After six months traveling through the region to scout for the Best Startups in Asia, Seedstars brought its 14 Asian finalists, along with a diverse crowd of ecosystem enablers, investors and world-renowned speakers and panelists, together on stage, on the run-up to the finals of the competition, Seedstars Summit, happening in April, in Switzerland.
Bangkok, Thailand, December 4th, 2018 - On November 30th, Seedstars World, the biggest startup competition focused only in emerging markets, closed its sixth tour in Asia with the Seedstars Asia Summit x True Digital Park conference, for 350 participants, from more than 15 countries, among startups, different stakeholders, media and general public. The conference was organised in partnership with True Digital Park and aimed to “connect possibilities” by gathering key players from the region.
After two days of intense training activities, including a growth bootcamp, private mentoring sessions, an investor forum, and an ecosystem tour, all attendees participated in deep discussions and workshops.
There was also time for the 14 finalist startups from Asia to pitch on stage and prepare themselves for the competition finals. In April 2019, all the finalists will travel to Switzerland to represent their countries at the Seedstars Summit, a week-long training program, conference and pitching competition. The trip is part of the prize for having won their Seedstars World local competitions and will have them competing with +65 finalists from all over the world for the title of Seedstars Global Winner and up to 1mn USD in equity investment and other prizes.
The Conference featured keynote speakers from regional and global companies who addressed a number of relevant topics in groundbreaking speeches full of valuable insights. Su Ann Lim, Head of Industry at Google, said on her “Building for the next Billion Users” keynote that “to make the world’s information universally accessible and useful, it is critical to focus on three drivers: Access, Localization and Learning.” Sidu Ponnappa, Board of Directors & Head of Software Engineering at Go-Jek, shared his insights about the relation between Scaling and People, which translated into the conclusion that scaling people and people’s systems is crucial to scaling a platform.
“The tech investment landscape in Asia” workshop had Monthida Mccoole, Joseph De Leon (Gravitas Prime), Paul Ark (Digital Ventures), Perry Nunes (Village Capital), Arun Asok (Bamboo Capital) & Anix Lynch (Expara) as facilitators. The angel group worked on coming up with eight questions to ask to a startup and gave a few examples. It was very insightful for attending startups and entrepreneurs to understand which are the key points that an investor needs to know about their startups and prepare accordingly.
During the “Imagining Urban Futures” workshop, Anthony Vanky (Columbia University and Ex-MIT Senseable City Lab) advised participants to create solutions that, at the same time, employ technology and resist technology. Solutions that empower people, through revenue or impact. “Don’t worry about technology”, he said, to challenge his audience.
“Fintechs vs MFIs: Friend or Foe and Lessons Learned” with Benjamin Benaim (Seedstars), “Corporate Startup Collaboration: Developing a framework for success” with Pierre-Alain Masson (Seedstars), “Startup Ecosystem building for Economic Growth and Development” moderated by Adriana Collini (Seedstars) and facilitated by Chanda Pen (Bongloy Payments), Mangala Karunaratne (Calcey), Stephanie Arrowsmith (SecondMuse), Kaung Sitt (GSMA), were other high points among the workshop tracks.
During the “Women in tech” panel, Cheryl Yeoh (Entrepreneur in Residence at SVB and previously founder of MAGIC), Nichapat Ark (Openspace Ventures) and Seedstars Alumni Audrey Uy (CEO and Founder of Serve Happy Jobs) shared their experience as women founders, investors, and leaders of tech initiatives in Southeast Asia. The conversation was moderated by Christina Teo (Startup Asia Women). Nichapat Ark, Advisor at Openspace Ventures & Seedstars Ambassador, shared that "before making up your mind, I would recommend that you speak to as many potential business partners as possible. And if your investors have a great local network, they can help you with that".
"They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds." - Mexican proverb
Seedstars is a Swiss-based group with the mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. Seedstars connects stakeholders, builds companies from scratch with public and private partners and invests in high-growth startups within these ecosystems. Seedstars aims at fostering impact investing and impact entrepreneurship over the world. Through different activities, that range from startup scouting, events organization to company building and acceleration programs, Seedstars has built the world's biggest community of changemakers in emerging markets. Seedstars group includes the largest startup competition in emerging markets (Seedstars World Competition), the Entrepreneurship Forum for Emerging Markets (Seedstars Summit), physical entrepreneurs hubs (Seedspace), acceleration programs (Seedstars Growth), teaching & training programs (Seedstars Academy) and an investment entity with a startup lab and a fund (Seedstars Investments). Some of Seedstars main partners are Enel (Energy), School of Management Fribourg (HEG Fribourg) & TRECC - Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities (Education), BBVA (Finance), Tag Heuer (Fempreneurship, Time Saving and Innovation), Merck (Health) and Continental (Mobility).
ABOUT SEEDSTARS WORLD COMPETITION
Seedstars World is the world's largest startup competition in emerging markets. It has been five years now that Seedstars Team takes off every year for a 9-month world tour and scouts for the best early-stage startups in 65+ countries, organizing 100+ events. One winner is selected to represent each country visited, and is invited to attend one of the 5 Regional Summits, reuniting all local winners of each region to network with regional investors, mentors and corporates. Local winners are also awarded the chance to represent their countries at the Seedstars Summit, the competition final happening in Switzerland, where startups compete for up to $1Mn in investment. The Seedstars Summit is the flagship event of Seedstars, filled with breakout sessions, panel discussions, specialized workshops and the best minds from emerging markets.
ABOUT TRUE DIGITAL PARK
True Digital Park, Thailand's first and Southeast Asia’s largest digital innovation hub and a global startup destination, is located on Sukhumvit 101 Road, adjacent to Punnawithi BTS station. True Digital Park covers a space of 43 rais separated in three main areas which are startup campus, lifestyle area and residential area that meet all digital lifestyle needs. Under the concept of “Digital Lifestyle – Connecting Possibilities”, with open space and interconnected design structure, True Digital Park combines space for work and daily life within one integrated community. Our startup campus offers a complete startup ecosystem with an “Open Innovation” concept that brings together multinational tech companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs, incubators and accelerators, VCs and investors, and government agencies. This established digital community provides crucial knowledge creation that is supportive of digital innovations. True Digital Park is fully equipped with an integrated telecommunications systems and smart solutions for smart life. Unlimited digital connection through a hi-speed Internet, 4G+ and WiFi are covered throughout the project. True Digital Park is currently under construction and is expected to open doors in March 2019. For more information please visit our website at www.truedigitalpark.com.