Kauffman Fellows Southeast Asia Summit Recap
Our 7th global Summit in Singapore was a spectacular success! We had the best cross-class representation to date with more than 200 fellows from 16 classes attending.
The festivities kicked off on Sunday night at the Singapore Stock Exchange with classes 16,18,19, and 20 holding debriefs followed by a cocktail party and welcome dinner atop the One Altitude restaurant overlooking Singapore with an unbelievable view.
Day 1: The Main Event
The main event on Monday, January 25 featured founders, CEOs, VCs, and tech directors from local Southeast Asian firms and was held at the iconic Capitol Theatre in Singapore. Attendees explored global VC trends and investment in the region. Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative was an integral part of discussions, with a fireside chat by US Ambassador Kirk Wagar and Singapore Foreign Minister and Smart Nation Program Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan.
One panel highlighted the establishment of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and its role in the formation of Kauffman Fellows, bringing CEO Phil Wickham (KF CEO and Charter Class) and Jason Green (KF board and Charter Class) together with Kathleen Boyle Dalen, Chief Integration Officer for the Foundation. They discussed “The Two Kauffmans: The Past, Present and future of a Special Relationship.” The talk included a short video by both organizations, encouraging all Fellows to come to Kansas City October 24-26 to commemorate Mr. Kauffman’s 100th birthday and celebrate our reunion with the Foundation. We are delighted to be renewing ties with the Kauffman Foundation, and hope to see you there.
The main event was followed by a VIP reception hosted by US Ambassador Kirk Wagar at his home. In his welcoming comments, the ambassador described the favorable atmosphere for investment in Southeast Asia and urged Kauffman Fellows and other investors to take a closer look at the region.
Day 2: IT/LS Tracks and GP/LP Showcase
Day 2 featured the IT and Life Sciences tracks in the morning, followed by the LP/GP Showcase in the afternoon at INSEAD. We were able to leverage our brand to attract more than 40 LPs, including the largest sovereign wealth funds in the region. Fascinating speeches and discussions among Fellows and LPs made the event one of the highlights of the entire Summit.
Day 3 concluded with a reception at the new MediaCorp building, where they were playing our “Two Kauffmans” video on the outdoor screen.
On the Air
During Day 2 of the Summit, Channel News Asia highlighted several Kauffman Fellows as venture capital judges for the new season of the TV show, Start-UP, which showcases some of the most outstanding business minds in the region, and encourages more entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia to take that first step. Watch the 2-minute promo video below, or check out the CNA website to watch the show.
We received significant press in newspapers, on TV, and by online journalists featuring several Kauffman Fellows in the coverage:
- The Straits Times, “Singapore Eager to Host Venture Capitalists: Vivian Balakrishnan”
- e27, “7 Key Tips for Asia-Based Startups from Silicon Valley’s VCs”
- e27, “4 Tips on Business-Building from Top SE Asia-Based Founders and CEOs”
- Tech in Asia, “Global VCs Want to See More ‘Heroes’ in Asia”
- The Business Times, “S’pore Ready to be Essential Cog in Global Innovation Network: Vivian Balakrishnan”
- CNBC Money Control, “As Mobile Internet Soars in India, So Do Valuations: Sequoia”
- Channel News Asia, “Education System Needs ‘Complete Rejigging’: Balakrishnan”
- TechCrunch, “Will China’s Woes Threaten the Tech Economies in Singapore and Hong Kong?”
Thanks to Our Fellows, Staff, and Sponsors
The Summit was a monumental effort that would not have been possible without the truly dedicated effort of our Fellows in the region. Our sincere thanks go to Justin Hall (Class 20), Akshay Garg (Class 18), Hian Goh (Class 20), Yinglan Tan (Class 15), Sati Rasuanto (Class 18), John Kim (Class 20), and Snehal Patel (Class 14). Spearheading the drive was Vinnie Lauria (Class 17), who inspired Fellows to collect a record number of sponsorships and incredible speakers. Doing a delicate dance of details to coordinate all aspects of the Summit, Jorge Torres (Class 16) deserves a special nod. The breathtaking venues and flawless coordination of logistics were courtesy of the determination, hard work, and many a late night for Nettie Reyes and other members of the Kauffman Fellows staff.
Our sponsors were major contributors—not only financially—to the success of the Summit, giving us great speakers and some amazing venues. Special thanks to our host partner IDA as well as EDB, Sozo Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, Amazon Web Services, MDI Ventures, NRF, NUS, DBS, Sequoia Capital, and SUTD. Our in-kind sponsors included SGX, MediaCorp, INSEAD, Vertex, and InfoComm Investments.
On to Bali
On Wednesday, January 27, the event reconvened in Bali for relaxation and networking, and many Fellows attended the Asian Leaders Summit. Check out some of the fun pictures below.
See You in Kansas City!
We are looking forward to seeing all of you in Kansas City in October! We hope that Fellows from ALL 21 classes will come to what is likely to be our best Summit and biggest reunion of Kauffman Fellows ever. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting event.