Early Stage Startups Who Won at the Igniter Conference SEA Pitch Competition
Southeast Asia is becoming the Silicon Valley of Asia as we know it. What you might not expect, is that many are starting up in Thailand. Many people travel to Thailand for vacation and that is what most tourists might only see Thailand to be, a place for vacation and adventure. Yet, if you go to Bangkok, you will find that technology is just as up-to-date there as it is in the United States and other countries. In fact, there is a large group of tech investors in Bangkok that are searching for the next revolutionizing startup to invest in. One such business is RISE Accelerator, who put on the Corporate Innovation Summit in March this year. RISE invited the Igniter Silicon Valley group to bring their conference to the summit and put on its famous pitch competition, which attracted terrific talented founders of emerging tech startups from all over Southeast Asia to Bangkok.
Photo by Yvonne Wagenet. Group photo after the pitch competition with judges, speakers, contestants, and Igniter organizers.
The competition consisted of a pre-screening, where the Igniter team filtered out startups, and then chose twelve to pitch in the competition on March 29, 2019. The twelve startups were then split up into two competition rounds, with three judges per competition. The grand prize winner would get a chance to move on to the Startup World Cup in San Francisco on May 15, 2019.
Photo by Jon Yau. Judges from from the first round in order from left to right: Roy Terry, Supachai Kid Parchariyanon, Ravi Belani.
The first competition was moderated and kicked off by Veronica Wagenet. The judges consisted of Supachai Kid Parchariyanon, Managing Partner of RISE Accelerator, Ravi Belani, Managing Partner of the Alchemist Accelerator, and Roy Terry, Pitch Coach. The startups that competed were, Thompson Bridge, Stockphoto.com, Terrestrial Company, Phuket Innovative Development, Wisible, and Talad Holding Corp. The third place went to Wisible, second place went to Stockphoto.com, and the first place winner was Thompson Bridge.
Photo by Jon Yau. Judges of the second round from left to right: Saemen Ahn, Natalie Glebova, and Tom Marcoux.
The second competition was moderated by Yuliya Roshko. The judges were Natalie Glebova, Tom Marcoux, and Saemen Ahn, Managing Partner of Rakuten Ventures. The startups that competed were, HowAbout, SpiralMind Private Limited, Pigigi, Sportido, Reta by Retailature, and Phonefully. Third place went to SpiralMind Limited, second place went to Pigigi, and first place and grand winner of the entire pitch competition went to Sportido. Sportido will be entered into the Startup World Cup.
The business sectors of the six startups varied greatly, they ranged from comic character to sports, and from client relationship management tools to career platforms. This is what you need to know about the six winning startups of the IgniterCon SEA Pitch Competition:
Sportido was founded in by Neeraj Aggarwala, who is a seasoned business leader from India. Sportido is an app that provides sports players a platform to find each other to arrange sporting events and games. What’s more Sportido also aggregates service providers like trainers, coaches, gyms, stadia, academies etc., so you can find the best places to play. Not only can you find a court or field nearby with great deals and offers, but Sportido also enables you to book your preferred slot online.
Thompson Bridge was founded by Adam Thompson from the United States. His company has developed the platform, Eureka, to help job seekers in Thailand advance their careers properly. The problem that Thompson Bridge is trying to solve is the high volume and velocity of unscreened and unmatched candidates that drives down HR productivity and drives up the hidden costs of recruitment e.g. spending time interviewing the wrong candidates & preventable 1st year turnover. What separates Eureka from other job sites is that it is an AI powered people analytics platform, in which one percent of the candidates are assessed, screened, and matched to companies’ unique cultural and soft-skill benchmarks using highly gamified, predictive assessments using machine learning.
Jon Yau founded Stockphoto.com in Australia. Stockphoto.com is an online image marketplace where photographers sell stock photos to buyers for a one-time fee. According to Yau, ‘what makes Stockphoto unique is a frictionless process to sell photos (using AI and Machine Learning).’
Claudia Liu, from Taiwan, is the founder and owner of Pigigi, which is a comic. According Liu, ‘Pigigi is the most badass pig in the world and she aims to create a whirlwind of positive chaos to anyone.’ Liu wrote a comic book featuring Pigigi on Amazon in both hardback and ebook formats. A movie producer has shown promising interest in making Pigigi into an animated movie as well. Pigigi is also available to download on the social app, LINE. There have already been 20,000 downloads of Pigigi on LINE.
Wisible was founded by Saroj Ativitavas from Thailand. Wisible is a Next Generation CRM with a built-in smart assistant that helps B2B organizations increase win rates, shorten sales cycles and improve forecast accuracy. The company’s mission is to turn SMB business into a repeatable sales machine. Wisible delivers business insights along with the recommendation of the next best action, personalized by role so that every business can see and manage sales in real-time.
SpiralMind Private Limited
SpiralMind Private Limited was founded by Mayank Goyal from India. The company is an Enterprise business and has created a product called, Qeemtee, which is a retail marketing and sales automation software for tourism businesses. Qeemtee assists businesses manage travel arrangements, provides a sales channels, and moreover aims to power local Thai travel businesses.
The founders of these six companies are people, just like you and me. They are humble and hard-working individuals. In fact, Sportido’s founder has a band and is the lead singer in it, and Pigigi’s creator studies acting. What all of these founders have in common is they have a passion for what they are working on, a vision for their companies, and the determination to make their companies and products succeed. What sets them apart from the rest of us is that they are working hard to make their vision become a reality and won’t let anything stop them from making that happen. They took all of the workshops at the Igniter conference, participated, and prepared their business pitches before they went up on stage, which shows how committed they are to becoming successful. I have no doubt that we will be seeing more news about these companies and founders in the near future. Keep an eye out on the web and in the news for Spiral Mind, Wisible, Pigigi, Stockphoto, Thompson Bridge, and Sportido. These just might be the future unicorns of Southeast Asia.