As this year’s Tech in Asia Tokyo conference in September draws nearer, so too does Arena. At the highly anticipated #startup battle, founders pitch directly to a panel of world class investors for a chance at glory (and a sizable prize in funding to boot)! Let’s take a look back at the previous winners and see where they are now.
Restaurant booking and reservation app EZTable took first place at Tech in Asia’s inaugural Tokyo conference in 2014. Since their victory, the Taiwanese startup has booked seats for over 19 million customers, has exclusive connections with almost 8,000 restaurants, and received a whopping US$18 million investment from Ikyu, an online travel and restaurant booking site.
When asked what’s next for EZTable, CEO Alex Chen said they’re currently working on expanding their presence in Southeast Asia. Chen says the Arena win gave the startup more international exposure and recognition. Now, “people don’t view EZTable as a Taiwan only startup but a startup that has global competitiveness.”
Mana.bo’s Katsuhito Mihashi said that after taking the prize at Tech in Asia Tokyo 2015, the startup has been getting more and more recognition. Mihashi was even chosen for Forbes’ Asia 30 under 30. The startup was picked up by the cram school chain brand Z-Kai, infusing the startup with over US$2.4 million in fresh funds last year. Overall, Mihashi says “things have been very good since [they] are now making a stable profit.”
Last year, it was Manila based fintech firm Acudeen which took home the first place prize of US$100,000 from 500 Startups. Acudeen’s dynamic solution to help small to medium sized enterprises improve and optimize their cash flow has continued to wow investors to this day.
Earlier this year, they impressed the startup world again, taking the Seedstars World Competition prize of US$500,000 in investment. Acudeen has also recently made a tremendous US$6 million deal with Rizal Microbank. When asked how they have been doing this year, CEO Fetalino III said, “2017 has been overwhelming. The reception of our company in different regions in the country, as well as worldwide, is exceptional but very humbling at the same time.”
Continuing this year, we’re still on the hunt for startups that can wow the world at our Arena pitch battle. If you think that might be you, go on and sign up for a booth at Bootstrap Alley. Signing up gives you a chance to compete in the Arena, show off your product to over 2,000 attendees, and meet one-on-one with over 50 investors. Register your startup today and you’ll save 15 percent on your exhibition booth package – only valid until August 18.
Want to visit the conference as an attendee? Apart from the rising startups being showcased at Bootstrap Alley, there will also be key speeches from industry leaders. Past speakers include Mercari CEO Shintaro Yamada and venture capitalist Ben Horowitz. From now until August 18, use the code “tiatokyo15” at checkout to score 15 percent off your conference tickets!