Event Review: Techsauce Global Summit 2020

Techsauce’s first ever hybrid event provided plenty of food for thought for attendees and speakers

The Techsauce Global Summit 2020, an annual tech conference usually held in Bangkok, Thailand, took place in a hybrid (online and physical) format this year from October 5-8, 2020.

This year’s event was a special edition program titled ‘Evolving Stronger’ in response to the pandemic, and presented a diverse range of speakers across different areas of expertise to discuss technology and post-COVID-19 technological developments.

Guided by 12 major themes, the event encompassed discussions around AI and data, blockchain, culture and people, creative entertainment, ecommerce, education, fintech, food and agritech, healthtech, smart city/livingtech, startups, and venture capital. Each day, a set of pre-recorded talks on a slew of new topics were launched for attendees to view. Following the end of the Summit, the talks will remain on the Techsauce site for the next two weeks.

Techsauce Global Summit 2020 1

Activities for attendees included talk conferences, offline workshops, a virtual exhibition, business matching, a jobs board, and Marketplace, a feature which allowed participants to promote their projects and businesses. The ‘Connect with Exhibitor’ feature enabled users to network with exhibitors through email, live chat, and video call.

One highlighted speaker was InvestHK Head of Fintech King Leung, who discussed fintech opportunities in Hong Kong. Leung described Hong Kong as “one of the largest and most vibrant global financial centers,” with a rich financial ecosystem of over 600 fintech companies in Hong Kong. In asset wealth management, Leung noted that Hong Kong gained HK$28.7 trillion AUM (assets under management) — “one of the largest in Asia”.

Leung added that according to Accenture, Hong Kong raised approximately US$1.5 billion in private capital between 2014 and 2019, boding well for entrepreneurs seeking venture capital investment in Hong Kong.

Other fundamental strengths that Leung noted were Hong Kong’s ample business and fundraising opportunities, governmental subsidies, its close geographical proximity to China, and a diverse population.

The event also featured Dr. Eyal Zimlichman, Deputy Director at Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s largest hospital, in a fireside chat moderated by Susie A. Ruff, Founder and Executive Advisor of Copenhagen-based RUFF & CO Business Innovation. Zimlichman discussed ways to quickly innovate healthcare amidst the pressure of the pandemic and redesign healthcare in the long term.

Dr. Zimlichan emphasized the importance of collaborating with startups “that have solutions that we think will need to play a role in the future of medicine” to disrupt the healthcare sphere. Currently, the hospital collaborates with 50 startups.

“Innovation brings more innovation, and that creates a huge shift in your culture and your environment,” Dr. Zimlichan explained.

In his takeaways on the pandemic, Dr. Zimlichan emphasized the critical role innovation plays in handling health crises, and presented the experience as an “opportunity” to explore and develop new solutions that doctors may gradually embrace in “non-emergency situations.”

He raised the example of Sheba’s innovative use of telemedicine during COVID-19, as the Center used it not only as a device for patients at home, but also for patients in the hospital to limit their physical contact with doctors.

“We don’t have a choice. We have very limited time to make a big difference in healthcare because we owe our patients better,” Zimlichan said.

Finally, in a panel discussion moderated by Jumpstart CEO Relena Sei, primary takeaways included that of Siri Ventures CTO Jirapat Janjerdsak, who observed that corporate venture capital (CVC) allows corporations and startups to build synergies together.

Discussing CVC strategy, Chakramon Nitibhon, Head of Investment at Singha Ventures, said that Singha Ventures primarily invests in middle- and mature-stage companies “who have proven that their products make sense” by supporting them in partnerships, helping them broaden their reach in the market, and asking themselves how to provide value to each company individually.

Peter Mok, Head of Strategic Partnership at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), followed on with the assertion that corporate venturing “has a very unique positioning,” as it provides “strategic value” and “financial returns.”

Adding to his co-panelists’ statements, Natwut Amornvivat, President of SEA-based technology company True Digital Group, agreed that taking advantage of aligned synergy between corporates and startups can drive innovation.

He noted that startups have a “single-minded focus” on providing new innovative value to the market, whereas corporates can provide startups with an established customer base, market knowledge, and funding.

The event came to a close on Day 4, October 8, and is expected to return in 2021.

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