（本文與圖由 e27 提供）
由新加坡網路平台 e27 主辦的大型亞洲區網路創業大會 TOP100，今年將在 5 月 15 日舉行。這一屆不僅僅重啟大型提案大會，TOP100 也開始採用「Echelon Connect」演算法評估媒合適合的新創團隊與投資者。之後的新創與投資者，可以隨時在 TOP100 線上進行交流，不用一定要等到會議舉辦的時候。線下會議則將會著力於下個階段的投資與投資者關係經營，不會還是建立人脈、換名片的場合。
雖然 TOP100 還在試營運階段，尚未正式宣告啟用，但已經有 150 家新創公司加入，預計在 6 月前會超過 800 家，重要投資者如 500 Startups、Queen’s Capital Road、Golden Gate Ventures、KK Fund 等也都在平台上線的時候就已經加入。
大多數的新創公司面臨的挑戰，是能見度，e27 營運長 Thaddeus Koh 認為：「TOP100 線上平台可以解決許多新創公司面臨的挑戰，提供他們一個相對穩定的競爭環境。」因為溝通模式的轉變，Koh 也相信，在網路上，「創新公司比過去都更容易與投資者建立關係」。雖然新創公司與投資者溝通，已經因為電子郵件方便很多，但是「即時訊息可以不需要那麼嚴肅，讓雙方對話可以輕鬆一點。」TOP100 新的改變，也讓新創公司不在只以上台提案的那 7 分鐘，成為投資者評判的唯一機會。
TOP100 powered by Echelon Connect relaunches with new features to bridge gaps between startups and investors
Organized by e27, TOP100 connects startups and investors online using proprietary matching algorithms to encourage deal flow across Asia
- TOP100 is now powered by a proprietary algorithm “Echelon Connect” to pre-match and qualify startups and investors
- Startups and Investors will be able to connect online all year round instead of only at conferences
- The offline conference now serves to meet and build next stage investment/investee relationships instead of just exchanging name cards
Singapore, March 15, 2017 – Echelon’s spotlight pitching competition TOP100 powered by Echelon Connect returns with a new spin to redefine the journey of fundraising. Now a full-fledged fundraising platform for Asia’s most promising startups unconstrained by distance or time, it will enable startups to fundraise all year round, and investors to expand deal flow opportunities.
Officially soft-launched on e27.co, over 150 startups (estimated 800-1000 by end of June) and notable investors like 500 Startups, Queen’s Capital Road, Golden Gate Ventures, KK Fund, and others have joined since the launch, accounting for access of up to US$500 MIL in combined fund size.
How the platform works
The new TOP100 aims to empower any startup that expresses interest in fundraising, and any investor looking to discover the best and rising startups through:
- Matching: Startups and investors are matched accordingly based on their compatibility with each other (using multiple metrics including the basic vertical, funding round and market access interest).
- Connections: Once a mutual interest is indicated on both sides, e27 will then provide a direct communication portal via e27’s messaging platform) between a startup and investor, who can then take the conversation further.
For startups and investors that are matched successfully, Echelon provides the offline avenue – conferences in major SEA cities – for startups to showcase their business to a wider audience and for investors to follow-up with their prospects and conversations more intimately.
A refreshed programme to address industry challenges
A major challenge most young startups face is simply getting noticed. “Any startup in the region can apply to TOP100,” says Thaddeus Koh, Chief Operating Officer of e27. “TOP100’s online platform overcomes those obstacles that many new startups face, and provides an even playing field for them. These startups can then potentially meet the right investors and fund their businesses.”
“It is now easier than ever for startups and investors to establish relationships – starting online,” Koh adds. “When compared to the typical delays one gets from email, the messaging platform will reduce the formalities involved and ease the flow of conversation between both parties.”
For a startup journey not just about fundraising
While TOP100’s new features may be getting most of the spotlight, Echelon’s notable pitching competition will carry on, this time with a slight twist.
TOP100 aims to continue bridging innovative solution providers across geographic boundaries to expand their networks through targeted connections and showcases – rather than being judged by a standalone intense 7 minute pitch on stage.
“After winning Echelon’s TOP100 programme last June, we started gaining traction across Southeast Asia, even globally,” shared Jee Shen Lee, Founder of Softinn Solutions based in Malaysia. “Even more quality investors and partners approached us after each Echelon participation, further spurring our strategic growth into Vietnam and Indonesia markets.”
To discover and support more young enterprises like Softinn, each Echelon will host its own standalone version of pitching (called TOP100 Fight Club), but do not act as pre-qualifiers to Echelon Asia Summit. Instead, startups registered in TOP100 will have the chance to qualify for the main Summit’s startup pitching, based on merit gained from the support TOP100 will provide across the year.
Applications are now open at e27.co/echelon/top100/register. While the TOP100 programme runs through the year, each Echelon conference has its own deadline. Startups looking to gain exposure, win prizes, and make connections can look to apply to the following TOP100 Fight Club opportunities at
- Echelon Malaysia: by March 19th, 23:59
Conference: April 12-13, Penang
- Echelon Thailand: by April 16th, 23:59
Conference: May 15-16, Bangkok
- Echelon Asia Summit: by May 24th, 23:59
Conference: June 28-29, Singapore
About TOP100 powered by Echelon Connect
TOP100 is an online fundraising platform for startups and investors, unconstrained by distance or time, to empower deal flows across Asia. Startups and investors get connected on e27’s messaging platform through proprietary matching algorithms to facilitate conversations and spark fundraising opportunities.
Startup pitching now happens exclusively at Echelon conferences, where each is independent of the other (called TOP100 Fight Club). TOP100 participants will also be given the chance to exhibit and pitch at Echelon Asia Summit 2017, e27’s flagship conference, based on merit.
With its first iteration launched in 2012, TOP100 was an annual startup search held across 14 major APAC cities (in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Kazakhstan) to find the region’s most promising startups. The startup search culminated at Echelon Asia Summit in Singapore each June, where the top 100 qualified startups would be given the opportunity to exhibit and showcase at e27’s annual flagship conference. Select startups would also be chosen to pitch to a panel of international judges to be crowned the overall winner of TOP100.
Notable startups who have participated in the programme include Between, Carousell, HotelQuickly, Softinn and Builk Asia, among many others.
Founded in 2007, e27 aims to empower entrepreneurs with the tools needed to build and grow their companies by plugging the ecosystem into a community of people who can become mentors, partners, investors, colleagues, and customers. e27 continues to provide the integrated platform and support to find news, community events (including flagship Echelon conference), talent, and funding.
e27’s vision is to propel digital entrepreneurship in the Southeast Asia region forward by building a comprehensive platform for all stakeholders in the ecosystem.