It’s about the time of the year when we sit side by side in the meeting room to not just look at the end result of each person’s OKR but as a company how much we have achieved this year.

The way we reflect upon ourselves is not about how many events or press releases we have held or published, but how many startups we have helped showcase and connect; how many corporate and government projects we have assisted to promote and complete; and how many key stakeholders we have managed to engage with each other, and usually, through ECHELON.

This year, however, is a bit different.

In 2017, one of our key objectives was to go deeper into the major ASEAN communities, which led to the resounding success of ECHELON Malaysia, Thailand and Asia Summit (Singapore). Although, there were still some key markets we didn’t bring over ECHELON to, we still managed to connect and engage with over 7000 regional key stakeholders in the end.

Moving to 2018, we shifted our focus into going deep AND wide since we realised if we want to better serve the ecosystem, depth and width are the keys to abundant resources for our partners. Hence, we renovated the Programme Roadmap into 1 ECHELON in Singapore and 17 country Roadshows across Asia Pacific to host TOP100 startup pitching competition.

The result was fascinating — while the latter provided us the opportunity to expand widely to scout 800+ most promising and unicorn-to-be startups in the region, the former enabled us to bring back crucial insights, connections, fundings and talents, wrapped up on our main stage at ECHELON Asia Summit, to empower the ASEAN ecosystems in-depth by aggregating the necessary resources.

With the streamlined year-round programmes, we are proud to announce that this year, together with ECHELON Asia Summit 2018 and 17 APAC Roadshows, we have created a platform with over 10,000 key ecosystem players to participate and grow their businesses.

And this is just the beginning of our story in 2018.

Thanks to the ever-growing team and more focused programme angle this year, ECHELON Asia Summit 2018 not only ended as a great sensation by bringing in the largest ever crowd throughout ECHELON’s 9 years history, but it also provided us with greater resources and gateways to tap into and work with other ecosystem programmes and initiatives in Q3/Q4 2018.

Also read: Echelon officially announces May 23rd and 24th for the best tech event of the year!

Here, I would like to take this opportunity to share some of the most exciting Bespoke Programmes we have done to further support our ecosystem partners after end of ECHELON Asia Summit 2018:

1. Bespoke Event: Xero Event

The beauty of digitalisation is that it makes our lives a lot easier by giving us seamless connection of daily necessities, easier access to insightful open resources and convenient platforms for communication and professional services.

This event, co-hosted by Xero, is set to share how digitalisation (or go digital) can benefit us from a business owner’s perspective to share about the entrepreneurship journey; and an enterprise service provider’s point of view to talk about about how a well-designed service platform can solve business pain-points, in this event’s case – cash-flow management.

2. Demo Day: GCCEI Demo Day in SG & KL

To keep it up with the fast-pacing and growing global startup industry, we have been reaching out to some other key markets across APAC. Among them, Korea is one of the markets that we have formed the robust partnerships with some local ecosystem players.

As a strong 3C digital devices manufacturing country, Korea has strong internet connection, established technology infrastructure and mature markets with well-heeled shoppers and sufficient capital funding to facilitate the growth of domestic and overseas tech startup industry.

This year we inked collaboration with GCCEI, a joint startup initiative with Korea government and Telecom-funded agency, to assist them in holding a Demo Day to showcase 10 Korean IoT startups in Singapore and Malaysia to get exposed with ASEAN startup environments and investors to gain an understanding on how to tailor and localise for other markets.

3. Conference Co-organising: SWITCH 2018

In e27, we have 4 main fundamental resource pillars – insights, connections, talents and fundraising (ICTF). ICTF is our basic yet holistic infrastructure’s that we firmly believe will be able to complete our mission as a whole to service other ecosystem stakeholders.

Also read: Our 4 takeaways on Echelon Asia Summit 2018, from the team at Tagtoo

With ICTF, we, as one of the event organisers, were able to hustle and assist the preparation of Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH 2018), organised by National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG), along with 3 event organisers, and hit a total of 11,000+ attendees, 47 partners, 17 concurrent events on stage, 350+ exhibitors across 70+ countries.

SWITCH is indeed the greatest annual tech and innovation feast in the ASEAN markets with 3 main focuses to support and empower the regional key stakeholders:

  • Bring together and bridge the ASEAN and Chinese tech industries
  • Focus on Deep Tech to further facilitate the growth of Singapore Smart Nation
  • Host Slingshot pitching competition to have 80 companies shortlisted from 1,000 startups from across APAC 80 countries to pitch

The amazing part about SWITCH is that it’s not just a NRF or ESG event, it’s an initiative backed by various stakeholders across the whole tech and innovation ecosystem from governments, corporates, investors, media, IHLs, all the way to 400+ volunteers who were there to support the tech innovation and witness the changes onsite.

A friend of mine once said, “Any great event will take a village to pull off.” Well, in SWITCH case, it’s the whole ASEAN nations to proactively and wholeheartedly spare their efforts to play a role, regardless of sizes of organisations or titles of positions, in the tech and innovation sector to shape the world together.

So what does it have to do with me?

The point is — allow me to reiterate this again — help is out there at e27! As we have been honing in on our capabilities to partner with more ecosystem players, e27 has expanded our project landscope from mostly ECHELON (or related) initiatives to some standalone bespoke programmes to make sure we can serve our ecosystem comprehensively.

In this article, we would like to both share with you the great achievements we have done throughout the year and also thank you for the continuous supports. Hopefully, we will see you at Roadshow, ECHELON and all our bespoke programmes in 2019. If you have any feedback or crazy ideas to share with us and help us improve, let us know in the comments below or feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] to explore any possible collaborations!

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e27 Tea Talk is the column managed by the e27 Business Development Team. We hope to see you join in on stimulating discussions and constructive feedback as we navigate through the startup journey together. :)