There’s some individuals who have made huge difference in the tech industry – without these influencers, Asia’s startup ecosystem wouldn’t be what it is today. Some are co-founders, others coworking space owners. Still others are community builders, ecosystem builders, angels, seed investors, VCs, CVCs or media. Plenty of these individuals may even hold multiple roles at once – but what unites them is that they’ve all profoundly played a role in driving the ecosystem forward.
Some do so by focusing to very unique niches such as developer groups. Others are celebrities delving into startups who have in turn become an inspiration & role model to the younger generation.
From A-Z, here’s 79 Tech Idols in Asia that we think deserve our recognition – and yours as well.
1. Adeline Setiawan – Co-Founder & Design Director of FabCafe Singapore, Saturday Kids
Adeline is an anthropologist and kid #1 at Saturday Kids. She and the team of Changemakers play with the tech, tinker, and cook up the special sauce to live the #SaturdayKidsHaveMoreFun programs. Adeline believes that creativity and tech can be meaningful tools for kids to solve problems in the world if only we trust kids to find the problems. She has been programming, designing, imagining, and building with kids since 2012. Adeline also produces documentaries and is co-founder and Design Director of FabCafe Singapore.
2. Alexander Jarvis – Founder of 50Folds
Alexander Jarvis is a Venture Capitalist, investing and building early stage tech startups across South East Asia.
3. Amelie Moon – Product Manager of Jeju Center for Creative Economy & Innovation (J-CCEI)
Country: South Korea
4. Andy Zain – Managing Director at Mountain Kejora Ventures
Andy Zain is currently the Managing Director of Kejora Ventures, a startup accelerator & tech company builder in Southeast Asia. Prior to launching Kejora, he held the position as Director in SkyBee Tbk, an Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX) listed company in the technology, media & telecommunications sector.
Deeply rooted to the regional innovation ecosystem as the Director of Jakarta Founder Institute, and Chairman for MobileMonday Indonesia, he is also a member of the Myanmar Innovation Council. He recently also initiated the Indonesia FinTech Association. He established ideabox, a telco-focused tech startup accelerator in partnership with Indosat (www.ideabox.co.id).
5. Anh-Minh T. Do – Director of Communications at Vertex Venture Holdings
Anh-Minh Do is the director of communications at Vertex Ventures, a family of funds which includes offices in Bangalore, Beijing, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Taipei, and Tel Aviv. At Vertex, Minh focuses on developing the thought leadership and visibility of Vertex in the tech startup ecosystem. Minh also has close ties to Vietnam, where he cofounded a lifestyle brand called Vietcetera. Minh also cofounded multiple startup initiatives in Vietnam, like VIC Partners, an angel investment club, and Startup.vn, a social enterprise to help startups. Minh’s core interest is writing, where he explores a range of topics from society to economics and science fiction, and especially technology and startups. He is a regular contributor on Forbes and Medium.
6. Antti Sonninen – CEO of Slush Tokyo
From 2012 Antti was the Japan Country Director of Rovio, the widely known Finnish game development company behind the Angry Birds series. In 2014 Antti joined Japanese startup Beatrobo Inc. as the COO. In 2015, as the CEO, Antti launched Slush Asia, one of the largest and the first major startup events in English in Japan with over 3000 people. Slush Asia gathered over 200 startups, 100 VCs, and over 300 volunteers. The event was featured in several TV programs and over 100 articles online. Slush Asia was built together with the original event organizers of Slush, an event that has revolutionized entrepreneurship in Finland.
7. Arnaud Bonzom – Director of Corporate Innovation at 500 Startups and Entrepreneur in Residence at INSEAD
Arnaud Bonzom is the Director of Corporate Innovation at 500 Startups. His recent report on How do the World’s Biggest Companies Deal with the Start-up Revolution? details the bullish efforts by Multinational Corporations to engage start-ups and leverage on their capabilities. A prolific speaker, Arnaud shed light on the often overlooked, yet active approach by corporates to tap into the minds (and indeed, businesses) of entrepreneurs.
His research is highlighted in leading organization such as Bain, Bearing Point, Deloitte, Oliver Wyman, Orange, BNP Paribas and Saudi Aramco and received extensive media coverage in Forbes, Bloomberg, Les Echos and other media.
Arnaud is an Entrepreneur in Residence at INSEAD. Prior to 500 Startups, Arnaud was part of INSEAD, where he was responsible for facilitating interactions between MBA students/alumni and the Entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Arnaud is also developing some tools for the startup ecosystem:
- Map of the Money 4.0
- Asia Funding / M&A Newsletter
- Singapore startup ecosystem and entrepreneur toolbox
8. Arzumy MD – CTO of Fave
Arzumy is prolific CTO with over 12 years of experience. He has led engineering teams in a wide range of industries from 020, Fitness, Fintech, and E-commerce, to Digital Media and Mobile Communication.
He was part of the founding team members of two successful exits: SAYS.com to Catcha Group in 2013 and GroupsMore to Groupon in 2011. Arzumy’s strength is in building world-class engineering teams with great company culture, and he loves making great products. At Fave, he focuses on delivering product and business strategies to impact consumers and businesses across Southeast Asia.
He believes in building a sustainable startup ecosystem supported by an active community. Arzumy speaks at various tech events in SEA region. He runs weekly mentoring and knowledge sharing sessions with local startups. He hosted KL CTO Summit to help CTOs and Technical Leaders with their challenges.
9. Aziza Sheerin – Director, Singapore at General Assembly
Aziza is currently the Director for Singapore at General Assembly, an educational institution that is building a community of individuals empowered to pursue work they love through education and opportunity in technology, design and business. Aziza believes education is transformative, and holds the key to empowerment. She loves exploring better methods of teaching and learning, and is especially intrigued by initiatives that plug the gap between education and employment.
10. Bob Zheng – Founder of People Squared
Bob Zheng is the founder and CEO of People Squared, a Shanghai-based co-working space that provides a well-equipped work environment for freelancers, self-employed professionals and startup teams to work together and build social connections. Prior to founding People Squared two years ago, Bob co-founded liuxueok.com, a social platform that connected Chinese high school students with western universities, so that students could get study-abroad consultations from schools directly. Having been an entrepreneur for 4 years, Bob is very knowledgeable about the startup environment in China and has built good connections with many local startup communities, Internet/mobile Internet media and tech blogs, investment funds and agencies providing services to early-stage startups (such as law firms and government bureaus).
11. Bobby Liu – Senior Director of Topica Edtech Group
Bobby Liu is a global citizen, having lived and worked in five different countries. A keen learner, he appreciates the differences in cultural backgrounds of people and what makes them tick. Ideas abounding, he started a coworking space/incubator called Hub.IT, a space that provides young entrepreneurs a conducive environment to innovate and share collective experiences, and in the process contributes to building a great entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hanoi and Vietnam. Last year, Hub.IT was acquired by Topica, where he’s the Senior Director. Bobby is also co-director of the Topica Founder Institute. He is also very active in the startup community, volunteering his time to mentor startups and helping them achieve their goals. One of the initiatives of his is an umbrella platform called Techfest.
12. Casey Lau – Head of Asia, RISE at Web Summit, Venture Partner of Blue Startups and Co-Founder of StartupsHK
Country: Hong Kong
Casey Lau is one of Hong Kong’s tech start-up pioneers, having launched one of the first HK-based web design studios (Rogue Media), co-founded ActionAce.com – one of Asia’s first e-commerce sites, co-founded Velocity9 – a new media development agency and Popcorn Media Network – a digital publishing company.
Starting in 2015, Casey acted as co-host of RISE, Web Summit’s first Asian conference that saw 5,000 attendees from Asia, Europe and the U.S. congregate in Hong Kong for the 2-day conference and nearly 9,000 in its second year.
13. Cheryl Yeoh – Former Founding CEO of MaGIC
Cheryl Yeoh is a Chinese-Malaysian entrepreneur, speaker and angel investor currently living in San Francisco, best known for being the Founding CEO of the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), a government-funded agency to support entrepreneurship in Malaysia and ASEAN that was launched by President Barack Obama and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on 27 April 2014.
Yeoh’s most important legacy is that she has helped put Malaysia and its startups on the world map, successfully helping Malaysia build up its startup ecosystem in under 2 years. She is one of four Southeast Asians to be selected as a LinkedIn Influencer. In 2012, Yeoh was named one of the “Top 44 Female Founders Every Entrepreneur Should Know” by Mashable.
14. Curry Khoo – Captain at Second Startup
Curry Khoo founded TE4P on 2012, the tech community driven organization hosting various events & activities in Penang for entrepreneurs, startups & ecosystems. He started his entrepreneur journey since 2000, during the era of dial-up & where everyone was on Friendster.
Curry joined MaGIC in mid 2014 as the community builder down in Penang, believing the vision of Cheryl Yeoh to bring the Penang ecosystem to the next level by empowering startups and entrepreneurs.
At beginning of 2015, Curry joined Douglas Khoo to run The Coding Shophouse to provide affordable coding workshops to the local community.
Currently he is running Second Startup,a bootcamp for early stage startups focusing to IoT (internet of things) and Fintech. The program is co-organized by Aemulus & Khazanah and includes some amazing industry partners.
15. Dave Lim – TEDx Ambassador, Leadership team at Singularity, Startup mentor and judge
Dave Lim is a polymath, provocateur, possibilist and pioneer. Dave delights in bringing people together to design, launch and grow new ventures. He is a co-founder in Coca-Cola’s new 10-city global innovation program to design, build, and scale new start-ups globally. Since 1996, Dave has worked on many sides of the entrepreneurial fence: As a venture capitalist in a $1 billion Pacific Rim and Silicon Valley fund, and a marketer, educator, central banker and global fund manager of over $100 billion. To date, he has lived in four countries and has studied at Stanford, Berkeley, U. of New South Wales, and U. of British Columbia.
As TEDx Ambassador and founding curator of TEDxSingapore since 2009, he builds and binds communities to share ideas and inspirations. Dave loves cooking and exploring and has driven across two continents and once circumnavigated our world in six months by backpack. On weekends, you’ll find Dave and wife volunteering as tour guides in Singapore’s art museum. Dave’s favorite quote: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
16. David Kuo – Co-Founder of iiiNNO Taiwan
David Kuo is an early stage startup investor and co-founder of iiiNNO, a startup platform focused in accelerating go-to market processes for both local and international startups. David is passionate about contributing to Taiwan’s startup ecosystem and is often invited to speak across cities in Taiwan and Asia about startup education and pre-incubation.
17. David Madden – Founder & CEO Phandeeyar: Myanmar Innovation Lab
David is the Founder & CEO of Phandeeyar: Myanmar Innovation Lab. Phandeeyar is an ICT hub that is spearheading the development of the country’s tech and innovation ecosystem. Phandeeyar runs Myanmar’s first-ever tech startup accelerator, a Makerspace, an open data platform, and a co-working and training facility. David is also the Founder of Code for Change Myanmar, which organized the country’s first-ever hackathons.
18. DongYol Lee – Owner of Waaotn & Company, Ltd. & Organizer of Startup Weekend Tokyo
DongYol Lee is CEO of Waaotn & Company, which makes social accessibility wares like eyes-free elders-friendly social networking platforms and social captioning platforms for AR captioning.
He also organizes an event called “Startup Weekend Tokyo,” which is a Tokyo version of Startup Weekend – an event which originated in Seattle and is now held in about 300 cities in the world.
19. Dức Trịnh Anh – Director of Startup Grind Hanoi
Dức Trịnh Anh is the director of Startup Grind in Hanoi. Startup Grind is the global startup community that educates & connects & inspires entrepreneurs in more 200 cities around the world. They host local events, inviting successful entrepreneurs and investors to come and share their stories, experience, and lessons learnt through educational online content.
20. Earl Martin Valencia – Start-up Advisor, Mentor, Board Member and Angel Investor
Earl Martin Valencia is a Co-Founder of IdeaSpace Foundation, Inc. and serves as its president. He is also a startup advisor, mentor, board member and angel investor for many startups. He is a graduate from Cornell University and studied Business at Stanford.
21. Elisha Tan – Founder of TechLadies
Elisha believes that entrepreneurs have the ability (hence responsibility) to make the world a better place, and a way to do that is through technology. She helps developers build local tech communities to make the world a more open and connected place. By night & weekends, she’s the founder of TechLadies, a community-led initiative for women in Asia to connect, learn, and advance as programmers in the tech industry. Since Jan 2016, they’ve taught 177 ladies how to code in Singapore and Malaysia with 5 ladies getting employed in engineering roles. Currently she is the Developer Programs Regional Lead for APAC of Facebook (based in Singapore).
Elisha has been featured on multiple newspapers & media sites, mentored at Startup Weekends (San Francisco & Penang), and spoke at Slush Singapore and Techsauce Summit, amongst others.
22. Feng Lim – Founder & Community Director of Startup Johor
Feng is the founder & community director of Startup Johor, a community set up to educate, inspire and connect entrepreneurs around Johor, powered by At20s. It has organized meetup events for startups, industrial representatives, investors, entrepreneur and ecosystem stakeholders to connect, collaborate, create and share their stories and lessons learned along the road of entrepreneurship.
Launched in July 2014, Startup Johor is currently working closely with local government-related agencies and startup communities to build the startup community for Johorean entrepreneurs.
23. Florian Cornu – Co-Founder, Map of the Money and SaaS Business Asia
Florian helps entrepreneurs to run their business through financial management, data and metrics intelligence. A generalist, Florian learnt different sides of doing business over time: Having pored over companies’ annual reports and analyzing financial metrics and term sheets while other kids were doing far more “age-appropriate” activities, Florian joined Charles Firmin-Didot’s Talents team at AXA IM to invest in globally listed entrepreneurial companies. AXA IM – Talents invested over Euro 1.3 bn in entrepreneurs. Florian now helps entrepreneurs to execute and grow their startups from Seed to Series B. He is also a co-founder of Map of the Money, a venture capital & private equity firm founded in 2016.
24. Gang Lu – Founder of TechNode.com (TechCrunch China)
Gang Lu is the founder and chief editor at Technode.com, a leading China tech blog that targets to bridge the Chinese technology sector and the English speaking world. He is the guest editor of the world’s top web 2.0 blog, ReadWriteWeb.com. Technode was known as Mobinode.com, his personal blog, which covered the Internet market news in Asia especially in China and was also voted as the best China Tech Blog in 2007 and 2008. Gang Lu has an MSc, PhD in wireless communications. He is an Internet expert, China Internet Strategist, known speaker, and co-founder of the OpenWeb.Asia Workgroup.
OpenWeb.Asia is the first independent workgroup focusing on Asia’s Internet industry, and is also the organizer of OpenWebAsia conference which is the first truly pan-Asia web technology event bringing together executives, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from throughout Asia. With strong academic background in wireless communications, years of research and development experience in mobile industry and international business management in the web industry, Gang Lu is very passionate about the Open Web concept and plays a very active role in building efficient channels among Asian local markets as well as between Asia’s web and the global industry.
25. George Kesselman – Founder of InsurTechAsia
George Kesselman is a successful insurance-leader-turned-entrepreneur. In his relentless passion and pursuit to transform insurance, George created and now leads both Pivot Ventures and InsurTechAsia.org. The pivot team works with amazing startups across the world to solve impactful problems together with its partner insurance firms in Asia. InsurTechAsia.org focuses on cultivating Asia’s InsurTech ecosystem though regional support programs for local InsurTech ventures; both are ultimately contributing to the next wave of global revolution in insurance.
26. Grace Sai – Co-Founder and CEO of The HUB Singapore
Grace is the CEO and Co-Founder of The Hub Singapore, Singapore’s largest co-working community of entrepreneurs, creatives and techies. She is regarded as a node of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Asia and speaks widely on that topic. Interested in ecosystem building and policy development for startups and social enterprises, she has been invited by the Prime Minister’s Offices in Singapore and Malaysia, Angela Merkel and Mayor Park, amongst others, to share her inputs. She also sits on the Advisory Board for Ben & Jerry’s Singapore, is a Social entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD and a TEDx Singapore speaker. She was also the founder of Books for Hope, a social enterprise in children’s education in Indonesia. Grace has been nominated as a Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum (2013), 40 Under 40 by Prestige Singapore (2014) and is a UN Women Entrepreneurship Day Ambassador. Having a passion for teaching and speaking, she has delivered courses on Entrepreneurship in universities, MBA classes and is a speaker at international conferences (e.g. Cities Summit in Tel Aviv, Social Innovation Conference in Moscow, US State Department in Islamabad, Future Enterprise Forum in Seoul, EMERGE in Oxford and RMIT in Melbourne). She now resides in Singapore and has an MBA from the University of Oxford where she graduated with distinction and was a Skoll Scholar (funded by Jeff Skoll, the co-founder of eBay).
27. Gwendolyn Regina Tan – Director of Strategy and Business Development, Asia Pacific at Mashable
Gwendolyn is currently spearheading Mashable’s global expansion into Asia. Previously she built and sold the tech startup-focused media, SGEntrepreneurs, to Tech in Asia. Gwen was also a founding team member of an early stage technology investment firm in Singapore with a portfolio that includes iHipo (acquired), Eteract (rolled up into LunchActually) and Padlet (Y Combinator alum). Her angel investments include ShopBack, Oddle.me, and The Commissioned. Gwen was a mentor at Polish tech startup incubator Gamma Rebels, was the Singapore curator for US-headquartered StartupDigest and the founding Singapore Ambassador for the Sandbox Network – the leading global network of innovators under 30. Gwen is an alumnus of the National University of Singapore, graduated from its University Scholars Programme and spent a year at Stanford University doing technopreneurship. She has lived in Singapore, Ho Chi Minh city and California, and given talks across Asia, Europe and the US. Gwen speaks 3.25 languages, and is passionate about physics, traveling, dance and adventure sports
28. Hadi Othman – Founder of Lyfe Media
Hadi Othman is the founder of Lyfe Media Sdn Bhd. Lyfe Media is a portfolio of 2 properties that focuses on audiences that they love, engaging millions of people. Founded in 2016, they are now among the fastest-growing English media platforms in Southeast Asia.
29. Heislyc Loh – Founder of Corate & StartupMamak
Heislyc Loh is the Co-Director of the Malaysia chapter for Founder Institute, the world’s largest training ground and launchpad for startup entrepreneurs in 100 different cities. Heislyc has also founded StartupMamak – a community group for technology start-up entrepreneurs in 2011. Currently, the group boasts over 3000 members and frequently engages in high-level discussions.
30. Hugh Mason – CEO of JFDI.Asia
Hugh is CEO at JFDI.Asia and Adjunct Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore. Since 2012 he has co-founded, mentored or invested in 70 startup companies, achieving 48% IRR. A UK citizen and proud European, Hugh is also now a Permanent Resident of Singapore.
31. Ikeda Masaru – Co-founder of The Bridge
Masaru Ikeda currently acts as co-founder of The Bridge, one of leading media outlets covering the startup scene in Japan and the rest of the world. He started his career as a programmer/engineer, and previously co-founded several system integration companies and consulting firms. He’s been traveling around Silicon Valley, Europe and Asia, exploring the IT industry and prominent startups.
32. Jinju Jeon – Director of beSUCCESS
Country: South Korea
Jinju Jeon is the director at beSUCCESS, a South Korean media platform about startups, technology and entrepreneurship with English and Korean language versions. beSUCCESS introduces Korean start-ups and companies to global audiences through our English version and through our media partners. beSUCCESS supports and inspires readers by sharing interesting business ideas, success stories, resources and trends from all over the world.
33. Johnny Mayo – Country Manager of FINNOVASIA, Co-Founder of Neuroware
An avid technologist and a recipient of Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia, Johnny has played a leading role in developing the FinTech agenda across the region; educating numerous organizations, regional banks, national regulators, and government departments on how they can understand and adopt blockchain strategies. As CMO, he led Neuroware to organize the world’s first bank-backed blockchain hackathon with DBS Singapore and mentored Asia’s first bank-sponsored accelerator with CIMB. Mayo is also the co-founder of Betanomics Asia, a community for blockchain-related startup founders across Asia.
34. Jon Russell – Writer at TechCrunch
Jon is an Asia-based reporter for US tech publication TechCrunch. He has lived in Thailand since 2008 and has written about the growth of the internet and technology in Asia for more than five years. He’s particularly passionate about Southeast Asia, where he believes that technology has an unprecedented opportunity to positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people.
35. Jowynne Khor – Director, Community & Events at MagIC
Jowynne Khor is the Program Director for the Community and Events team in MaGIC (Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre). She was also the Program Director of Asia Pacific of IASA for the past 8 years. She is also the co-founder of Gorgeous Geeks, designed for 3 different women focus groups which are entrepreneurs, professionals and young girls.
36. Justin Lee – Developer Evangelist, Trainer at Alpha CAMP & Co-Founder of Hackerspace.SG
Known as a co-founder of Hackerspace.SG – the Singapore hacker community’s home, living room and laboratory, Justin Lee is now a Developer Evangelist/Advocate/Relationship Manager with an expanded role in Asia Pacific that focuses on strategy, execution, and technical outreach, with cross functional roles in Technical Consulting, Business Development and Strategy, Developer Events and Community Outreach.
With over 12 years of community engagement experience comprised of building user groups from the ground up, Justin has been mentoring students, judging competitions, organizing community events, enabling the hacker community and attending various developer community events, including growing the IBM-run Bluemix Singapore community from scratch to over 600 engaged developers and partners in less than 1 year.
37. Kalaya Kovidvisith – Founder of Fabcafe Bangkok
Kalaya is co-founder of FabCafe Bangkok, a digital fabrication cafe which doubles up as a local creative community for people to gather, mingle and connect. Kalaya is also a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at Thammasat University, and Partner at Chassis+Infill Design Consulting & Architecture Firm.
Prior to FabCafe, Kalaya founded and managed the Xcellent Center for Eco Design Network, to connect diverse academia with local communities and bridge government institutions, companies, local factories and creators through research and design collaboration that puts innovations into practice. Kalaya holds a Master of Science in Architecture Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a B.A. in Architecture from Chulalongkorn University, and is currently pursuing a PhD from MIT.
38. Karamjit Singh – Founder of Digital News Asia
Karamjit Singh’s Digital News Asia (DNA) covers the tech ecosystem in an analytical and critical manner without fear and favor, providing coverage on industry issues, business models, public policy, entrepreneurs, startups and funding, new technology as well as business trends and developments. The online publication also focuses to topics such as R&D, and how organizations are using ICT to sharpen their competitiveness, and, last but not least, profiles on the movers and shakers in the industry.
39. Kavi Raj Joshi – Founder and Managing Director of M&S NEXT Venture Corp
NEXT is a support system for entrepreneurs to start and grow their ventures in Nepal. NEXT provides entrepreneurial education, mentorship, creative office space, shared resources, supportive community, market exposure, as well as access to valuable networks and funding.
40. Kristabel (Jingyu) Quek
Kristabel specializes in innovation management and entrepreneurship. She believes in creating value, virtuous communities and ecosystems. With a background in materials engineering, Kristabel ventured into technology transfer, focusing on using technopreneurship, entrepreneurship, and intrapreneurship to bring ideas to the commercial market. In her first job after completing her 2-year technology transfer traineeship, she breathed new life into ideas.inc., the accelerator-style business challenge under Nanyang Technopreneurship Centre. She also organized about 20 events of various sizes in 13 months, helping myriads of aspiring entrepreneurs to start their entrepreneurial journey.
41. Kristine Lauria – Founder of TheList.Sg and Walkabout Sg
Kristine Lauria is the Singapore Country Manager for Elance-oDesk, an online workplace for global talent in Singapore. She is responsible for establishing Elance-oDesk’s long-term presence in Asia through strong collaboration with the business and startup communities. Kristine has a decade of experience in communications and online marketing. Before Elance-oDesk, she ran community outreach at PBwiki.com for 4 million monthly users. She’s a strong supporter of the Singapore tech ecosystem and runs Walkabout SG and thelist.sg. Find her on twitter at @KrissyMo.
42. Krystal Choo – CEO & Founder of Wander
Krystal Choo is a two-time TEDx speaker and the CEO and Founder of Wander, which brings like-minded people together by allowing them to join the best communities in a city right from their devices.
As a tech entrepreneur, her vision has created a global platform built on the foundation of connectedness, authenticity and putting humanity at the heart of digital interaction. Her personal mission is to advance human connection in progressively virtual environments.
Recognised as an influential thought leader, Krystal has been described as one of Singapore’s “Most Awe-Inspiring Women” (Cosmopolitan), awarded as one of Asia’s 50 Women Leaders, chosen to front SK-II’s global “Change Destiny” campaign with over a million views online, and named LinkedIn Power Profile 2015 and 2016, in the CEO category.
43. Laís de Oliveira – Malaysia Country Manager & Chief Community Officer of Flyspaces
Entrepreneur, Technology, Personal and Leadership Development enthusiast, Lais de Oliveira is the current East Community Director for Startup Grind, facilitating the growth of local startup communities across Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia-Pacific. She has also been a Mindvalley Entrepreneurship Coordinator. Before moving to KL, Lais co-organized the 1st #StartupCampLatam with @Wisboo, did Marketing and PR for @NXTPLabs (leading seed fund accelerator for Latam) and was the Country Manager for AIESEC in the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay).
44. Lalitha Wemel – Regional Manager (Startup Programs), Techstars
Lalitha Wemel is a community architect based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She is incredibly passionate about fostering entrepreneurship, grassroots leadership, and strong communities. Lalitha has been involved in various startup projects and communities for the better part of the last decade, both locally and globally. She has a deep love for eloquent minds, adventure, coffee, and travel. She is currently the Regional Manager for Techstars Startup Programs across East Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania, where she works with amazing community leaders to strengthen and empower their local startup ecosystem.
45. Leo Kim – Director, Global Business Development of Daum Kakao
Lee Kim is theGeneral Manager of J-CCEI. He also is the director of Daum Kakao – a South Korean internet company established in 2014. It was formed from a merger of Daum Communications and Kakao. He is the director of Global Business Development, in charge of business development & strategic partnership with Telecom, Game/Content providers and other B2B partners. Before, he was General Manager of Kakao Corp. He has also managed small and medium businesses (SMB) accounts, working with CIOs, CFOs and other senior executives in making technology decisions. With the support of over 800 senior analysts globally, he provides them with the expert advisory necessary for them to maximize their enterprise value through existing and new technology investments.
46. Mandy Nguyen – Head of the Ecosystem Building Unit at Startup Vietnam Foundation
Mandy Nguyen currently manages the external resources related affairs for the Startup Vietnam Foundation. Being in charge of the the Ecosystem Building unit, Mandy’s focus is on supporting activities for innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in the realm of agriculture innovation.
She is someone to go to if there is any inquiry about the Vietnamese startup scene. Having co-built various startups and business in both the tech and communications industries, and experienced working with investment firms and angel investors, has given Mandy a strong knowledge of the required resources, strategies and finance that go into the establishment of a startup business in Vietnam. She knows people – who to look for and where to look for them – no matter if the one being sought is an MNCs Sales – Marketing – Finance Expert, or passionate startup founder, or compassionate angel investors.
47. Markus Gnirck – Managing Director & Co-founder of Tryb Capital
Markus Gnirck is CEO of tryb Capital which invests in growth stage infrastrucuture technology and platforms transforming financial services in ASEAN. He is also the co-author of Asia FinTech 100, Advisory Board Money 20/20 Asia and Contributor at Forbes.
Previously he ran Startupbootcamp FinTech as COO – the largest innovation program in the FinTech industry, based in London and Singapore.
48. Martin Talvari – Co-Founder of Myriad.live and Wanderfeel.com & Formerly CSO of Slush.org and CMO of StartupSauna
Country: Australia, Europe
Martin is passionately curious about technology and entrepreneurship. He is the co-founder of Myriad.live and Wanderfeel.com. Previously, Martin ran Slush as CSO. Slush is a conference for startups and tech talent to meet with top-tier international investors, executives and media.
Mike Ducker’s work to develop entrepreneurial ecosystems in emerging markets has been praised by President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and the Prime Minister of Armenia. He is also the founder of the Ecosystem Forum, a platform to share effective practices to build ecosystems in emerging markets. Mike is currently supporting thirteen countries on developing their ecosystem including being the director of [email protected]
50. Minh Tuan Nguyen – Content Manager at Silicon Straits
Minh Tuan Nguyen is the project director of Startup.vn to help launch their new flagship product, Start Doj0 – a quarterly one-month pre-accelerator program for super early-stage startups in Vietnam. Each program runs startups through a series of modules to help them learn the basics of market research, product development, customer acquisition, marketing, legal and finance. The program coordinates directly with existing accelerator programs and angel funds for their next round of funding or growth. In addition, Startup.vn runs small workshops and larger community events to inspire, motivate and give practical skills to startups in Vietnam.
51. Minhaz Anwar – Chief StoryTeller of BetterStories
Minhaz Anwar, Chief StoryTeller at BetterStories Asia and Director of the Founder Institute in Bangladesh recently won an award from the Junior Chamber International for being one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Bangladesh (JCI TOYP). He was recognized for his significant contributions in growing Bangladesh’s startup scene.
52. Mullika Sungsanit – Program coordinator, Innopreneurship and Business Design Program at Suranaree University of Technology
Mullika Sungsanit is a Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Project Mover at Thailand’s Suranaree University of Technology.
53. Naka Akiko – CEO and Co-founder of Wantedly
Akiko serves as a founder and CEO at Wantedly, Inc., which she started in her apartment. Following its official launch in February 2012, Wantedly grew to 1 million monthly active users and 15,000 corporates,becoming the leading professional social networking service in Tokyo. Now not only a website service, Akiko recently released Wantedly People, a name card management app which enables 10 cards to read and analyze the information, and saves it in your device. Over six million cards have already been accumulated in a month.
54. Natalie Shiori Fleming – Representative Director of Payoneer Japan, Board member of the Fintech Association
Natalie is the Representative Director of Payoneer Japan Ltd., in charge of growing the Japan market. Payoneer empowers global commerce by connecting businesses, professionals, countries and currencies with its innovative cross-border payments platform. In today’s borderless digital world, Payoneer enables millions of businesses and professionals from more than 200 countries to reach new audiences by facilitating seamless, cross-border payments.
She is passionate about building the fintech ecosystem in Japan and has launched a Fintech Meetup in October 2014 with her Insead classmate Hiroki Kudo, which grew and morphed into the Fintech Association of Japan with the support of her fellow board members.
She was born in Vancouver, Canada and graduated from the University of British Columbia, then moved to Tokyo and worked in Finance (Citibank, Societe Generale) before obtaining her MBA at INSEAD in France and Singapore. From there, she worked in building new business in Japan at Locondo, Rakuten Bank and Finovation KK.
55. Nati Sang – Chairman & Founder of Makerspace Co., Ltd.
Nati Sang is CEO and founder of Makerspace Thailand. It is designed as a place to breed creativity, providing space for inventors and ordinary people to explore different production methods and manufacturing techniques. With a focus on hardware and physical fabrication, Makerspace Thailand attracts people who like to design and make things both as a hobby and for sale, providing the tools needed for users to build their own ideas.
56. Nat Weerawan – President of the Chiang Mai Maker Club
Nat Weerawan is the president of Chiang Mai Maker Club which is an open community to establish partnership among students, instructors, entrepreneurs and professionals interested in fusing engineering, art, design and technology into innovative products and media.
Their mission is to build a culture of innovation in Chiang Mai, Thailand. They establish environments for community members in collaborating on projects through advocacy and allocation of devices, places, instructions, funding and facilities.
57. Oko Davaasuren – Director APAC, Startup Programs at Techstars
Oko is Director APAC, Startup Programs at Techstars. His work is dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, grassroots leadership, and strong communities. He helps entrepreneurs from inspiration to IPO and runs community-focused programs such as Startup Weekend, Startup Next, Startup Week and Startup Digest. Oko is also a Co-Founder of Startup Mongolia, a Mongolian NGO that organizes various programs, events and trainings for entrepreneurs and startups.
He has work experience with more than ten global firms. Oko finished his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Portland State University and continued onto his Master’s degree in Engineering Technology Management.
58. Panutat Tejasen – Owner Jimmy Software
Panutat Tejasen, better known as Dr. Jimmy, is a software developer who’s also interested in IoT. He is president of the Thailand IoT Consortium and also the founder of the Chiang Mai Maker Club.
59. Richard Min – MD of Fashion Technology Accelerator Seoul and Co-founder of Seoul Space, Kstartup
Richard Min, founder +822 (Plus Eight Two Two), Asia’s biggest convergence event platform, has over 15 years of experience helping companies to become successful in the notoriously difficult, but ultra-savvy Korean tech landscape including companies like Google, Twitter, Estee Lauder Companies, Adidas, Facebook, Evernote, and more.
Richard has co-founded two of Korea’s premier startup accelerator programs, Seoul Space and Kstartup (sponsored by the Google Entrepreneurship Program), and is recognized as a pioneer and a founding father in building the startup ecosystem of Korea. Directly prior to +822, Richard was the Managing Director of Fashion Technology Accelerator (FT) in Seoul, the world’s first fashion tech vertical accelerator and the first global accelerator with offices in Seoul, and a Venture Partner at Naxuri Capital.
60. Rithy Thul – Investor and Promoter at Bookmebus Cambodia
Country : Cambodia
Rithy Thul is passionate about promoting small business start-ups in Cambodia. Since 2008 he has personally started, cofounded, or provided assistance with the startups of over 50 different small business ventures in Cambodia. With a focus on seeing more small business start-up successes in his country, he cofounded SmallWorld Cambodia in 2011, providing an open work and sharing space where young Cambodians can succeed in business. SmallWorld Cambodia provides affordable office space, training camps and seminars, consulting, mentoring and educational services, along with network building to connect qualified startups with both local and International investors.
61. Ryan Shuken – Program Director of MOX
Ryan Shuken is a growth-hacking startup-podcasting Chinaccelerator alumni from Batch 5 who has built startups on three continents. Specialized in building metric driven growth plans for startups in Asia and exploring local restaurants, he’s the best food sherpa in Shanghai.
62. Sami Kizilbash – Developer Relations at Google
Country: Southeast Asia
Sami is Developer Relations Program Manager, Google, South & Southeast Asia. He oversees Google’s developer relations activities in South & Southeast Asia. Prior to joining Google, Sami founded a Singapore-based tech company, leading the development team and UX design of a cloud-based marketing and business tool catered to SMEs in the region. He has a Management Information Systems degree from McGill University (Canada), and an MBA from INSEAD (France/Singapore) where he specialized in Entrepreneurship and Strategy.
63. Sati Rasuanto – Managing Director of Indonesia Endeavor
Sati launched the Endeavor office in Indonesia in 2012. Previously, as Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, she helped shape Indonesia’s development agenda and formulated strategies to increase investment flows into the country. She played a critical role in the Board’s responsibility for public-private partnerships on large infrastructure projects totaling more than $5 billion in investments. Earlier in her career, as an Operations Officer and Special Assistant to the Country Director of the World Bank in Jakarta, Sati devised national strategy for World Bank activities in Indonesia and co-managed World Bank-funded infrastructure projects. Sati is also a Kauffman Fellow, dedicated to building high growth and innovative companies.
64. Shradha Sharma – Founder & CEO at YourStory Media
Shradha Sharma is the Founder and Chief Editor of YourStory. Shradha lives her life in stories, and believes every story is unique and every story matters. Armed with degrees from St. Stephens College, Delhi and MICA, Ahmedabad, prior to founding YourStory Shradha worked with the Times of India and CNBC TV18. In 2015, she was selected in the list of 500 LinkedIn Influencers across the world. Also in 2015 (March) Sharma received the L’Oreal Paris Femina Award for Online Influence.
65. Souphaphone (Nana) Souannavong – Founder & Managing Director of TOHLAO Coworking Space
Souphaphone has been working in the financial and banking industry since 2006 in various market environments and countries such as the United States, Thailand and emerging markets like Laos. Souphaphone has decent experience in Corporate Banking for the Lao and Thai markets. During her professional banking period in Laos, she was exposed to not only corporate lending, but also she has been assigned to supervise and handle other works such as relationship management functions, credit analysis, treasury/funding, credit administration and other adhoc functions such as product development and strategic management functions to ensure rapid growth of the bank business.
Previously, Souphaphone was with Wells Fargo under their Correspondent Banking Department in the United States. Her job as an Analyst and Country Officer at Wells Fargo gave her insights about the Southeast Asian market in countries like Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore. Moreover, prior to that she started her career path with KPMG Laos and Thailand under the Financial Advisory Service handling budget allocation and reviewing risk management control for the clients.
66. Steve Munroe – Cofounder and CEO of Hubud
Steve is Hubud’s primary strategist. Having defected from his career with the United Nations, he brings many years of outreach and management experience in far-flung places to bear in the co-working world. He aims to occupy the space between traditional business and international development with creativity and innovation. His current obsession is the future of education at TurnPoint.
67. Teri Y. Horn – Program Manager of Learn Education
Teri is the Co-Lead of Thailand Startup Week, Thailand’s 1st community powered week-long festival of 50+ events across Bangkok to educate, inspire and connect the Thai startup community together.
An avid traveller and volunteer, Teri has spent her career in hospitality, recreation management, and education between Thailand and the US. With a passion for developing people, she enjoys working on various types of programs with students of all ages and just recently entered the startup scene while working on projects in Malaysia and France.
68. Thomas Gorissen – Startup stylist JSconf.asia
For 15 years, Thomas has been re-thinking, designing and building web applications and has tasted all kinds of flavors of technology in the communications, e-commerce and advertising industries. He has built products, teams and companies in Germany, the US, Panama and Singapore and is actively angel investing in early stage tech companies. He is the organizer of Southeast Asia’s most influential web and mobile developer conference, JSConf.Asia.
69. Thye Yeow Bok – Developer Relations Program Manager, Southeast Asia at Google
Country: Southeast Asia
Bok Thye Yeow is a Google Developer Relations Program Manager and has more than a decade of experience developing full stack software solutions across various industries including telco, banking, digital, creative advertising, retail as well as working on his own startup venture. He strongly believes we are only starting to scratch the surface of what’s possible in today’s tech and is looking forward to the “next big thing” to come.
70. Tina Amper – Founder of TechTalks.ph
Tina is the founder of TechTalks.ph, a non-profit, independent community of business, technology, and startup enthusiasts. TechTalks hosts meetups & events to facilitate networking and organize workshops to foster innovative ideas and acquire better skills once or twice every month. It is a community of 1100+ people today in Cebu, Bohol, Davao, Iloilo and will soon reach to other cities of Philippines as well. The number shows that the community is nascent. However, in Tina’s words, it is only bound to scale up from here.
71. Todd Porter – Co-founder of FabCafe Global, TEDxTokyo, IMPACT Foundation Japan
Todd Porter engaged in early work with pioneers at the forward edge ranging from Bill Drayton (godfather of social entrepreneurship & founder of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public), Michael Ray (creativity expert at Stanford Business School), and Chris Anderson (serial entrepreneur & TED Conference). Now he’s been in Asia for 8 years with a global impact portfolio and global community of peer ecosystem builders, innovators and early adopters. His current portfolio includes platform projects such as FabCafe Global www.fabcafe.com, a new prototype, Global Speakeasy, and an innovation & collaboration agency, Waterwheel.
72. Vichaya Sirisanthana – Co-founder of Punspace
Vichaya is a co-founder of Punspace. It is one of a growing number of co-working spaces in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Reflecting the increasingly important collaborative working culture developing in Chiang Mai, Punspace’s members and visitors are from a wide variety of professions, whether startup entrepreneurs, online marketers and sellers, mobile/web developers, hardcore programmers, graphic/media designers, podcasters, bloggers, photographers, filmmakers, writers, lawyers and venture capitalists.
73. Warren Leow – CEO Designs.net, VP Strategic Partnerships & Revenue at 123RF.com
Warren is CEO of Designs.net and Stockunlimited.com and also help drive strategic partnerships at the group level for Inmagine Group. Within MaGIC, a Malaysian government-founded agency run by entrepreneurs, he was responsible for developing and running most of the core programs – including the largest accelerator program in Asia – with a Southeast Asian focus.
74. Wu Han Ngeow – Head of UX at Maxis Maxis / Webcamp
Wu Han Ngeow leads a team of senior app and web UI/UX designers who oversee user experiences, metrics, design guidelines, and the development of Maxis’s digital channels. He also started the Kuala Lumpur chapter of WebCamp — a series of free events in the spirit of BarCamp with a specific focus on topics related to the internet. To date, they’ve built a 3,200 strong online community on Facebook and hosted monthly meet-ups for over 150 web industry experts and professionals at a time to share their knowledge and build non-fluffy acquaintances.
75. Xin-Ci Chin – Marketing Automation Consultant, EIR at QuestVC
Xin-Ci Chin founded Watch Over Me, a personal safety app designed to allow its users to feel safe and protected in moments when they are not and is the Marketing Automation Consultant, EIR at QuestVC
76. Yansen Kamto – Chief Executive KIBAR
Yansen Kamto, the Chief Executive of Kibar, a start-up hub and incubator, is the man behind the National Movement of 1000 Digital Start-ups, which was launched in June 2016 by Kibar in partnership with the Indonesian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. His mission is to produce 1000 digital start-ups with a total valuation of US$10 billion across 10 cities in Indonesia by 2020.
77. Yanxing David Ding – Regional Fintech, Ecosystesm & Innovation at DBS Bank
David is an innovation leader and problem solver. He is a lean startup practitioner focusing on business development, business model optimization and customer development and validation. He worked in various industries on business and partnership development in the past 8 years, including IT solutions, gaming, e-commerce, big data (SAP Hana), social media and healthcare. He has led numerous business development efforts and validated business models that attracted angels and institutional funding.
He is also a connector and community developer. He developed and organized a number of industrial communities, conferences and events in different cities. He is passionate about both technology and helping people, always ready and willing to put in some extra miles to achieve better. Meanwhile, he is also building business development and community development partnerships in the Asia Pacific realm and beyond.
78. Yatin K. Thakur – Founder of CoworkIn and Startup India
Yatin K. Thakur is a serial entrepreneur and an active start-up ecosystem developer who has been promoting technological innovations in India through his various ventures and Startup Weekends. He founded over seven startups in wireless technology, media, and rural development before focusing full time on ecosystem development work.
His current focus is on developing the startup ecosystem in India by providing aspiring entrepreneurs a platform to pitch their ideas and get support in sustaining their ventures through his organization Startup India and providing physical shelters for validation of their ideas and enabling collaborations through his coworking hub CoworkIn. In addition to this, he works with farmers by empowering and enabling them to access technology which creates direct linkages between the farmers and the marketplace.
79. Yohan Totting – Developer Outreach Lead at The Asia Foundation, Google Expert on Web Technology
Yohan is a web developer who believes web is the future of apps and gaming. Passionate with technology and making impact for other people, he is a community enthusiast, who together with 6 other studios has initiated FOWAB (Forum Web Anak Bandung), a creative internet community. Together with Reza Prabowo, he has also initiated Hackerspace Bandung, the first coworking space in Indonesia. Currently he is falling in love with bike culture, and curious how bike culture can transform a city.
Join this year’s gathering and meet many of these influencers in Bangkok on July 28-29, 2017 at Techsauce Global Summit 2017!
“This year we’re sticking with the concept we’re known for, which is putting lots of speakers who are hard to access all together in one location and increasing the proportion of speakers from abroad.”
Come tap the thoughts of Asia’s leading startup minds on these key themes:
- Global Visionaries: A big picture of where the world is headed globally
- Asians-in-Action: See practical applications in the ASEAN market
- Deep Dives: Profound talk on key topics
- Fusions: Fusing several speakers into the same panel to share a variety of views on the same issue
“Like what you see? Reserve your spot at this year’s gathering! >>> www.eventpop.me/e/1369-techsauce or, reserve an exhibitor booth!”
Techsauce Global Summit 2017 is the melting pot for global and regional leaders in technology, venture capital, corporations and startups. Five years since its beginning, it has quickly scaled to become one of Southeast Asia’s largest startup tech conferences.
Heralded by many as the “freshest and edgiest” tech conference in Southeast Asia, this is Southeast Asia’s must-attend conference for technology entrepreneurs from Southeast Asia who wish to propel themselves onto the global stage and global investors who wish to identify the region’s leading startups.
This year, as Southeast Asia’s first global-scale conference, it will assemble more than 6,000 participants in Bangkok on July 28-29 including 1,000+ startups, 200+ venture capitalists, angel investors and corporates, and 200+ journalists from global media outlets for this year’s ultimate gathering at Centara Grand Convention Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. The Summit facilitates an opportunity open up to Asia and the rest of the globe with top VCs and corporations such as 500 Startups, Y Combinator, Techstars, Life.Sreda VC, Facebook, Samsung, HP, Dentsu Inc., EY and Idea Tokyo.
Original article by Techsauce Team