Up to 80 start-ups across Southeast Asia have been selected by a panel of judges from start-up accelerators, venture capital funds, technology experts and media leaders to will take part at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi on September 11-13.
The start-ups selected come from across the region and represent a wide variety of sectors, from financial services, logistics and e-commerce to agriculture, media and healthcare. The products and services they are developing range from smart fertilizers that reduce nitrous-oxide emissions (a potent greenhouse gas) to sharia-compliant Bitcoins to new healthcare options for elderly care.
“We expect the start-ups to make an important contribution to shaping the debates at the meeting about the impact and course of new technologies and disruptive business models. We believe that they will enrich important discussions about how to upgrade innovation ecosystems and promote entrepreneurship,” said Justin Wood, head of Asia Pacific and member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum.
“The start-ups will also benefit from their interactions with the other 1,000 participants at the summit, including 90 government ministers and 600 business leaders from more established companies,” Wood added.
During the meeting, the start-ups will be fully involved in the official program but will also have their own dedicated program track to discuss critical issues facing entrepreneurs, from finding finance to achieving regional scale with limited resources. There will also be a dedicated “hub” for the start-ups to share their stories of disruption and transformation.
Once the meeting is over, the forum hopes to establish a permanent community for the start-ups to support their growth and development.
“The theme of the meeting is ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which reflects the significant transformations and disruptions that are now unfolding across Southeast Asia,” noted Wood.
“One of the important responses to the challenges raised by disruptive technologies is entrepreneurship. It is through innovation that the region will grow the companies, shape the policies and build the economic systems of the future,” he added.