We hosted our very first fully virtual German Startup Night – Asia Edition! The event featured pitches from our best-in-class German startups that are part of our five-month acceleration program in Southeast Asia as well as participants from our Next Step market discovery program. With 30 startups pitching, this was the biggest German Startup Night we’ve ever hosted! We are glad to see that despite COVID-19, strong German startups are still working on their international expansion and are using this time to explore new business opportunities in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and India, even if it’s from the comfort of their own homes for now! More than 150 attendees joined from all over the world, including some VIP guests like Dr. Stefan Drews from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Singapore Ambassador to Germany, Laurence Bay.
The event kicked off with an introduction by our Southeast Asia Program CEO Claus Karthe, who said a few words about our strong commitment to helping startups expand into the U.S. and Asia even during these challenging days running our programs virtually. He also touched up the promising results we have seen to-date and how excited he is that German startups are still very keen on expanding their businesses internationally. Our guest of honor was the Singapore Ambassador to Germany, Laurence Bay. As a fan of all things German, particularly sausages, soccer (The Bundesliga), and (German) startups, he emphasized the importance of continuously driving entrepreneurship and fostering innovation across Germany and Singapore. Equally as important is, to keep encouraging startups to not stand still and keep exploring and entering new markets.
Each startup presented a pre-recorded pitch that was 3-minutes sharp, which was followed by questions from our audience. This provided more insights into their expansion plans, their products and solutions, and what they need from our network to be successful in their chosen Asian markets. In addition, the event coincided with the kick-off of the latest round of our Next Step India program and was a great opportunity for the startups to be introduced to the Indian startup ecosystem for the first time.
Our graduating Southeast Asia Class 2020-1 shared their experience during the past five months, including milestones, key achievements, and what their plans are moving forward. It’s been quite a ride for these seven startups who started their expansion journey with us in Singapore physically but then had to readjust quickly to the virtual program. Despite the circumstances, they delivered promising results and we have seen our startups tackle new markets, form new partnerships, and secure new clients! We also held a virtual graduation celebration for apoQlar, Build38, Certif-ID, Exaloan, Expatrio, Iconic Holding, and Moonfare, who are now officially part of our 250+ #GAalumni! Congratulations and we are excited to see where your journey will take you next!
A huge thank you to all of our startups for their wonderful pitches and to everyone who joined our virtual German Startup Night! Special thanks to our supportive Southeast Asia mentor network and ecosystem, without which our program would not have a true impact on our startups.