In the run up to Echelon, a major Asian tech startup conference in June, Satellite events are being held throughout the region. In Singapore, a total of 20 startups pitched to judges to vie for a place in the finals, which will be held at the conference. iCarsClub and TradeHero were declared winners of the Singapore Satellite, and we will see them in June.
Here’s a round up of the 20, which are definitely showing a lot of innovation and promise. There’s a lot of emphasis on enterprise-related, B2B ideas this time around. A sign of things to come perhaps? Read more
Echelon 2012 was a huge success, having featured some of Asia’s most well-known startups including winner Builk, South Korean App Between, and mobile customer loyalty app Perx. This year, Echelon 2013 will be happening on 17 and 18 June, and is currently on a brand new hunt for the next batch of startups that could possibly take Asia by storm. As long as your startup is incorporated in an Asian country, and your product has not been featured in any of the earlier Echelons, you are definitely most welcome to apply. Read more
Despite having an immature tech startup ecosystem, South Korea is home to some promising young mobile companies, many of which have amassed sizable traction on their apps. These next generation torch-bearers are lighting up a new path in the country, and their fast growth marks a promising start for entrepreneurs in the well-connected and tech-savvy nation.
JellyBus, a company that has produced a bevy of photo-related mobile apps, is another noteworthy startup. What strikes me about founder and CEO Sejoong Kim, from the time he presented on stage at Echelon 2011 as a finalist, was his unabashed mission of bringing joy and happiness to people, a mantra he repeats often.
Medical tourism, defined as the practice of crossing borders for the purpose of getting healthcare, is huge. Patients Beyond Borders estimate the the global market size is around US$15 billion, based on roughly five million patients spending an average of US$3,000 per procedure.
But finding quality and affordable healthcare is like fumbling in a room blindfolded: There are so many service providers around, at varying levels of quality. Discerning which to pick becomes a repetitive chore.
Two startups, Singapore’s MediSherpa and Chicago and Taiwan-based HuliHealth, are determined to fix this. Both companies are building an extensive database of health care providers and doctors, listing their credentials, crowdsourced feedback, cost, addresses, and contact information. Read more
SnapDish, a food photo and recipe sharing app from Japan, is now available on T Store, a Korean Android app store with 2.5 million visitors a day, and qiip, an app store for the Japanese market.
Both T store and qiip are operated by SK Planet, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SK telecom. Besides the two new additions, SnapDish is also available on Google Play, au Market, and the Apple App Store. Read more
Taiwan startup Citydomo is putting an interesting twist to online reviews by adding a gamified layer.
Instead of simply creating a website and praying that users will flock to it to rant or rave about something, they’re incentivizing them with goodies like Jason Mraz concert tickets, spa treatment vouchers, and discounts at wedding service providers — all redeemable with Domo Dollars, which is the service’s virtual currency.
Citydomo isn’t restricted to food, and users can leave reviews for other kinds of establishments like spas, hotels, and retail stores. As such, it’s more similar to Yelp and less like Singapore’s HungryGoWhere. But unlike these two, a user will get 10 D$ for writing a review, and an additional 2 D$ for posting a photo of the establishment. Read more
Launched at DEMO Asia 2012 in March, Dropmyemail has since gone on a spectacular streak, scoring 630,000 registered users in 50 days.
It is essentially a cloud-based email backup service that lets users store emails from multiple accounts.
In a bid to increase virality and convince venture capitalists to invest in the company, Dropmyemail has revamped its referral program to introduce viral components that reward users for a variety of actions.
This change, the startup hopes, will lead to greater organic growth in its user base. It is currently seeking to raise a Series A round of between US$4M and US$7.9M. Read more