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APAC Summit June 2021: 2-day Virtual Event Showcasing 80+ Innovative Startups and Partner Programs

We started the month of June with our bi-annual APAC Summit! 🙌 Bringing together the best that innovation has to offer!

This year, we held a virtual 2-day event that featured close to 80+ startups who pitched their innovative technologies to a network of industry leaders, corporations, governments, and investors.

At this summit, we introduced our new Tech Nation program and welcomed our first cohort of companies from the UK who are looking to explore opportunities in the region. We embarked on new partnerships with the Asian Development Bank and Enterprise Singapore which we are excited to delve deeper with as we focus on investing in bold technology startups that will enhance our living environment and manage resource constraints sustainably.

We had a total of 2000+ attendees dialling in across 2 days, and a total of 80+ startups pitching their innovative technologies across 6 different Expos - Fintech, Insurtech, Tech Nation, Smart Cities, and our Global Innovation Alliance programs in Indonesia and Manila. The summit also featured showcases for our upcoming programs such as Sustainability, Food & AgTech, Facebook Business Solutions Accelerator, and GK Plug and Play.

Day 1 Morning - Summit Kickoff

This year, we kicked off our summit with an all-exclusive open-innovation showcase where our key leadership team, as well as our distinguished corporate partners, shared their thoughts on the overall innovation ecosystem, as well as how startups are key in driving these efforts across the region. Suzanne Gaboury, Director General Private Sector Operations SEA at the Asian Development Bank also shared more about the company's goal towards driving sustainable innovation throughout the region.

Moving on to our corporate panel, Max Pourrat, Director of Tech Nation, joined us to say a few words about our new partnership and we also celebrated our new partnership with NTUC Income.

We featured 4 program showcases to introduce our new and upcoming programs in Southeast Asia: Sustainability, Food & AgTech, GK Plug and Play, as well as Facebook Business Solutions Accelerator. In each of the respective featured program showcases, we invited various keynote speakers to talk about the industry as well as showcased 3 startups in each segment.

Day 1 Afternoon - Smart Cities Expo

With Plug and Play Thailand’s Smart Cities Program being the platform of success for building cities to be smarter and more resilient, we brought together the key players from all relevant industries across continents, connecting the best technology startups to corporations, governments, and investors.

Michael George DeSombre, United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand, kickstarted the session with an insightful sharing on why now is the best opportunity to shape the future of Thailand 4.0. A total of 13 startups then pitched their innovations on building smart cities. These startups specialize mainly in Advanced Material, Carbon Nanotube, Precise Medicine, Drone, Augmented Reality, Water Treatment, Waste Management, Wireless Communication, 3D Modelling, and Renewable Energy.

We also featured a 30-minute corporate panel to discuss the topic of ‘Paving the Way Forward with Innovation’.Our panelists discussed on leveraging technology as a core business strategy moving forward and shared insights on how startups can have a headstart in their businesses by leveraging technology.

Day 2 Morning - Fintech & Insurtech Expo

Moving onto the second day of our summit, we held the expo for the 5th batch of our Financial Services accelerator. Fintech and Insurtech startups are spearheading the future of financial services in the region. In this expo, we invited Eugenio Gonzalez, Principal of Ventures at Plug and Play, to share his thoughts about Plug and Play’s Global General Insurance trends. Gonzalez shared about the fast-approaching future of mobility and insurance -- one of the hottest topic given the recent developments in the public and private markets. We then heard from 11 Insurtech startups with whom we have been working closely.

Moving on, we heard from our Fintech startups. The session was kicked started by a corporate panel. Our panelists, who are from the corporate ventures and banking space, came together to discuss Corporate Venture Building within Financial Services. They shared about what venture building means to their various financial organization and their journey of venture building. 9 Fintech startups then took it away with their pitches.

Day 2 Afternoon - Global Innovation Alliance

The Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) is a network of Singapore and overseas partners in major innovation hubs and key demand markets, with a focus on technology and innovation. Global Markets Director of Enterprise Singapore, Chew Hwee Yong, kickstarted this session by giving an overview of our Global Innovation Alliance and how our Indonesia and Manila programs are expanding their operations within the region to take advantage of its vibrant innovation ecosystem.

We heard 11 startup pitches from our program in Manila, covering various focus areas ranging from Sports, Recruitment, Fintech, Manufacturing, Blockchain, E-commerce, and Advertising. For our GIA Indonesia program, we selected startups mainly in enterprise solutions and edge tech. These 9 startups mainly focus on virtual reality technology looking to build digital infrastructure in education and beyond.

Day 2 Evening - Tech Nation International Growth Programme

Our new partnership with the Tech Nation International Growth Programme in Singapore is part of the Digital Trade Network, a newly commissioned initiative by the UK Government, to assist innovative British tech companies with access to trade and investment opportunities and forge new international partnerships across Asia Pacific, including Singapore. Gerard Grech, Founding Chief Executive of Tech Nation UK, addressed us on this new joint venture program and shared more about the Tech Nation International Growth Program and how we can provide a soft landing for international entrepreneurs into the unique Southeast Asia ecosystem. We then moved on and saw the first cohort of 10 companies pitch their innovative ideas of building a Tech Nation.


With that, we close the 5th edition of our bi-annual APAC Summit. We would like to thank all our featured speakers, corporate partners, investors, and the startups who joined us at this summit as we came together virtually to innovate together.

To gain more insights into our event, view our event resources here.


Thank you to all of our featured speakers for sharing their insights in their various industries!

  • Gerard Grech, CEO for Tech Nation

  • Kang HyeJin, Startup Program Manager, APAC of Facebook

  • Eugenio Gonzalez, Principal of Plug and Play Ventures

  • Roderick Purwana, Managing Partner of East Ventures

  • Matthew Claxton, Global Sustainability Director of Plug and Play Tech Centre

  • Chew Hwee Yong, Global Markets Director of Entreprise Singapore

  • Michael George DeSombre, Former United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand

  • Ho Ren Hua, CEO of Thai Wah

  • Jesada Chenarak, Venture Analyst of Plug and Play Thailand

  • Ratchanee Teepprasan, Director, R&D and Innovation, Charoen Pokphand Group

  • Louie Bernardo, Head of Product at f(dev) Digital Foundry, Filinvest Group

  • Nitchan Piromsawat, Partnership Manager at ExpresSo, PTT Group

  • Tanya Tongwaranan, Program Manager, Plug and Play Thailand

  • Kayvon Deldar, Director, Fintech, Insurtech & Healthtech, Plug and Play APAC

  • Gurdeep Kohli, SC Ventures, Standard Chartered

  • Yish Koh, Head of Portfolio, x15 Ventures

  • Victoria Sanchez-Terry, Head of Innovation Partnership, Ecosystem and Programs, APAC, ING Bank


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APAC SUMMIT: 1 Day of Innovation, 50 Startups, 1 Platform

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