My name is Miko Hernandez. I am a Deakin University student currently taking my communication internship at Hatch Quarter. My first contact with the startup ecosystem was during the Startup Grind Conference and I wish to share some of my insights.

 

Startup Grind Conference highlights

 

“Event brought together present and aspiring entrepreneurs to gather new insights, re-establish connections and reinvigorate motivations on the thriving startup industry.”

 

Fresh takes on tech innovation and startup entrepreneurship took centre stage at the Startup Grind APAC Conference held on 9-10 December in Melbourne. As a Deakin University student on my first internship day at Hatch Quarter, I was filled with excitement and eager anticipation to see the latest developments in this vibrant technology sector. The event brought together present and aspiring entrepreneurs to gather new insights, re-establish connections and reinvigorate motivations on the thriving startup industry. Speaker presentations and interviews from several globally-renowned leaders such as Rotten Tomatoes founder Patrick Lee and Patreon co-founder Sam Yam revealed what’s relevant and what’s next in the rapidly-evolving tech field.

 

“While recognising the importance of AI for businesses, Rich mentioned Improvement opportunities in AI such as strengthened privacy protection and inclusivity.”

 

Heightened Interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) Investments 

 

While mobile gaming, e-commerce and other tech enterprises made their presence felt during the event, artificial intelligence (AI) received considerable attention. Significant venture capital investment in AI was discussed by speaker Emily Rich from Microsoft for Startups. While recognising the importance of AI for businesses, Rich mentioned improvement opportunities in AI such as strengthened privacy protection and inclusivity. AI and robotics investments also served as the focal point of the presentation of Fang Yuan, VP of Baidu Ventures. Yuan indicated the impact of AI-led startups in developing innovations in the spaces of healthcare and waste management.

 

“Bean shared best practices for successful Asian integration such as determining unique product benefits and understanding local concerns.”

 

Startup Expansion in Asian Markets

 

Another hot topic was the startup industry’s rapid growth in Asia, which was the focus of the Q&A session with William Bao Bean of international venture capitalist company SOSV.

Bean shared best practices for successful Asian integration such as determining

unique product benefits and understanding local concerns. Similarly, Neil Luo of cross-border payment platform Airwallex indicated the Asian market’s size as instrumental to the company’s growth, which effectively allowed the tech unicorn to set their focus on other markets. Sharing additional industry insights, Luo explained the collaborative differences between developing technology for B2B and B2C. For B2B, constant consumer interaction is essential while B2C’s larger user base allows tech developers to draw conclusions from the data generated at scale. 

 

“Winning the pitch competition was FlashFomo, a digital solutions platform that rosters Asian online influencers who sell personally branded products.”

Startup Grind Flash Fomo

Rapid-Fire Startup Pitches and Exhibitions

 

Rapid Fire Startup Grind

 

Meanwhile, innovative business ideas were revealed during quickfire rounds of startup pitches. Among the pitch ideas were quick blood-diagnosis platform Total Blood Profile, lightweight and durable smart scooter Raine One and several online marketplaces catering to various needs. Winning the pitch competition was FlashFomo, a digital solutions platform that rosters Asian online influencers who sell personally branded products. In between sessions, attendees flocked to dozens of bustling exhibitor stands to enjoy freebies while interacting with the growing community of startup entrepreneurs. 

 

While only scratching its surface, the insights I learned at the conference provided me with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the startup field and left me excited to discover what the future holds for this dynamic industry.

 

By Miko Hernandez