Tech in Asia
Halo! For those of you who don't know, or for those who are not Asian, Tech in Asia (TiA) is the largest English language technology media focusing on Asia. They cover tech trends, startups, and big tech titans in the region.
I mean, Facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, who is known to shy away from the limelight made a rare appearance on stage at Tech in Asia Singapore 2016! Need I say more?
Now to what it's really known for (especially among: time of the day confused, Red Bull drowning, eyes glued to the screen tech savvies like you and I); The Tech in Asia Conference. It kicked off in 2015 in Singapore and Jakarta and there's been nothing but success stories since then. That's enough history for a day! If you want to know more, Google is your friend.
Let's get back to the day, the 25th of October, the day after the latest Tech in Asia. Jakarta, well known for its "low-congestion on roads", must have bewildered the policemen over the 23rd and 24th for the unusually high traffic. With over 5000 people heading to the Jakarta Convention center to see the latest in the tech arena, it's no wonder! I was very lucky to be among those attendees.
After a quick registration, I went into the usually array of startup companies thoroughly pitching their ideas to likely investors. There were so many stalls I lost count.
1. First Impressions
I walked from door to door reading the summary on the banners they have posted. Of course, I was focusing on stalls which could add value to Apigate in the API business or vice versa but did come across many interesting ideas.
When I say interesting, there were mind bogglingly brilliant pitches that's worthy of the statement "change the world". Do go on and check out the most outstanding of them here.
2. Apigate and the World of APIs
Brilliant they may be, but they did have to align with Apigate. So I adjusted my TiA name card, put on my Apigate lanyard and went after the people who could take Apigate to the next level. It was not that difficult. You see, we at Apigate address the entire industry from the individual freelancer to the most established enterprises.
Before getting into a full-blown tech description of what we do, let's take an IoT smart switch I saw there by a startup team. Tap a button on your Android app and magical fairies turn the light on your porch on. Fairly simple, right? But what if, you turn the light on using an SMS, permission granted based on where you're located, where there's no internet coverage, or you're all out of data. Still a little too simple you think? Our APIs are not only fully compatible with Android, we have a dedicated team of engineers managing an Android developer platform and providing tech support 24/7 free of charge!
Then we come to vast array of third-party APIs available. How about not only turning your TV on when you're close to home but also playing your favorite program, either your choice picked for you based on analytics in; yes, we have iflix partnered with us! That's just the tip of the iceberg, lah! Oh wait, then there's the public APIs available on the market. Yes, they all can be integrated! Boleh, noh?
3. TiA Evening Sessions
Getting back to the event, they had four stages with full blown conferences, speeches and panel discussions back to back for two days straight. The topics were mostly Indonesian market oriented, but I haven't attended an event in my five year IT career that was so oriented to the present market! See it for yourself here.
So who's going to reap these benefits of APIs alongside Apigate? Well the start-ups, corporations and SME's below were the ones that would be mutually beneficial for both.
Sound the Battle Horn!
After a late, very tasty (and unhealthy!) lunch of a couple of hot-dogs, came the pitch battle at 4:00 PM. Had you wondered what a remake of the movie 300 would look like if it was made with techies? I caught the live show! Potential investors, international media and customers from across the globe were attacked like arrows from the Persians to to the Spartans, just that it was a good thing here!
There was an additional segment this time at TiA Jakarta. The very cheekily named “Speed Dating” zone, was an initiation for startups to pitch their ideas to the array of investors, who if inspired, will sponsor them to make their dreams a reality. Let’s not beat around the bush, startups aren’t a cheap business, especially considering the financial impact if they do fail. An entrepreneur is simply a person who pours his everything into the one venture he truly believes in. That includes his wealth, health, relationships, time and more. It isn’t typically possible to start a business without the dedication of all, notably one of the most emphasized reasons for failures of the masses. The demand for sponsorship was so high the only thing the Speed Dating zone reminded me was of Jakarta roads. On a personal note, I see initiating an entrepreneurship as people see durian. It’s a love-hate relationship isn’t it? You either go all in, or please don’t go in at all.
4. Tending to Battle Scars
As I left the Jakarta Convention Center (I would've stayed for the music, but I was too sleep deprived and was slowly zombie-fying) after that adrenaline rush of the Arena Pitch Battle, all I could think about was the immense amount of knowledge that was shared for the past couple of days in the venue behind me. The number of startups, entrepreneurs and teams that got the support they needed to bring their dazzlingly innovative ideas to life must be countless. Who knows, the next Elon Musk might’ve been in there plotting his journey to Saturn. Or the next Mark Zuckerberg planning to interconnect the entire world. Maybe this spark was all that was needed for them. I could not help but feel deep gratitude for the TiA team for a magnificently organized event. Given their track record you probably didn’t need my opinion, did you?