Monday, 05 May 2014 00:00

8 Startups In Asia to Watch Out For

 

1. Giift | Singapore

Singapore startup Giift wants to shake things up with an online platform that supercharges how loyalty programs are done through the efficiency that the internet brings. It has a classic two-sided platform – on one side, merchants have the ability to upload, manage, and measure their loyalty programs in exchange for monthly subscription and referral fees of between four to six percent. On the consumer side of things, users can track the amount of loyalty points they have, make redemptions using the app, and exchange points from one program to another

Monday, 03 March 2014 21:10

Asia's Power Businesswomen, 2014

Running for three years now “The 2014 FORBES ASIA Power Businesswomen list”, presents a selection of 50 women from a range of industries that includes venture capital, lingerie, toolmaking and constructions. New additions that make it onto the list are Alison Watkins, who rises to the top of Coca-Cola Amatil,l who became only the second woman to head up a top 30 listed Australian company; Ong Chih Ching, an entrepreneur and property magnet based in Singapore with a taste for yachts and fast cars. Also onto the list is veteran Hong Kong movie producer, Nansun Shi, whose career spans almost four decades.

The Researchers at Forbes say they use the following criteria to qualify who makes it onto the list: company revenue (rarely less than $100 million, frequently in the billions), the woman’s position at the company (if she’s the boss that’s a big plus) and how involved she is (preferably running operations day-to-day).

Chew Gek Khim of Singapore fits all this criteria and then and beyond as she transforms Straits Trading, a staid colonial-era tin smelter, into a sleek 21st-century holding company. The Forbes team also selected entrepreneurs, like Noriko Nakamura of Poppins from Japan and Australian retail queen Naomi Milgrom, who have nurtured their own businesses.

It’s a tough process finding and judging women across a large geographic space and this year’s selection includes 13 countries. The range of industries is also very diverse as are the cultures and economies that must be taken into account. A company in Vietnam with $100 million in annual sales for example might be a standout on the local stock exchange but would register barely a blip in a more developed market. Countries such as Indonesia tend to throw up family-run conglomerates rather than listed companies, where information is easier to come by. And then there is culture: In Greater China women seem to advance more smoothly than in many other countries in the region, where tradition can remain a barrier.

A survey by Grant Thornton International Business Report notes a sharp rise in senior management positions held by women in mainland China to 51% (as of February 2013) from 25% a year earlier. Compare that with 7% in Japan, rock bottom of the heap of 44 economies studied; 22% in Australia; and 34% in Asean overall. The global average is 24%.

From a daring bright spark creating an online social media venture in Myanmar to a longtime executive just named the first woman to run an Indian oil major, these women are a small selection of those driving change.

Research: Shu-Ching Jean Chen, Susan Cunningham, FORBES INDONESIA, Don Frazier, Ron Gluckman, Jane Ho, Joyce Huang, Seline Jung, Naazneen Karmali, Sunshine Lichauco de Leon, Noelle Lim, Lan Anh Nguyen, Anuradha Raghunathan, Lucinda Schmidt, Jennifer Schultz Wells, James Simms, Blessing Waung.

Source Forbes Asia

 

Published in Features

Hong Kong — A shop selling the virtual Bitcoin currency opened in Hong Kong last Friday, as fresh concerns grew in Asia over the currency's viability and security.

Touting itself as the world's "first" physical Bitcoin retail store, Hong Kong-based exchange ANXBTC said it could help raise the popularity of the crypto-currency.

It came on the day that Japanese Bitcoin exchange MtGox was forced to file for bankruptcy protection, saying it had lost nearly half a billion dollars' worth of the digital currency in a possible theft.
ANXBTC Chief Executive officer Ken Lo said the MtGox saga was only "a drop in the bucket" and the Bitcoin market remained bullish.

"There is no shortage of demand," Lo told AFP at the opening ceremony of the shop located in the residential district of Sai Ying Pun, where people later queued to open an account or make purchases.
"What we want to do is enable people to have an easier way to purchase Bitcoins," Lo said.

"I'm quite bullish in the long run," Daniel Chan, a 27-year-old blogger who purchased one Bitcoin, which amounts to around HK$5,000 (US$644) from the store, said.
The Bitcoin market would improve as it matures, Chan said.

"I feel virtual currency is a trend. I will save up to buy when the price drops," Charlie Wu, a 22-year-old from Shenzhen in mainland China who travelled to Hong Kong for the opening ceremony, told AFP.
Analysts have warned that the lack of government support and security risks may fuel further uncertainties for the digital currency.

Late last year, the People's Bank of China (PBoC), the nation's central bank, ordered financial institutions not to provide Bitcoin-related services and products while cautioning against its potential use in money-laundering.
Vietnam has also banned its banks from handling Bitcoins, saying the virtual currency is not legal tender in the communist nation.

Japan's finance minister said earlier Friday he had always thought Bitcoin was suspect and that the country might take action following the MtGox debacle.

Story: AFP

Photo: Philippe Lopez, AFP

Li Ka-Shing who is ranked as Asia’s wealthiest man according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with a net worth of $28.8 billion, was recently photographed scrambling artificial eggs. For a man with that much money you may indeed be asking yourself why, but these eggs have been produced by a company called Hamton Creek, a Silicon valley startup. The CEO in the photo pictured with Li Ka-Shing is Josh Tetrick who has just received US$ 23 million in a round of investment from Li. The company is now planning a major expansion into the Asian market. The company aims to reduce costs significantly in the egg market by introducung the lower cost substitute. The interesting thing about this deal is not just the nature of the business but the growing trend in which Silicon Valley start ups are now going over to Asia to seek new funding and tap wider markets. This trend happened over the last 10 years in which startups from the valley targeted Europe and European investment.

Published in Deals & Funding

 

Date: February 28th 2014 (Friday)
Time: 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Room CBC, Chow Yei Ching Building, HKU

Organiser

A first time, "flagship technology event" to be heled at the Hong Kong Univeristy (HKU) campus. If you want to hear about some mind-blowing tech ideas and plans from global tech companies and startups, then you will want to join on the 28th for “The Future of Technology: How Tech Will Change Your Life”.

The event is being held by TecHKU and the Faculty of Engineering, and is to be hosted by Napoleon Biggs of Hong Kongs from Web Wednesday. 

 

Keynote speakers include:

Evernote - Mr. Troy Malone, Asia Pacific General Manager of Evernote; and Mr. Jeremy Yuan, Marketing Director at Evernote

Evernote is the popular, multi-platform notetaking app. Also known as Yinxiang Biji in China, they are also the makers of Skitch, Penultimate, Evernote Web Clipper, Evernote Food and Evernote Clearly. By 2012, the five year old Evernote has 34 million users.


Easy Taxi - Mr. Blake Larson, Managing director at Easy Taxi

Easy Taxi is the largest smartphone taxi booking app in the world. Founded only in 2012 in Brazil, the free app has expanded now to 26 countries and 82 cities, including Hong Kong. The company also runs a business solution for bars, restaurants and hotels.


Slicify - Mr. Steve Cook, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Slicify
Slicify is a crowd-sourced computing platform powered by a global network of home computers, headquartered in Hong Kong. It provides a low cost alternative to traditional cloud computing solutions and gives home PC owners a way to earn money off their hardware.


Anxbtc - Mr. Ken Lo, CEO of Asia Nexgen Bitcoin Exchange
ANXBTC Bitcoin Exchange provides a safe platform for buying and selling bitcoins. They are also launching the world’s first retail bitcoin store in Hong Kong on the same day of this event (118 Connaught Road West!).


Skydrone -  Mr. Patrick Kosiol, Founder of Sky Drone
Sky Drone is a small Unmanned Aircraft Systems vehicle that takes first person view videos developed by the Hong Kong based Skylab Mobilesystems Ltd.


 

Registration information, limited seats:

For more details visit the official page here