Echelon 2014: Singapore’s tech start-up launch pad

Supporting Asia’s innovation since 2009

Echelon, Asia’s largest tech conference, has been actively been supporting and providing an interactive platform for tech start-ups, businesses and investors to connect. Beyond this, companies are able to profile themselves, share their expertise and exchange knowledge and experiences through Keynote Presentations and Panel discussions. Echelon compliments Singapore’s initiatives to support and encourage innovation such as Singtel’s Innov8, Spring Singapore Start-up Enterprise Development Scheme (SPRING SEEDS), and IDA accelerator programmes. The conference saw an attendance of 300 investors, 66 speakers and over 1000 delegates from all over the world.

“Now is the time for Asian start-ups.”

– Edgar Hardless, CEO at SingTel Innov8 Pte Ltd, the main sponsor of Echelon 2014

Valuable Insights

The conference kicked off with an in-depth discussions over the E-commerce revolution and its future with insights coming from both tech start-ups as well as the tech MNCs on the Asian market. The topics covered the usefulness of online advertising, the evolution of the tech industry as well as users, predictions for the future and how to develop strategies to deal with these changes and payment methods such as Bitcoin.

 Some highlights from Keynotes

RedMart – Evolution of E-commerce

•   Unique Asian users & relevant market

(e.g. SEA is a US$330B market, but only 1%online)

•   People want a seamless & convenient system

•   People want same day delivery services – instant gratification!

•   Types of business models and how it relates to its users

•   Blurring relationship between a) retailer & manufacturer and

b) logistics & e-commerce


  AppAnnie – App trends in Asia

•   Google Play downloads > IOS Apps (Hong Kong & Singapore market)

Google Play revenue < IOS Apps (Hong Kong & Singapore market)

•   In China, people who purchase apps are mainly from 2nd tier cities

•   Singapore has the highest revenue generated from App purchase despite having lowest no. of downloads (due to population limitations)


GrabTaxi – Advice to start-ups

•   Identifying a problem and figuring out how address the problem

•   Understanding the circumstances in SEA – Payments are

non-secure and logistics are less reliable.

•   Adopting the right systems to create a seamless eco-system of

functions suitable for the market.


9GAG – How to get a billion page views?


“Find the G.A.P and try to A.C.T”

1)     G.A.P –

G = Goal

A = Audience

P = Platform


2)     A.C.T –

A = Audience

C = Consistency

T = Testing (Create & Curate well!)




Useful links

Write-ups on keynotes

The evolving app ecosystem:

9GAG’s secret sauce to success:

Entrepreneurship in Asia:

Future of payments in SEA:

The heart of what’s starting in Asia:

E-commerce: where to from here:

The e-commerce revolution: How the industry is evolving & what the future holds:

Main challenges facing bitcoin exchanges:

Countries: Singapore
Topics: Insights & Statistics and Market Research
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