Innovfest Unbound 2017: Where All the Innovations Comes in One Place

Innovfest Unbound

Innovfest Unbound 2017: Where All the Innovations Comes in One Place

Innovest Unbound is a part of the main event of Smart Nation Innovations, organized by NUS Enterprise and Unbound. Claimed as the biggest innovation festival in South East Asia, it was attended by 11,295 entrepreneurs, investors and business owners from 65 countries. The event was located at Marina Bay Sands from 3-4th May 2017.

Innovfest Unbound Day 1

The first-day agenda filled with many talk show from different stages talking about current business and innovations. The event opened by Daniel Seal the founder and CEO of Unbound welcoming all the guests to the festival on the Main Stage. Follows by Sandhya Devanatham, Country Head Singapore of Facebook discussing The Crossroads of Innovation. She stated that people talking about the world are going mobile, but its world’s gone mobile. Sandhya said: ”Innovation is not just product innovation, service innovation, but also distribution innovation, which means if you have a traditional company you don’t have one person that does digital, your whole company sort of align to mobile as well so that’s why I see some company are ahead, some are not.”

The other stage is Convergence where it focuses on new marketing technology. One of the talks is Digital Natives: Engaging Gen-Z. Evangeline Leong from Kobe shared why they use influencer marketplace to engage with Gen-Z because they are not entirely trusting advertisement and they trust a lot more what their friends and family say. King Quah from Salty Customs said that the different of a corporate and Gen-Z company is the organizational structure as they can change easily if it’s not working. He also mentioned that people who joined his company from within the age 19-25, will show their true self and can be guided easily if you build a bond with them.

Arise stage is focusing on AI and how it will help us in the near future. One of its topics is Tomorrow’s Innovators, where there are a lot of innovators pitch their creations on robots. Dr. Zhou Changjiu from Advanced Robotics & Intelligence Control Centre introduced the successful RoboCup which currently the HQ is in Singapore. He hopes that RocoCup can evolve to make it as a robot that can help people daily lives with AI driven future. There is also Fintech 360 stage which is looking at how technology can help financial ecosystem and how it can become business opportunities. Another stage is Futurenow where universities, startups, and enterprises showcase their takes on the future of the digital economy, manufacturing, and healthcare.


Beam Connect Founders from left (Wallace Ho and Kenneth Ho) and iPrima Media founder (Shaun Ling)

Innovfest Unbound Day 2

The second day it’s even more hectic as there are even more talks in various stages. One of the interesting talks is the fireside chat with Piotr Jakubowski, CMO, Go-Jek, a motorbike-taxi app that transforms now to pretty much everything from food and package delivery to services like cleaner and massage. When asked about how Go-jek can beat Uber and Grab in Indonesia even Go-jek is the last player in the game, he replied: “It’s through smart innovations. When the other guy came into the market, they launched four wheelers, and the problem is Jakarta has 19.5 million private vehicles, and you stuck everywhere. That’s where we focus entirely on motorbikes. That idea has permitted through our growth and evolution as now we have 16 products and we are the market leader in 15 of them. It is our definition of mobility as building an ecosystem around you to be able to help you do the thing that you do every single day where foods and shopping come in.”

The other talk on the main stage is why government need startups and so the other way around. Hong Yuen Poon, CEO of SPRING Singapore stated that government needs startups as they create good job opportunities. Shirley Wong, Managing Partner of TNF Venture also said that government needs to support startups by fund the seed stage level of startups, so the VCs can starts coming in.

In Convergence stage, one of the topics discussed is Traditional Media in a Digital World, where David Collet from CNN International stated that every platform has to be executed differently either television or digital. Both content programming and content proposition reflect users journey but the challenge is to find out what audience in what platform and how you program the content to be relevant. The story needs to be the same so there is a commonality, but the execution is different.

Besides that, there’s a lot of startups from many countries that showcases their products and services. One of them is Taiger, a company specializes in Artificial Intelligence for business. Their system can help business to create a seamless customer service experience to their customers. They also provide other services such as retrieving information by looking at semantic patterns and information extraction for businesses. Other interesting startups is Beam which is one of iPrima Media partner. They are focusing on connecting entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals in one platform, make it easier for people to connect. Another interesting startup is Salty Customs where people can create a custom t-shirt via online for events and companies. It offers an easy way to order, as the online platform let people design and upload desired design by themselves.

prima-buzzThere are also a lot of innovative company like Vostok VR who provides the visitors with an immersing Virtual Reality experience. Visitors can also play SumoBot in one of the booths and fight against each other. Another feature of Innovfest is speed dating which is a platform where startups can meet investors to pitch their business idea in hopes to get funded. The event closes with Startup Battle Finale, with the finalists pitch their business idea and impress judges and audiences. Overall, it was a great event where all peoples from different industry and countries come together to celebrate the innovation and new development in marketing. As a platform to connect, it was another successful year for Innovfest Unbound and we cannot wait for next year event.

James Gary About the author