Listen Up, Startup Owners – Here are 16 Southeast Asia Events You Can’t MISS in 2019!

One key principle is that all startups need to constantly pivot and adjust to the market to stay relevant in today’s world. Attending Startup and Innovation events may be crucial to keeping up with the latest happenings in the ecosystems relevant to each Startup. They are also a great way to network, matchmake investors, mining opportunities and interact with potential clients and business partners.

We have compiled some key events coming up in 2019 held in Singapore and the APAC region, below:


Here are 7 events that you can attend in Singapore:


1) Unicon 2019


  • When: 23 – 24 February 2019
  • Where: NUS University Town
  • Who: Current students, recent graduates, and working adults
  • Why: Welcome back to school! Unicon 2019 is a unique event as it is held in the university compound of NUS and exposes founders to student entrepreneurs and vice versa. This makes for an amazing atmosphere of fresh ideas and perspectives. 

NUS also has an overseas internship programme known as NOC, NUS Overseas Colleges, that allows their students to expand their minds to worldwide possibilities. So come here to find inspirations in these young successes!

2)  Tech in Asia

  • When: May 2019
  • Where: Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre
  • Who: Startups, corporates, investors, developers, media, students
  • Why: Earlier this year, Tech in Asia attracted over 4219 participants coming from over 39 countries!

The top 5 categories for the exhibited startups were Software as a Service (11%), E-commerce (10%), Fintech (9%), Artificial Intelligence (6%), Education (6%).

Additionally, over 300 pitches were conducted during the speed dating rounds. Therefore, it was a huge lineup for startups with great speakers, investment opportunities and the latest technology updates in the region! (E.g. the reveal of Caroupay by Carousell at the main stage in 2018)

3) Innovfest Unbound

  • When: May/June 2019
  • Where: Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre
  • Who: Investors, brands, corporates, media, entrepreneurs, government
  • Why: Mainly organised by NUS enterprise, Innovfest first started way back in 2006 and was known as the Technology Commercialisation Forum!

Over the years, it has been infused with other entrepreneurial elements before evolving into Innovfest unbound in 2016. Now, it is even in partnership with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). Come down here to personally witness the greatest innovative and technological development with over 13,000 attendees from over 100 countries attended!

4) Echelon Asia Summit

  • When: June 2019
  • Where: Singapore Expo
  • Who: Startups, investors, corporates, governments, tech ecosystem players and customers
  • Why: Echelon Asia Summit is brought to you by e27, which covers not just about the startups in Singapore, but Asia’s tech ecosystem on a whole.

You can be sure of 4 things in particular – insights from the outstanding speakers, connections from the showcasing of your products, reaching out and hiring of talents, and funding opportunities by pitching to over 400 investors!

Other platforms and activities include Future Stage, Founders Stage, TOP100 Pitches, Startup Hiring Pavilions, Afterparty and Networking opportunities!

5) Slush

  • When: September 2019
  • Where: Zepp@BIGBOX
  • Who: Startups, investors, corporates, partners, speakers
  • Why: Slush is yet another engaging event where they have a tagline that says “Entrepreneurship Belongs to Everyone. Period.”

I shall not elaborate on it as our very own intern, Jayne, from Startup2Life has already written up a blog post on Slush 2018 over here!


  • When: September 2019
  • Where: Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre
  • Who: Researchers, entrepreneurs, developers, investors, corporates
  • Why: SWITCH, Singapore Week of Innovation & Technology, is an informative event that delves into the technology, innovation and enterprise ecosystem across the world. Some of the topics include open innovation, technology transfer, tech entrepreneurship, venture funding, and talent development.

Not to mention, SWITCH even has an app of its own which you can find it on App Store!

7) TECHSPO Singapore

  • When: 9 – 10 October 2019
  • Where: Marina Bay Sands Expo and Conference Center
  • Who: Innovators, entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers, investors, digital executive, business leaders
  • Why: TECHOSPO Singapore brings a bunch of amazing tech companies and talents together for a 2-day technology expo!

Be ready to be awed by the next generation of technology and innovation that revolves around various themes such as the Internet, Mobile, AdTech, MarTech & SaaS Technology. Not only is it a good platform for exchanging knowledge, but it’s also a great venue for product testing and networking!

9 other events in the Southeast Asia region:


  • When: 23 – 24 January 2019
  • Where: Thailand, Bangkok
  • Who: Intrapreneurs or corporate entrepreneurs, innovation (program) managers and directors, heads of labs, incubators and accelerators, corporate venturing
  • Why: Innov8rs focuses on improving an organisation’s innovation capability or simply “How to do innovation at a large organization.”

These various frameworks and practices would be further explored by speakers, who are generally corporate innovators, across all companies and industries. These skills may be essential for startups who seek to accomplish more with an innovative approach!

Techsauce Global Summit

  • When: June 2019
  • Where: Thailand, Bangkok
  • Who: global startups, venture capitalists, angel investors, large corporations, investors, journalists, and tech enthusiast
  • Why: Techsauce Global Summit is largely about deep-tech startups and technology.

The platforms include the main stage, fab stage, healthtech stage, startup stage, energy stage, VC stage, fintech stage, blockchain stage, AR-VC showcase stage, and many others.

Coupled with over 10,000 attendees and world-class speakers, it can definitely give you interesting insights and perspectives that might come in handy for your business strategies!

Global Entrepreneurship Youth Summit

  • When: 27 – 29 January 2019
  • Where: Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
  • Who: eligibility for general delegate, business competition delegate, executive delegate
  • Why: Global Entrepreneurship Youth Summit is a 3 days program that provides engaging entrepreneurial discussions and interactions. Not only are there international speakers attending, but there will also be a business competition for university students to pitch their ideas too!

Platforms such as the Business Innovation Clinic and Innovation Lab encourage creativity and idea generation. Nonetheless, do take note of the required age limit if you are intending to attend it.

Global Ventures Summit

  • When: 27 February – 1 March 2019
  • Where: Indonesia, Bali
  • Who: startup founders, investment professionals, policy makers, corporates, media, government leaders
  • Why: For the second time, Global Ventures Summit is coming back to Bali after its huge success in 2017!

There are also special themes being dedicated to each day.

Day 1 would focus on corporate VCs, day 2 is about private funds and unicorns, and day 3 talks about social influencing and pitch battle.

Scale-up Asia

  • When: March 2019
  • Where: Indonesia, Jakarta
  • Who: Endeavour Entrepreneurs, CEO, directors, corporates, media
  • Why: Scale-Up Asia is being organized by Endeavor Indonesia and it would take you through a round of inspiring talks given by various high-impact entrepreneurs. With reference to the theme “50 Shades of Scaleup” in 2018, you can tell that it is an open and accommodating event for people to communicate their personal stories!

Indonesia Summit

  • When: April 2019
  • Where: Indonesia, Jakarta
  • Who: Policymakers, investors, innovators, regulators, academics, local and international business leaders.
  • Why: Indonesia Summit emphasizes the innovation practices in the country and how the government is reaching out to the startups. Therefore, feel free to check out more about this event if you are deciding to enter this region of rapid growth development! For example, the accessibility of funding and grants available for business ventures.

Tech in Asia

  • When: October 2019
  • Where: Indonesia, Jakarta
  • Who: Startups, corporates, investors, developers, corporates, government
  • Why: As mentioned previously, Tech in Asia annual conferences can also be found in Indonesia! Nonetheless, both events are not entirely the same as the countries have different culture and startup ecosystems. Hence, feel free to check this out too!


  • When: October 2019
  • Where: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh
  • Who: Corporates, entrepreneurs, media, investors, online streaming viewers
  • Why: HATCH! FAIR is a dedicated event where commercial promotion is prohibited in its conference and the startup exhibitors are personally handpicked, with the SME and commercial exhibited being separated from startups in another zone.

More than 2000+ participants and 140,000+ online streaming viewers were present in its 2017 edition. Therefore, you could see that it is a really hyper-networking event and must-go in Vietnam!


  • When: July 2019
  • Where: Philippines, Manila
  • Who: Corporates, investors, startups, media, innovators, established institutions
  • Why: In Ignite, different tracks were specially crafted in terms of startup & innovation track, investment & acceleration track, corporate & government innovation track. Apart from that, there is also business matching for startups seeking investment to be connected to a potential investor!


BONUS: 4 more events that are happening in Australia!

Pause Fest

  • When: 6 – 8 February 2019
  • Where: Melbourne
  • Who: Media, luminaries from the tech, creative and business worlds as speakers (Google, Atlassian, Amazon, CISCO, JWT, InVision, YouTube, Airbnb), leaders
  • Why: Pause Fest is known for being a “creativity-infused business event.” You can expect to receive tons of input from the list of speakers and stages that range from the global stage, local heroes, growth stage, tech stage, specialist stage, and workshops stage!

B2B Rocks

  • When: 6 – 7 June 2019
  • Where:  Sydney
  • Who: Startups, VCs, journalists, media, VPs, co-founders, experts
  • Why: B2B Rocks often organizes SaaS & B2B startups conference in Australia. The conference is particularly divided into specific 20-minute slots for “fast, sharp and deep knowledge”. Additionally, there are speaking opportunities on various platforms such as open discussions, networking activities, and round-tables!

LAUNCH Festival

  • When: 18 – 19 June 2019
  • Where: Sydney
  • Who: Founders, investors, media, institutions, corporates
  • Why: LAUNCH festival was previously hosted in San Francisco for a decade, before coming to Australia in 2018! It would definitely be a fruitful session for all as this event is bringing over investors and venture capital fund from Silicon Valley itself. A joyful thing is that the founders are given free admission to the conference! Interestingly, there is also a “Startup Safari” day for attendees to visit the offices of various stakeholders in the Sydney startup ecosystem.


  • When: November/December 2019
  • Where: Sydney
  • Who: Startups, entrepreneurs, investors, marketers, corporate innovation teams
  • Why: StartCon also serves as a startup and growth conference in the community!

You can find a wide range of themes in this event, including international keynotes, tech expo & startup alley, a pitch competition, hackathon, masterclasses, investor’s lounge, and startup awards. You name it, they’ve got it!

After seeing through the entire list of events, which one do you feel is the MOST relevant and useful to your startup? Be part of our community over here so that you will not miss out on any latest information from Startup2Life!

Written by

Yap Chee Sheng
Startup2Life Intern