Startup Arena Pitch Battle

Presented by Tech in Asia and Surge

Startup founders, here’s your opportunity to impress the most renowned VCs in the region and connect with them for potential investment opportunities. The Arena Pitch Battle at the Tech in Asia Conference provides a platform for startups to pitch directly to investors and get instant exposure throughout Southeast Asia.

Applications are open to all innovative startups in the early stage with less than US$3 million in external funds raised. Sounds like you? Then grab this opportunity and submit your application for the Arena today!

THE FINALISTS

EVENT REPLAYS

SINGAPORE SEMIFINAL

INDONESIA SEMIFINAL

VIETNAM SEMIFINAL

REST OF SEA SEMIFINAL

WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR

Tech in Asia and Surge, Sequoia Capital India’s rapid scale-up program, have teamed up to make sure that this year’s Arena is bigger and better than ever. We will have four regional events in Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the rest of Southeast Asia, with a grand finale at the Tech in Asia Conference. You will be pitching to the region’s most prominent investors and founders and get a chance to win cash prizes, office hours with Sequoia Capital India, and an array of perks for your business. 

APPLICATION CRITERIA

Ideally, you operate a Southeast Asia tech startup that has:

A working prototype

Raised less than US$3 million worth of external funds

Proven traction with a strong team

An English-language pitch

WHAT YOU’LL GET

Everyone who submits a complete application will be eligible for:

  • Exclusive access to Surge’s company-building session – The Anatomy of a Pitch by Pieter Kemps, principal at Sequoia Capital India 
  • AWS Activate Founders for Self-Funded Startups
    • With $1,000 USD in AWS Cloud credits*, $350 USD in Developer Support credits

*AWS Activate credits are subject to the AWS Promotional Credit Terms & Conditions.

Visit website for program details:  https://aws.amazon.com/activate/founders/ 

PRIZES

Win prizes worth
US$ 27,000

1ST WINNER

- Up to US$10,000 in AWS cloud credits, valid for two years
- Up to US$1,500 in AWS Business Support credits
- 80 credits for self-paced labs 
- Office hours with AWS Solutions Architects to discuss your cloud architecture

Get up to US$10,000 in AWS credits with AWS Activate

US$25,000 in Freshworks credits
- Saving your business US$14,000 to US$50,000
- Includes 1:1 office hour session with the HubSpot team 

90% off a one-year subscription to HubSpot ⧁

A one-year subscription to Tigerhall
Tech in Asia Conference 2020 Virtual benefits
  • A four-day pass to Tech in Asia Conference 2020 virtual exhibition booth
  • Two Tech in Asia Conference 2020 exhibitor passes
  • Post-event video access to all sessions

2ND WINNER

- Up to US$10,000 in AWS cloud credits, valid for two years
- Up to US$1,500 in AWS Business Support credits
- 80 credits for self-paced labs 
- Office hours with AWS Solutions Architects to discuss your cloud architecture

Get up to US$10,000 in AWS credits with AWS Activate

US$20,000 in Freshworks credits
- Saving your business US$14,000 to US$50,000
- Includes 1:1 office hour session with the HubSpot team 
90% off a one-year subscription to HubSpot ⧁
A six-month subscription to Tigerhall
Tech in Asia Conference 2020 Virtual benefits
  • A four-day pass to Tech in Asia Conference 2020 virtual exhibition booth
  • Two Tech in Asia Conference 2020 exhibitor passes
  • Post-event video access to all sessions

3RD WINNER

- Up to US$10,000 in AWS cloud credits, valid for two years
- Up to US$1,500 in AWS Business Support credits
- 80 credits for self-paced labs 
- Office hours with AWS Solutions Architects to discuss your cloud architecture

Get up to US$10,000 in AWS credits with AWS Activate

US$15,000 in Freshworks credits
- Saving your business US$14,000 to US$50,000
- Includes 1:1 office hour session with the HubSpot team 
90% off a one-year subscription to HubSpot ⧁
A six-month subscription to Tigerhall
Tech in Asia Conference 2020 Virtual benefits
  • A four-day pass to Tech in Asia Conference 2020 virtual exhibition booth
  • Two Tech in Asia Conference 2020 exhibitor passes
  • Post-event video access to all sessions

4 REGIONAL WINNERS

(Indonesia, singapore, vietnam, & other sea)

- Up to US$10,000 in AWS cloud credits, valid for two years
- Up to US$1,500 in AWS Business Support credits
- 80 credits for self-paced labs 
- Office hours with AWS Solutions Architects to discuss your cloud architecture

Get up to US$10,000 in AWS credits with AWS Activate

US$10,000 in Freshworks credits
- Saving your business US$14,000 to US$50,000
- Includes 1:1 office hour session with the HubSpot team 
90% off a one-year subscription to HubSpot ⧁
A six-month subscription to Tigerhall
Tech in Asia Conference 2020 Virtual benefits
  • A four-day pass to Tech in Asia Conference 2020 virtual exhibition booth
  • Two Tech in Asia Conference 2020 exhibitor passes
  • Post-event video access to all sessions

All regional finalists will be eligible for

- Saving your business US$14,000 to US$50,000
- Includes 1:1 office hour session with the HubSpot team 
90% off a one-year subscription to HubSpot ⧁
Lorem Ipsum

All finalists are eligible to get up to $10,000 USD in AWS credits with AWS Activate

We’ve teamed up with AWS Activate to offer eligible startups affiliated with Startup Arena, free AWS credits, AWS Support credits and more! These exclusive benefits help you quickly get started on AWS and grow your business. 

  • Up to $10,000 USD in AWS cloud credits, valid for two years
  • Up to $1,500 USD in AWS Business Support credits
  • 80 credits for self-paced labs 
  • Office hours with AWS Solutions Architects to discuss your cloud architecture

For more information including the eligibility criteria, please review the AWS Activate Terms & Conditions.

Prizes & perks partners

We’ve teamed up with AWS Activate to offer eligible startups affiliated with Startup Arena, free AWS credits, AWS Support credits and more! These exclusive benefits help you quickly get started on AWS and grow your business. AWS Activate provides startups with a host of benefits, including AWS credits* as well as technical support and training, to help grow your business. Activate benefits are designed to give you the right mix of tools and expert support so you can succeed with AWS while optimizing performance, managing risk, and keeping costs under control. *. For more information including the eligibility criteria, please review the AWS Activate Terms & Conditions.
Freshworks is a leading maker of cloud-based customer and employee engagement software based in San Mateo, California. The company's cloud-based suite is widely used by over 250,000 businesses around the world including the NHS, Honda, Rightmove, Hugo Boss, Citizens Advice, Toshiba and Cisco.
HubSpot for Startups is designed specifically for startups that need tools, strategy & support for growth that's both fast and scalable. Their program offers education and training, 24/7 support, HubSpot Growth Platform, and access to over 500 software integrations, all at up to 90% off.
Tigerhall is a mentor media platform that helps professionals — regardless of their backgrounds and circumstances — achieve their career and life goals by learning directly from Asia’s most successful people. The insights, experiences, successes and mistakes of these decorated business leaders and some of the region’s smartest minds are captured in an app through bite-sized digital content such as Podcasts and Power Reads, as well as in-person experiences such as Private Dinners, Exclusive Lunches and Group Mentorship Sessions.

HOW TO JOIN?

STEP 1

SEND IN YOUR APPLICATION

Up for a pitching challenge? We’re scouting for the best innovative startups in the region (Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian countries) for our upcoming event, Tech in Asia Conference 2020 Virtual. Apply to be part of the Arena Pitch Battle here before  September 18, 2020, at 11:59 PM GMT+7.

SINGAPORE

September 22, 2020

VIETNAM

September 24, 2020

INDONESIA

September 29, 2020

OTHER SEA

October 1, 2020
STEP 2

ASSESSMENT AND SELECTION

From the submissions, we’ll pick the top five from each region to pitch live on a virtual stage.

💡 The selected startups will be given time and space to practice their presentations – with our help, of course – because a good demo is a must. Our Arena training will be held virtually.

STEP 3

SEMIFINAL PITCH BATTLE

All semifinalists will pitch live on a virtual stage to an audience and a panel of judges that includes a prominent investor and founder in the region.  A  Q and A portion will be held after each presentation. To succeed, semifinalists have to impress the judges with their demonstration of ideas, insights and market knowledge.

📅 The semifinals will take place on the following dates:

  • Singapore | September 22, 2020
  • Vietnam | September 24, 2020
  • Indonesia | September 29, 2020
  • Other Southeast Asian countries | October 1, 2020
STEP 4

ANNOUNCEMENT OF FINALISTS

The top six startups will be picked as finalists.

💡 Tech in Asia will help ensure that all finalists will be ready to impress at the final pitch battle.

STEP 5

FINAL PITCH BATTLE

OCTOBER 21 -22 , 2020

It’s the big day! All finalists will pitch live on the third and fourth day of Tech in Asia Conference 2020 Virtual, which will be held from October 21 to 22, 2020. The champion of the Arena will get to build their legacy and a cash prize.

MEET OUR JUDGES

PIETER KEMPS​

Pieter
Kemps

Principal, Sequoia Capital India
RAJAN ANANDAN

Rajan
Anandan

Managing Director Surge & Sequoia Capital India
Anandamoy Roychowdhary

Anandamoy
Roychowdhary

Director of Technology, Sequoia Capital India & Surge
BINH TRAN​

Binh
Tran

General Partner, 500 Startups Vietnam
EDWARD TIRTANATA​

Edward
Tirtanata

Co-Founder & CEO, KOPI KENANGAN
Joel Neoh

Joel
Neoh

Founder, Fave

Jussi Salovaara

Jussi
Salovaara

Co-Founder & Managing Partner Asia, Antler
Kelvin Teo

Kelvin
Teo

Co-founder & Group CEO, Funding Societies | Modalku

Nguyen Nguyen

Nguyen Nguyen

Founder & CEO, Trusting Social

Nichapat Ark

Nichapat
Ark

Thailand Coverage, Openspace Ventures

RAMEEZ ANSAR

RAMEEZ
ANSAR

co-founder and director, CIRCLE.LIFE

TERUHIDE
SATO

FOUNDER, BEENEXT

Willson
cuaca

Managing Partner, East Ventures

FAQs

Who can apply for the Arena?

All innovative tech startups based in Southeast Asia that are in the growth stage and have raised less than US$3 million in external funds are eligible to apply.

I was once an Arena finalist. Can I participate again this year?

We highly appreciate your interest. However, we want to maximize the limited slots by giving a chance to another startup.

What language must I use for the pitch?

Your pitch must be in English.

How much should I pay to participate in the Arena?

Participation in the Arena is totally free of charge. 

When can I submit?

Now! Or as soon as possible. We’ll close submissions on September 18, 2020, at 11:59 PM GMT+7, and we’ll be reviewing entries on a rolling basis.  

The Tech in Asia (TIA) Conference is the premier gathering of tech and startup companies in Asia. Hosted annually, the conference brings together the most influential founders, investors, and leaders of Asia’s tech community. Past speakers include Anthony Tan (Grab), Takeshi Idezawa (Line), Eduardo Saverin (Facebook and B Capital), Ben Horowitz (a16z), William Tanuwijaya (Tokopedia), and Helen Wong (Qiming Venture Partners).

Surge is a rapid scale-up program for startups in India and Southeast Asia. It combines US$1 million to US$2 million of seed capital with company-building workshops, a global curriculum, and support from a community of exceptional mentors and founders. The program’s goal is to supercharge early-stage startups and give founders an unfair advantage, right out of the gate. 

For more information on Surge, visit www.surgeahead.com.

Not a conference pass holder yet?

Copyright © 2020 Tech in Asia. All rights reserved.

Pieter Kemps

Principal, Sequoia Capital India

Pieter joined Sequoia in 2014 as one of the first members of the firm’s Southeast Asia investment team. He currently serves on the Board of Fave, Nugit, Funding Societies, 90 Seconds, HealthEngine, and Insider. Recently, he has been focused on Seed investments and is a core member of the Surge team, working closely with companies like Zenyum, Qoala and others.

Pieter previously ran his own startup, worked at an incubator, and held various leadership roles at tech companies such as Cisco and Amazon. Prior to Sequoia, he worked at Amazon Web Services, where he was responsible for Amazon’s business with VC’s, Accelerators, and the broader startup ecosystem across Asia. 

Having lived and worked in Amsterdam, Madrid, and Tokyo, Pieter currently resides in Singapore with his wife and two daughters. He holds an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he specialized in Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital.

Rajan Anandan

Managing Director Surge & Sequoia Capital India LLP

As part of the leadership team at Sequoia Capital, Rajan is focusing on developing Surge into the world’s top scale-up program for startups by acting as an investment advisor and mentor to the programme’s founders. 

Surge aims to engineer rapid early progress for startups, by enabling disproportionate access to capital, talent, network and decades of company-building knowledge. Rajan’s deep understanding of technology, operating expertise and a track record of growing tech businesses across the region will help Surge’s founders scale and build the businesses of tomorrow.

Prior to Sequoia, as Head of Google India and Southeast Asia, Rajan played a key role in expanding the regions internet ecosystem while accelerating Google’s innovation and growth units. He is also a prolific angel investor who has backed a large number of successful startups at very early stages. Rajan also led Microsoft and Dell in India and was earlier a Partner at McKinsey & Company in Chicago.

BINH TRAN

BINH TRAN

GENERAL PARTNER, 500 STARTUPS VIETNAM

Binh Tran is the General Partner of 500 Startups Vietnam, the most active VC investor in Vietnam. Binh has completed over 40 investments in his career, across sectors such as edtech, fintech, ecommerce, AI, and logistics. Prior to 500 Startups, Binh co-founded Klout in 2008, a social analytics company powered by big data and AI and backed by top tier Silicon Valley VCs that was acquired in 2014. Binh resides in HCMC.

Edward Tirtanata

Edward Tirtanata

CO-FOUNDER & CEO, KOPI KENANGAN

He graduated Magna Cum Laude in finance and accounting from Northeastern University. After a brief stint in Ernst & Young Tax, he became a serial entrepreneur in a range of different businesses. In 2015, he started Lewis & Carroll tea, one of the largest premium tea house chains in Indonesia where he quickly realized the importance of online delivery, affordability, and technology in F&B business. The experience triggered him to start Kopi Kenangan, a tech enabled grab & go premium affordable coffee chain, which became one of the largest coffee chains in Indonesia in just 2 years. 

Joel Neoh
Joel Neoh
Founder, Fave

Joel Neoh is one of Southeast Asia’s most recognised young entrepreneurs. Joel is currently the Founder of Fave, a leading mobile payments & loyalty platform with strong presence in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Fave is supported by some of the most reputable investors in the region including Sequoia Capital, SIG and Grab. Joel has received the Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Malaysian Tatler also awarded Joel Entrepreneur Par Excellence in 2018. 

As a Kuala Lumpur native, Joel was one of the initial founders of the Groupon businesses in Asia Pacific, and headed up the region for 4 years. He played an instrumental role in establishing the high-growth business model that propelled Groupon into a multi billion dollar business, with thousands of employees spanning across 12 countries. 

Joel has also co-founded several successful companies including social news platform Says.com, and invested in over 20 technology startups across Asia. In 2013, Says.com merged with Catcha Media and the public-listed company was rebranded as REV Asia. REV Asia was acquired by Media Prima in 2017 for over RM100 million. 

He completed his studies in Monash University and Harvard Business School and has lived in a number of Asia Pacific cities, including Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Sydney and Singapore. In 2016, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Monash University, and has been on the advisory board of the Monash School of Business and AIESEC, the world’s largest student organization. 

Jussi Salovaara
Jussi Salovaara
Co-Founder & Managing Partner Asia, Antler

Jussi is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner for Asia at Antler (www.antler.co), focusing on running Antler’s overall strategy and operations in the region. He is very passionate about helping founders build their businesses from scratch and has a hands-on approach to coach them through the startup process. He has been an integral part of advising founders from our Singapore cohorts. Antler has over 170 companies under our portfolio globally. 

Jussi has over a decade of experience in areas of investment and strategy across different industries, including engineering and IoT. Before Antler, he was the Vice President at Nokia’s headquarters in Helsinki, running Product, Strategy, Sales and Commercial functions. He has also had his experiences built across working with promising international companies such as McKinsey, Deloitte and Morgan Stanley. 

Jussi was educated in the Helsinki School of Economics and London School of Economics.

Kelvin Teo

Co-founder & Group CEO, Funding Societies | Modalku

Kelvin Teo is the co-founder of Funding Societies | Modalku. Selected as Top 200 FinTech Influencers in Asia and appointed Co-Chairperson for the Marketplace Lending Committee of Singapore FinTech Association, Kelvin has spoken at major conferences such as LendIt Shanghai, Boao Hainan and Money20/20. He has also been featured on Bloomberg, BBC and Business Times. Prior to this, Kelvin served as a consulting professional at KKR, McKinsey and Accenture. Kelvin graduated from Harvard Business School and National University of Singapore, and is a certified Chartered Accountant.

Nichapat Ark
Nichapat Ark
THAILAND COVERAGE, OPENSPACE VENTURES

Nichapat Ark is Thailand Coverage for Openspace Ventures, a Singapore-based VC fund focusing in Southeast Asia with more than US$300mil under management. Additionally, she is also a screening committee for Bangkok Venture Club, an angel investor network in Thailand, as well as Thailand Seedstars World Ambassador. She has received the Prime Minister Award as Thailand Startup Ecosystem Evangelist in 2019. 

Nichapat has more than 20 years of experience in financial markets. Her most recent position before joining Openspace Ventures was Executive Committee and Managing Director, Financial Markets for Standard Chartered Bank Thailand where she took part in driving the bank’s strategic planning and execution functions. During her 10 years with Standard Chartered Bank, she spent 2 years in China as Managing Director of Financial Markets Sales based in Shanghai. Nichapat obtained her Master of Business Administration degree, majoring in Finance from Sasin Graduate School of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, and spent a term on exchange at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration at Assumption University, Thailand.

RAMEEZ ANSAR
RAMEEZ ANSAR
CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, CIRCLE.LIFE

As co-founder and director, Rameez is the lead visionary and responsible for overall business and operations in Singapore. He also manages external relationships with key industry partners, including IMDA and M1.

To Rameez, the launch of Circles.Life is an exciting opportunity to digitally transform the telecom industry in Singapore with home built innovation and technology, but also to take this transformation globally to other regions where data savvy customers exist.

Rameez co-founded and managed TechCube8, a technology, media and telecoms (TMT) focused venture fund that received co-investment from the National Research Foundation of Singapore (NRF).  Before TechCube8, Rameez was in portfolio management and investments at Temasek Holdings. He also previously worked in corporate finance as an M&A consultant with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Some of his achievements include supporting investments made by Temasek during the global financial crisis in 2009. Rameez also contributed towards setting up the regulatory framework for the corporatisation of Changi Airport and providing funding and advice for budding entrepreneurs during the formative stages of the Block 71 start-up ecosystem in Singapore.

Rameez has an MBA from Harvard Business School and is a graduate of the National University of Singapore (NUS), where he was Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA) Gold Medallist.

Willson Cuaca
Managing Partner, East Ventures

Willson Cuaca is the Managing Partner of East Ventures, Southeast Asian early-stage investment fund and the VC pioneer in Indonesia. The firm starts investing in 2009 when no one believed in the potential of Indonesia’s consumer Internet.

East Ventures has funded hundreds of early-stage companies in Southeast Asia since their early days. Most of the companies have received subsequent funding round and riding on top of Indonesia middle-class consumer growth. The firm has also exited investments through M&A to local and international companies. This year, East Ventures crowned as the most consistent top performing VC fund globally and is the most active investor in SEA and Indonesia.