Southeast Asia’s Global Debut: Startups in the Spotlight at Tech in Asia Conference 2021

Held from 12 to 14 October 2021, Tech in Asia held its annual Tech in Asia Conference – bringing together founders, investors and key decision makers belonging to Southeast Asia’s robust startup ecosystem.

APRW was the event’s PR Partner, which marks APRW’s commitment to create and foster conversations within the regional tech and startup landscape.

Anu Gupta, APRW’s Startup and Technology Director, was also invited to moderate a Roundtable session for industry players during the event, with a focus on People Operations to understand the challenges in managing talent and operations in the startup ecosystem.

  • Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Trade and Industry and Culture, Community and Youth graced the virtual event as Guest-of-Honour and delivered the opening speech at Tech In Asia Conference 2021
  • Participants will get to watch emerging ESG startups compete head-to-head in the Startup Arena Pitch Battle, visit exhibits of over 60 hot startups from Southeast Asia and join thoughtful virtual roundtables led by tech industry leaders 

Singapore, 12 October 2021 – Tech in Asia, one of Southeast Asia’s leading online media platforms that focuses on news and analysis of Asia’s vibrant tech and startup industry – kickstarted the first day of its three-day Tech in Asia Conference 2021. The conference, held virtually as its predecessor was in 2020, is titled “Southeast Asia’s Global Debut”. The virtual conference was graced by Guest-of-Honour, Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Trade and Industry and Culture, Community and Youth. 

This year, participants will be privy to tips and strategies shared by leading founders, investors, and key decision-makers in early-stage and maturing startups on how they are maximising business opportunities on the international stage. Some of the prominent speakers in attendance are Aaron Tan, CEO of Carro; Neneng Goenadi, Country Managing Director, Grab Indonesia and Rachmat Kaimuddin, CEO of Bukalapak.

This conference marks the 10th edition of the annual flagship event since 2012, and the second virtual conference that Tech in Asia will be hosting. The conference will revolve around “Southeast Asia’s Global Debut”, in light of the record-breaking IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, investments, and SPACs currently making global headlines. In-depth discussion and insights from local tech leaders on the upcoming opportunities and potential that Southeast Asia has on the global stage will also be discussed.

Mr Alvin Tan opened the conference by discussing the critical role that startups play in Singapore. By 2035, some estimate “that startups will contribute up to 2% of Singapore’s GDP and account for 5% of total employment by 2035”. The Minister of State, Trade and Industry and Culture, Community and Youth also highlighted the network effects of a vibrant startup ecosystem in attracting new investments to Singapore and creating a hub for innovative ideas.

The rest of Day 1 of the conference saw panel sessions hosted by prominent figures – Emtek’s Managing Director, Sutanto Hartono, and Grab Indonesia’s Country Managing Director, Neneng Goenadi, who discussed their strategic alliance to drive the digitalization of small and medium enterprises in Indonesia. Caesar Indra, President of Traveloka, shared how the firm has coped with the Covid-19 pandemic thus far, as well as its plans for a post-COVID future. Carro’s CEO, Aaron Tan, talked about demystifying the rise of Southeast Asia’s automotive sector. Stephanie Davis, Vice President of Google Southeast Asia, also shared invaluable leadership strategy and management lessons she learned while working to scale Google’s operations in Southeast Asia. Nicholas Nash, co-founder and managing partner of Asia Partners, gave a macro-level outlook on the region’s capital flows and what founders and investors can expect.

Aside from the main stage, the conference participants visiting a range of 60 hot startup exhibits and showcases from the Virtual Startup Factory, as well as a 1-on-1 “speed dating” event to match startups and investors. Participants also have access to the Startup Arena Pitch Battle Finals, where viewers will get to watch the final round of TiA’s premier startup pitch competition live. 

For the agenda of Tech in Asia Conference 2021, please visit:

About Tech in Asia

Tech in Asia (YC W15) is the largest English-language digital media platform focused on Asia’s tech and startup scene. Tech in Asia covers everything from the most recent news to the hottest trends in the region, with the goal to build and serve Asia’s tech and startup community. Tech in Asia also publishes quality editorial content in Bahasa Indonesia on its Indonesian site.

Apart from producing and delivering quality editorial content, Tech in Asia also connects brands with early adopters via Studios, its advertising agency unit. The company also organizes tech conferences and events across Asia, and we run the region’s go-to startup and technology jobs marketplace.



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