Siam Organic Crowned Spark the Fire Pitch Competition Champion
Three Startups Honored at U.S. President Barack Obama’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit
Palo Alto, California – Siam Organic, an organic food company from Thailand, defeated more than 80 startups and 36 finalists from around the world to win the Spark the Fire pitch competition, held as part of the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Peetachai Dejkraisak, one of the startup’s cofounders, will be taking home $30,000 in cash prizes.
Siam Organic is a company that aims to solve poverty for farmers through innovative organic products with global appeal, and Dejkraisak talked about his company’s journey to promoting their product as a healthier, socially conscious organic food choice.
Siam Organic’s primary product, Jasberry rice, is a new variety of rice that combines the taste of Thai Jasmine rice and the powerful nutritional and antioxidant benefits of berries.
The other two top finishers included Israeli startup, Sesame Enable, who received the Spark the Fire Catalyst award and Jamaican company, ListenMi, who received the Spark the Fire Startup award. Sesame Enable also received $20,000 and ListenMi received $15,000 in cash prizes respectively.
Sesame Enable is a touch-free control technology for mobile devices, which allows people who cannot use their hands, to control smartphones and tablets with head movements. Listen Mi creates interactive digital textbooks that are culturally relevant, attention-grabbing and help increase reading comprehension.
The finalists competed for more than $65,000 in cash prizes, Dell products, leather goods from Shinola Detroit and the possibility of additional investment funding.
The six finalists included:
- Oded Ben Dov, Sesame Enable
- Magdalena Rodriguez, GPSGAY
- Peetachai Dejkraisak, Siam Organic
- Prinda Pracharktam, Glazziq
- Kenia Mattis, ListenMi
- Charity Wanjiku, Strauss Energy
The competition is part of the GES+ Emerging Youth and Women Entrepreneurs forum, an intensive one-day program dedicated to 150 of the most dynamic global women and youth entrepreneurs, representing more than 70 different countries around the world. These startup founders have businesses with high-impact potential to scale and catalyze change.
Spark the Fire semifinalists had the chance to live pitch throughout the day, gaining invaluable experience pitching in front of leading investors and serial entrepreneurs, as well as having one-on-one mentoring opportunities. GES+ offers entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem actors the chance to network and discover global best practices.
More than 80 entrepreneurs submitted three-minute videos for the quarterfinals through competition platform, Startup Compete, for this year’s pitch competition. After having been selected from a diverse pool of applicants, these founders embraced the challenge to go beyond their application and submit a recorded pitch for a panel of expert judges. The 36 semifinalists were divded among six different categories, including two social impact categories, health/tech, agriculture, food/beverage/entertainment and products/services.
All of the semifinalists qualified to compete for selection into the GEN Starters Club powered, powered by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). GEN Starters Club members have exclusive access to local networks in the 160+ countries in which GEN is active, a resource we hope will support and accelerate their journey to global expansion.