Keynote: Investing in Asia
Michael Lints, Venture Partner
Golden Gate Ventures
The second half kicked off with a keynote on Investing in Asia by Michael Lints.
Michael discussed the different reasons on why Asia is the new land of opportunity for entrepreneurs and also discussed how different ecosystems, currencies, languages, and mindsets all play a role in cross border challenges.
Panel: Asia’s Startup Ecosystem: Opportunities & Challenges
Speakers: Adrianna Tan, Kalina King, Darius Cheung, Mario Berta, and Elias Ghannam
Moderator: Michael Lints
The panel discussed the opportunities and challenges they have faced in Asia’s Startup ecosystem and shared some of their personal experiences and provided the audience with some tips.
- Mario once hired gogo dancers to convert taxi drivers in the Phillipines
- Adrianna shared that if you’re signing a business document with an Indonesian partner you have to take a selfie in front of the Indonesian embassy!
- Elias shared a story about how someone requested cash on delivery rather than online payment because of some of the online obstacles that are being faced.
Takeaway points from panel:
- Government funding is essential and great to develop an ecosystem, however the ecosystem shouldn’t sustain on it on the long term.
- Adriana advised entrepreneurs that they need to prepare for all the ups and down. To learn their business well and be well informed. You need to stop thinking about startups as a glamorous thing.
- Michael Lints ended panel with a quote by his friend “Being a startup is as romantic as chewing glass.”
Keynote: The Knowledge Economy
Jean Nehme, Co-Founder, Touch Surgery
Jean Nehme started off by informing the audience that most surgeons conduct their first surgery on someone. Which really is why, along with his colleagues, they came up with the idea for Touch Surgery. Surgeons are about 25% technical ability and 75% content knowledge – he added that he would rather have a surgeon who knows what to cut rather than just how to cut.
He also showed how Touch Surgery is taking it to the next level with virtual reality.
Worth noting is that Touch Surgery is free since Jean believes that in the knowledge economy, knowledge is free. He told entrepreneurs that they need to create smarter business models and share content/knowledge for free.
Panel – The Other Knowledge Economy:
Speakers: Hind Hobeika, Hassan Slaibi, Antoine Saad, Jamil Corbani
Moderator: Mark Haidar
The speakers each started off by introducing themselves and explaining their inspirations behind their products.
- Hind Hobeika used to be a swimmer when she considered Instabeat
- Hassan said they funded on Kickstarter and ended up raising triple what they were asking for
- Hind and Hassan both agreed that being in Lebanon was not really challenging to create their products. Everything is accessible and it’s all doable, they agreed. IT would be better if the internet was faster though
- Jamil noted that the strongest asset that Lebanese have is instability – it makes Lebanese creative and disruptive
- Antoine Saad agreed and added that when you work in a chaotic environment and it succeeds, your product would succeed anywhere else.
- Hind noted that the Lebanse ecosystem supported her and does not see any issues with starting up in Lebanon. She is also optimistic about raising large funds in Lebanon such as $20 million thanks to Circular 331.
- Antoine Saad agreed and added that he has seen lots of progress in Lebanon during the recent years and is optimistic about the way forward
Keynote: Big Data and Business
Ramzi Rizk, EyeEm
The last panel of the day was given by Ramzi who started off by introducing EyeEm and how data plays a role in it. He then unveiled his ambitious aim to index the world, through algorithms that determine things like the person, composition, subject, event, etc in the picture.
28 exceptional startups took the stage for 1 minute each to pitch their startups as part of the Seedstar World Competition.
You can view all startups here.
The jury selected 8 startups to go to the finalist round tomorrow.
Cardio Diagnostic, Saily, Yellow, Ki, Presella, Go Ijaza, Feedeed, Tari2ak.
That’s a wrap for today. See you all tomorrow!