology startup industry between Thumbsup, the leading technology media in Thailand and HUBBA, the biggest coworking space network in Thailand.

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Myanmar

Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand

Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.

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By Karen Lee

Following the February 1 coup, Myanmar’s netizens became the latest to join the #MilkTeaAlliance, an online collective of pro-democracy youth across Asia.

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Ecommerce

How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.

The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.

Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.

In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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