Tech in Asia Conference 2023 Unwrapped: A Glimpse into the Next Frontier — Part 2

Jennifer Handali
7 min readOct 23, 2023
Jennifer Handali — Tech in Asia Conference 2023

In case you missed it, read Part 1 where I shared insights of the panels and keynotes from Day 1 of Tech in Asia Conference 2023 here.

Day 2: Battles and Collaborations to Success

Thank you for showing your interest on my experience in Tech in Asia Conference 2023. Day 2 was a lit! Since I have explored most of the venue on Day 1, I maximized my time with more networking and building 1on1 connections with like minded professionals.

TL;DR, here is the list what I will cover in this article:

  1. Competitive vs. Collaborative: Realize what you are good at, hire someone else who is good at what you are not to complement your skillset.
  2. Growth-hacking: Play for alpha, master your game, aim for high results.
  3. Let people come to you: Be presentable, define what you can help or need help with, genuinely care and stay humble.
  4. Battle of the startups: Investors looking for innovation with impact, scalability and sustainability. Great storytelling delivers

Preparing Company to be IPO-ready

Fireside Chat 1 in Main Stage — What It Takes to Run a Public Company

Teddy Oetomo, President of Bukalapak, revealed the story when he joined Bukalapak. He focused on getting the company to be IPO-ready so when the time comes, the team will only need to execute it. At that time, Bukalapak had a lot to catch on the game to compete with the other marketplaces. Teddy mentioned their way to select a business focus and be really good at what they have selected, which are Mitra and Gaming. With more than 500 Mitra kiosk having customers physically come to the store, paying cash to shop and do topups, Bukalapak’s transactions feel alive.

What is also interesting is that Teddy reminds us to use and balance multiple metrics when measuring the business success. He put more attention on profitability, instead of high numbers of GMV. He mentioned, the role of CFO in a company is expected to be really good at internal accounting whereas the fundraising can be handed to someone else.

Playing the A Game

Keynote 1 on Main Stage — Southeast Asia at the Crossroads

This following speaker has undoubtly made into my favorites list. Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Global, brought the energy to the room and defined what matters the most.

Khailee shared 5 tips for founders on how to survive the next 5 years:

1. Alpha vs. beta: Why would a startup play it safe if they want to succeed? Startups need to level up their game and always aim to be the best fish in the pond.

2. Find your inner voice, and master your inner game: Don’t get lost in the noise of conventional ideas. As the captain, founders should have their own compass and stick to it.

3. Bring back the hack: Don’t rely on investors money, but aim for the customer’s. When companies lately spends big money for massive marketing, we should focus on growth-hacking instead. Grow the companies with low cost but getting high results.

4. Look beyond Southeast Asia: The grass may be greener in other field. Don’t limit yourself to one regional border.

5. Cheer them on: Find or build a community where you can exchange encouragement. Keep you motivated and collaborate towards a better world.

Connect with Like-minded People

Personal Nametag Provided in Tech in Asia Conference 2023

Aside from the insights keynotes and panels, it is worth mentioning that Tech in Asia Conference provides a better social environment to meet people with similar interests. As a Designer, I would use this section to evaluate 3 ways on how the event have evolved since last time I visited that enhance this networking opportunity:

  1. Lanyard Design: Back then in 2016, people are still exchanging name cards. Now, the lanyard used by every single visitors are helpful to learn on their names, role and company quickly. There’s also a barcode for people to scan and get our profile on the app.
  2. The Tech in Asia Conference app: Bookmarking the agenda in the calendar view might already be in your expectation, but the app also allows you to find other attendees profile and set a quick meeting with them. When signing up, we filled our interests (industries, networking goals) which translated to the recommendation on people who met our conditions.
  3. Networking Tables: TIA provided 3 zones filled with empty tables and unlimited supply of water. Meeting with the person we agreed to connect is easy as each zone are labeled (A, B, and C). Even when I on standby while waiting for my partner to come, other attendees had their initiatives to reach out and have a conversation.
Tech in Asia Conference App — Bookmarked Agenda with Meeting Schedules

So, whom did I meet in the event? Day 1 I got out of the elevator and haven’t even entered the venue, but I had the chance to connect with Eva, a trade management lecturer in Solo, Indonesia. Despite the long distance, her effort coming to Jakarta to learn on the latest industry trends and share it with her students later on is admirable. We quickly became pair buddies, seating on the front rows, have lunch, and help each others out on our travel plans. Shout out to you, Eva!

Through the quick meetings, I had the opportunity to connect with Dennis Zhuang, the founder of Investoria. Our mutual interests in investment products made him found me. He is building an education platform for newbie investors learning the Fundamentals and Technical analysis when investing in stocks.

On the other side, I also got inspired by Dr Mehdi Ravanbakhsh from CryptoCripsy. Their team is improving the crypto trades through AI where people do not need to learn much details and let the smart technology invests for them.

Founders, marketers, recruiters.. you name it. Honestly, there are still a lot of new and old connections I met, but let’s keep the article still resonates with you.

Witnessing the Startups Pitch Battle

Startup Arena — Pitch Battle

6 promising startups were bringing their innovative ideas to the investors table. With prizes worth over US$250,000, the finalists battled for the glory!

The rising sectors are around health tech, environment tech, and AI technologies lately:

  1. Nuxcle: An Indonesian company that develops Electric Vehicles for daily commutes and embracing circular economy through recycling electric car’s batteries and dynamos.
  2. Handprint Tech: This startup enables companies to contribute to regenerative economy by turning their business activities into planet restoration. They manage to curate the most critical environment issue, cut costs, and keep the company in track with the impacts.
  3. Tenang AI: Using AI technologies, the startup aims to provide accessible and affordable mental health support for those in need. Their content moderation can detect whether the patient’s condition is clinical or suicidal and direct them to the hotline with psychologists.
  4. Blitz: This logistics enabler uses the combination of electric vehicle fleets, machine learning, predictive modeling, and AI to optimize deliveries in Indonesia. They can help to match-make the drivers with the right delivery job and maximize their potentials.
  5. Nexmedis: Seeing how misdiagnoses and mistreatments happen a lot in Indonesia, Nexmedis is an AI-powered Electronic Medical Record (EMR) that assists doctors on creating diagnosis.
  6. Spacely AI: Like Canva for interior designers, this SaaS tool cuts down the production effort on creating realistic 3D mockups for residential and commercial design spaces.

Very interesting, right? Each companies demonstrated their vision and mission to bringing impact to the world using the power of technology. However, investors look way more beyond that. Most followup questions tried to cover the companies’ plan for profitability and sustainability. They are expected to know the competition in the industry and next innovations post funding.

This article may not do justice since it doesn’t include the pitch desk and delivery from the speakers. I would suggest that you should visit each companies website to learn more about each startups. But without further ado, the top 3 winners are… Handprint Tech, Nexmedis, and Spacely AI! Congratulations!

Thanks for Reading

I am not a journalist, so writing articles like this has it’s own pressure on me. However I am glad that these insights don’t stop in my mind, but passed to you!

I am going to write again on future events I attend to. Other times, I share my thoughts around Product Design skills and the industry. If you love reading this, please let me know by leaving claps or comments on the article. Much appreciate it! Well, see you next time!



Jennifer Handali

An ENFJ with 5+ years of experience as a Product Designer. Love to share my thoughts and processes.