ASEAN Angel Alliance Summit 2018

The Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN) continued their successful three years of MBAN Summit (2015-2017), now rebranded as ASEAN Angel Alliance (AAA) Summit (2018) held on the 27th and 28th of November 2018 at DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd as the main sponsor and themed ‘Celebrating ASEAN Angel Investment’.

Angel investors are people who administer financing at the earlier stage of startups along with contacts, guidance and business experiences. More money needs to flow in to fund these risky but incredibly rewarding startup business ventures, therefore, this summit provides unique opportunities for the angel investment community and high-caliber startups from the region to connect, engage, and contribute to the advancement of angel investment and to promote and increase the visibility of angel investments in startup ventures in the region. The summit deliberated some of the most prominent current issues that headlined local and global news such as Property Crowdfunding as an alternative source of funding for first-time homebuyers and women as the next wave of angel investors.

The 2-day summit started with a warm welcome speech by MBAN President Dr. Sivapalan Vivekarajah illustrating how Angels are changing the world with their investments. The highlights of the summit were the launching of AAA Summit 2018 by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, YB Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, special talk by Forbes’ Power Women In Asia 2015, Noni Purnomo of Blue Bird Indonesia exploring conventional and old business ways to stay relevant and thrive in disruptive economy, and China’s Top Venture Capitalists, Thomas G. Tsao of Gobi Partners reviewed the relevance of Angel investment in the future of ASEAN community. In addition, the summit welcomed former Head of Apple Education and serial investor in the UK, Alan Greenberg to address the making of billion dollar company in South East Asia.

YB Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah in his official launch speech said that in the current non-conventional market, Angel is the enabler as ‘you need a bigger ship to travel further.’ He later recounted Angel-funded successful startups including Mytaxi/Grab. He also stressed ASEAN need for conducive ecosystem for development, alongside distinct platform to voice out issues for businesses to thrive in the region. Furthermore, YB Dato’ Saifuddin described government roles in facilitating and empowering businesses in addition to making sure it is working for the community.

YB Dato’ Saifuddin also shared his insight on the subject of integrity, working well with all stakeholders and freedom in education to enhance businesses among ASEAN countries. He later cautioned us as technology could become a hazard instead of an enabler when not used accordingly. Meanwhile, when asked whether ASEAN will ever become like the EU, he replied how the EU is different, ASEAN is focused in increasing intra-ASEAN business and establishing one common ASEAN market instead, because currently there are 10 different markets instead of one real ASEAN market. He reminded ASEAN members to embrace the essence of consultation and partnership with the final goal to make it a norm among its members and left with his last word for us all to ‘just do it’.

The key highlight of the successful summit; the most exciting ASEAN-wide pitching competition “Enter The Tigers Lair” seeing 10 elite ASEAN startups were given opportunity to pitch their business plans to the panel of ‘Tiger’ funders live in front of 200 angel investors. Adeasy emerged as the judges and crowds favorite. It was the only startup to get the approval from all panel judges.

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