100 of the most exciting startups in the Asia-Pacific region will showcase their products and services at the Echelon Asia Summit 2015, a two-day technology and business event held in Singapore on June 23 and 24. In March and April earlier this year, e27 held 14 Qualifiers across countries in the region, attracting companies from different industries and verticals. With the eventual confirmation of the TOP100 Startups, the 2,500 attendees – from investors and venture capitalists to corporates – will experience more at the exhibition area.
With over 500 submissions in the beginning, the competitive field was cut in half after intense rounds of internal vetting. Startups were required to specify details such as their high-concept pitch, key objectives, as well as team dynamics in the application form, and also provided key figures: prior investments, pre-money valuation, and active users or product downloads. While traction and investments were not factored through this first selection process, the products and services had to be launched before companies were invited to pitch.
Thereafter, a little over 200 startups pitched in Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. At each of these locations, a distinguished panel of judges evaluated the pitches across five main criteria, on a 21-point scale:
- Problem and solution (five points): Product design, technical finesse, creativity of the solution, and problem solution fit.
- Market (five points): Size of market, market opportunity and fit.
- Revenue model (five points): Creativity, feasibility and scalability of revenue model.
- Team (three points): Ability to execute, potential, past succes, and the Xfactor.
- Pitch (three points): Clarity of presentation, creativity of presentation and the ability to answer questions effectively.
Each startup pitched for six minutes, with two-four minutes for questions from the judges. These judges also had access to the new e27 portal (previously known as Beta), where they could access the startup profiles as well as key figures provided by the companies. They could also key in comments on their Mi Pads – sponsored by Xiaomi – and these perspectives would then be tagged to the startup profiles on the same e27 portal.
With the conclusion of the final two Qualifiers in Kazakhstan and Singapore on April 30, e27 has worked to aggregate these scores and comments. The first batch of startups has been notified on May 6, while the second batch of startups will be informed – via an email and a phone call – on May 21. The final TOP100 Startups will be announced by the end of May.
Startups headed to Singapore have a unique opportunity to boost their brand and media exposure, possibly raise funding through interactions with investors and venture capitalists, as well as build networks of partners and mentors. These value propositions at the exhibition are attested to, by Echelon alumni – those startups which have pitched or exhibited at past Echelon events. Hence, attendees can look forward to interactions with the best of the best in the region, and be dazzled by the potential on display at the event.
Enjoy up to 33 per cent in discounts when you buy a pack of two to four tickets to the Echelon Asia Summit, one of the biggest tech conference in Asia.