Rise Me Up

Rise Me Up

6 June, 2016
Startup Heaven
Asia’s leading tech conference giving rise to startups
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At some point in our lives we all ponder the notion of starting our own business. This is usually spawned from some great idea that we thought of while frustrated with someone else’s existing product that just doesn’t seem to work right. Since our existing education learning model really only focuses on the necessities of academics, the thoughts of entering the entrepreneurial world can be daunting.
 
However, it’s blatantly obvious that no matter what your business idea is, at some level you will either want or need to harness the vast benefits of technology. RISE Conference, Asia’s largest tech startup exhibition, was held over three exciting action packed days, from 31 May to 2 June 2016 at the HK Convention and Exhibition Centre. The conference has easily established itself as a global leader in the tech conference world.
 
The summit hosts opportunities and education for startups, with attendees and speakers from tech celebs, founders and executives to all the big players from the likes of Google, Apple, Tesla, Facebook, Netflix; and the list continues.
 
RISE offers the best opportunity to submerse in the tech startup environment. Boasting over 8,100 attendees from over 88 countries and featuring 220 incredible industry speakers from the biggest brands and tech companies who jump back and forth between the 5 theme stages sharing their knowledge, experience and stories of numerous failures that ultimately led them to success.
 
RISE also attracts over 400 leading investors from around the world, hungry to find the “next big thing” and potential opportunities to invest in startups. This led to over 1100 various meetings with startups and attendees, with 720 of those meetings focused directly between connecting investors and startups during the “Office Hours” scheme program.
 
At the core of RISE is the ‘startup’ entrepreneurs’ section, hosting 435 startups from all over Asia, which are segmented by their business development stage – Alpha, Beta, or Startup. This was the place to share with investors and do some hard-core networking, creating awareness of your business platform to everyone you can. Almost every business idea you can think of was represented here, from finance tech, cloud and social media, to marketing F&B and education. It was also inspiring to see a strong contingent of health and wellness and eco-friendly business concepts moving forward, which we all know is quickly booming.
 
While all the various kiosks, networking areas, and stages were packed with standing room only attendees yearning to learn more, a noticeable big hit was the popular PITCH stage. This was where 60 shortlisted startup companies from over 200 applications had a chance to “pitch” their most impactful 7 minute presentation of their business idea to a panel of over 50 industry judges, ultimately giving young startups a chance to learn and gain immensely valuable feedback from those that matter.
 
After three tough rounds of pitching to packed audiences and judges, the winner of the Best RISE Startup of 2016, was Mytaxiindia. The team’s hard work earned them free flights and hotel stay to visit the Web Summit in Lisbon in November. In addition to being awarded investments, and worldwide recognition from the PITCH platform, they earned the confidence to know their startup business is heading towards a positive future.
 
While the local Hong Kong retail economy may arguably be in a bit of a funk, it is extremely encouraging to learn from the HK government representatives speaking at RISE that the government is determined to boost growth in supporting innovation and technology companies in Hong Kong, with existing programs and future developing plans through a myriad of support systems, infrastructure, and potential billions of HK dollars in the near horizon.
 
It’s clear that the startup ecosystem is thriving in Hong Kong – with the explosive growth of over 50 co-working tech/startup office spaces blossoming through out the city. All of them are dedicated towards supporting young startups and helping ignite the Hong Kong “entrepreneurial” spirit that makes the city of Hong Kong so wonderfully vibrant and exciting.

By: Anthony Sandstrom
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