unconference singapoe 2009The 6th in the series, unConference 2009 is back with a vengeance on May 16th in Singapore! For the uninitiated, unConference is a one-day event for showcasing and discovering innovative web startups and technologies of Asia. For a full day, Asian startups unite to show and tell, perhaps more.. Entrepreneurs, developers and professionals of all ilks are welcome.

Attend the only Techcrunch50-style event this part of the world: We will be bold here and stake a claim that unConference 2009 is the MOST pan-Asian event for web startups in this part of the world. There, we said it! :D

Click here for event website or simply buy your ticket now!

For those of you who were with us in 2008, 2009’s unConference will be like a fresh breath of morning air, literally!  Not only are we starting at the early hour of 9am instead of 11am, we are “importing” our startup brethren from almost every corner of Asia. Startups from the various countries will be represented:

founder1Startup Founders:

Unlike Silicon Valley, Asia-based entrepreneurs do not have a vibrant support ecosystem concentrated within a clustered region like the San Francisco Bay Area. Add cultural, linguistic and geographic barriers and its no wonder why Asia’s startups suffer from scaling problems and cross-market learning. This unConference, startup founders can:

  1. Network & Socialize, SERIOUSLY — with fellow startup founders who wondered if there were equally passionate folks like them in Asia who are just a Skype call away during an urgent need for help
  2. Innovate through “vuja de” — Tom Kelley of innovation hothouse IDEO has a nice twist on deja vu — “vuja de”, which is a familiar experience but one you’re looking at it in a fresh way. Similarly, Asian entrepreneurs can benefit from an “extrospective” compare-and-contrast exercise with startups based in other countries that had evolved different development models. Lets not make the “Asian  market fragmentation” a weakness but a strength on which to build innovation upon. Creative dissonance, baby!
  3. Find investors, Duh. The good news first: there are at least 10 attendees, from companies like Google, Yahoo and assorted VC firms, at this point of sales who have indicated that they belong to M&A departments.  Moving on, the problem with the Asian startup scene is never the lack of money, but the lack of good ideas and teams.  Conversely, founders have complained that good and web-market-savvy investors are few in Asia. Well, to each his own, all we can tell you is that quite a number of investors with proven track record have signed up for the event. Keep your eyes peeled..
  4. Get Publicity — Do you know that we have hired a PR agency for this event? Or that past startups who have demo-ed at our event have gone on to nominations by BusinessWeek for Asia’s Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs for past 2 years running (2007, 2008)? How about learning from startups like Genkii (of Japan) who have effortlessly gotten onto Techcrunch for their iphone virtual world app? Yup, we have succumbed to common sense (in Asia) to blend in mainstream media with our online efforts to drum up greater publicity not just for our event, but you startup folks too! Comment here or drop us a private message if you wish to know more about press opportunities.


The real hands that built the web. The Babel stones of the digital age. Where would we be if these fine translators of machine-based code did not exist to bring us wonderful products like Skype, Google, Digg, WordPress, Facebook and more? Who else could make terms like “hacking” and “geek” this cool?

  1. Benchmark yourselves — The unConference has assembled a bunch of the most promising startups around Asia. Find out what the region has to offer and if you think u can do a better job, you know what to do.. ;)
  2. Build REAL products, stop serving — Way too many development talent in Asia disappear inside the big corporates  as salarymen or as freelancers providing development services for clueless business people. Developers deserve better – Kevin Rose, Matt Mullenweg, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates are not merely idols out of reach, but icons to inspire you.
  3. Find your “fans”. Or: find people who truly appreciate your development talents. In Asia, developers are like diamonds, few, hard to find and highly prized.  The social web boom is truly upon us and with it a thousand ideas by all the business types. You have the final say on which horse to bet your talents on.
  4. Do you know? Just some quick trivia to share, we are witnessing some surprising good takeup rates among developers working in corporate companies, like Aussino (bedding retailer) and financial firms like Great Eastern Life (insurance) among others.. interesting..

unconference09 rockstar persona badgeStartup Rockstars

The juice within the fruit. You are the engine that keeps great startups running. This is for all faithful lieutenants at startups who believe in the dreams of their founders.  Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or simply a startup professional, you cannot miss the chance to:

  1. Share your knowledge — startup employees, compared to founders and professionals, have the unique position of relative job security and unbridled job satisfaction. You have the objective bird’s eye view of a startup’s development model and path and being in an operational role, how you actually manipulate meagre resources to achieve maximum results. We expect you to tell us more about user metrics, performance analytics, technical hacks, server outages, cost overruns or simply how-not-to-panic-when-u-have-no-cash..


Welcome to our side of the world. Times are bad and we have to be creative and resourceful, where else do you find the most creative forces in the economy but in the new struggling businesses trying to survive on low cash, low resources and only oodles of passion? At unConference, here’s what you can do:

  1. Orientate yourselves — our event is not a formal business-tie-suit event. An unconference is often described as messy and unstructured. You might be glad to know our event is structured in the 1st half to minimize culture shock for first-time attendees in Asia but you should find the 2nd half of the day very spontaneous, authentic and hopefully enriching for you.
  2. Find a new job — Okay, just kidding.. ;)
  3. Startup finally — The time is right, running a web business today is incredibly cheap. Moreover, opportunity cost is low if your company is laying off folks anyway. Just do it if you are single and have no crushing debts. You will have way more job satisfaction doing what you love rather than what your bosses love to see you doing now.

We will be posting interviews with speakers and founders of the startups selected for the exhibition soon here. Subscribe to our RSS feed and if you have not bought your ticket, grab it before advanced sales end! Click on the shiny orange button to go to ticketing site.