Red Herring Asia 2017 took place in Manila Wednesday and Thursday last week. The gathering showcased the best Asian tech and entrepreneurship across a variety of talks, discussions and presentations. It culminated in the announcement of the year’s Red Herring Asia winners – which had been whittled down from over a thousand prospective startups and tech companies.
Leaders from companies such as Trillium, Msewa, Yamap, Path Solutions, CTM360 have spoken at the conference. A broad range of topics–ranging from ‘Going IPO in Asia’ and ‘The Fate of Unicorns in China’, to ‘The Transformation of the Technology Fabric in India–were discussed during the fruitful and lively sessions.
Red Herring Chairman Alex Vieux kicked off proceedings with a state of the Asian technology markets address. China’s surge in venture capital and the number of Asian unicorns across the continent demonstrates the industry’s dynamism. Despite an uncertain geopolitical climate, entrepreneurs are forging ahead and demonstrating their acumen, from Korea, Japan and Taiwan to Bahrain, the UAE and everywhere between.
Vieux also pointed to several metrics underpinning Asia’s recent successes and exits, and a broad scope of innovation including biotech, gaming, B2B and cloud services. Asia now receives more venture funding than Europe, and the role of entrepreneurs is recognized in each country by their respective governments. Incentive programs are being deployed accordingly, and are starting to bear fruit to accelerate digital transformation.
“But challenges remain daunting,” added Vieux, noting a lack of public IPOs, the explosion of private equity financing, and a fragmented market. “Asia will, however, drive disruption forward,” he added. “Tech is not a sector anymore: it is the economy.”