News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Airtasker, Pocketbook & Feedbackloop among startups selected for Echelon Ignite

The organisers of Echelon Ignite Sydney announced today that eleven Australian startups have been selected to pitch in front of Australian and visiting investors from Southeast Asia on May 8. Organized by Singapore based media company e27 and sponsored by Optus & Singtel Innov8, the full day conference has been designed to demonstrate the opportunities both in terms of market opportunity and funding for Australian startups in the SEA region.

Australian companies often lament the relatively small market and investment pool that they have access to in Australia, but have been ignoring the huge opportunities that the Asian market holds for us. It’s not just being in the same general time zone that gives Australia an advantage for doing business in Asia Pacific – we have incredibly talented entrepreneurs that are able to create products that solve problems across borders.

Airtasker, a marketplace which allows people and businesses to outsource common tasks, just received the good news that they received one of the eleven pitching spots. CEO Tim Fung says: “I’m really pumped for Echelon Ignite – with the Australian startup scene growing so fast, there are going to be some amazing companies scaling from Sydney to the rest of the world so to have the opportunity to mix with some of the top tier guys from Singapore and South East Asia should be a fantastic opportunity for everyone.”

Keynote sessions at the full day event will be given by experienced entrepreneurship mentors, industry leaders and investors who will share their knowledge of Southeast Asia’s tech and investment landscapes. They will also present on the opportunities that are present for Australian companies looking to expand into Southeast Asia, a region with growing economies and infrastructures.

Personal finance and spending management tool Pocketbook is also among the selected startups. “We are extremely excited to be selected to pitch at Echelon Ignite. South East Asia is often a forgotten geography for many Australian start-ups but it’s very attractive to us – especially as technology adoption and consumer spending increases over the next decade. There’ll be a huge appetite for a ridiculously easy approach to budgeting and personal financial literacy. With fast growing markets the size of Indonesia and the Philippines, the opportunity is tremendous for our businesses to test and scale. “

Benjamin Chong, partner at Right Click Capital and founder of Sydney Seed Fund will also be speaking at the event. “Asia Pacific in 2012 had $3.14bn of investment value with an average deal value of $19m – the highest of any region globally. There were 265 investments in the region in 2012. Great companies with meaningful and enduring technology are being funded and will continue to be funded as more and more US/EU investors look to the region – it’s a fantastic time for entrepreneurs and investors in Asia Pacific alike!”

Australian start-ups often hear that we are in an ideal location to take advantage of growing Asian markets, however, the path to them is often unclear, as Sam Johnson, Co-founder of Feedback Loop has found. “Echelon Ignite presents a great opportunity to learn about and reach South East Asian markets. Feedback Loop already has users in China and is looking forward to helping other SEA businesses to get great feedback and grow. Pitching at Echelon Ignite is the first step that will help us do this.”

Edgar Hardless, CEO of SingTel Innov8, also weighed in, “Optus and SingTel Innov8 are very excited to be the key partners of this event. It draws attention to the significant market opportunity that exists for Australian startups in Asia and also brings market insights with a notable list of guest speakers.”

Tickets on sale now. More information including a full list of start-ups and speakers for Echelon Ignite can be found at echelon.e27.co/au2013.





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