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Call for Proposals: One ASEAN Startup Award 2024

22 February 2024

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ERIA Digital Innovation and Sustainable Economy Centre (E-DISC) proudly presents the One ASEAN Startup Award, under the vision to foster the growth of the startup ecosystem across ASEAN. The award aims to recognise, reward, and promote the brightest innovators to grow rapidly and solve ASEAN-wide issues, and join our journey to drive positive change to influence policymakers toward crafting an environment conducive to startup growth.

ERIA aims to further promote open innovation in ASEAN, endorsing rewards for initiatives aimed at serving as role models for the future. With the objectives of promoting the formation of the ASEAN startup ecosystem and helping ASEAN countries to achieve startup-driven economic growth, E-DISC targets five main topics in the research project framework: innovation and digital transformation, human development and entrepreneurship, supply chain and one flows, development and governance of technology, and inclusiveness. ERIA is calling for research collaborations with startups, to build a collaborative ecosystem linking research collaborations which have a real-world impact.

Award Categories

  Focus Area
Digital/AI Open to startups who utilise artificial intelligence (AI), with applications across sectors, can analyse data, automate tasks, and make predictions.
Impact Startup Open to startups generating positive social and environmental impacts alongside a financial return, including sectors such as renewable energy, healthcare, education, financial services, and sustainable consumer goods.


  • Pre-event award: US$10,000 will be granted to the winner in each category as a research refund with the commitment to be an E-DISC research partner.
  • The grant will be 50% funded at the beginning of the research, with the remaining 50% allocated upon submission and acceptance of the research output.


Eligibility Criteria

  • Startup which currently has business operations in Southeast Asia with no limitation on where the startup is from.
  • Nominated entity should propose a research topic with an actual action plan and be willing to work together with ERIA experts on studies.


Benefits for Award Winners

  • Broaden their networks by utilising the E-DISC network with startup ecosystem key players, including national agencies from ASEAN and member nations, venture capitalists (VCs), incubators, and large corporations.
  • Invited as an E-DISC research partner for report and white paper publication, including policy recommendations.
  • Research fund to be granted for collaborations with E-DISC. The research duration period is one year, and the results of the research will need to be submitted to ERIA for public publication.

How to Apply

  1. Submit nominee information through nomination form. *Could be own company or other company
  2. The secretariat team will reach out to nominees to confirm their willingness to be nominated.
  3. Request information and pitch deck required for nominations.
  4. Finalists for pre-events to be nominated by selection committee for each pre-event.
  5. Finalist pitches in the pre-events and one winner will be selected from each group in each pre-event.
  6. Selection committee will nominate finalists for final event among all pre-event participants.
  7. Finalist pitch in the ASEAN Startup Summit and best award winner from each group will be selected.

*Multiple-time nominations are accepted.

Nomination Form

Selection Committee and Process

Selection committee will be formed by 12 judges as below.

Contact Point (National Agency) Country Candidate
DARe (Darussalam Enterprise) Brunei TBD
Techo Startup Center Cambodia TBD
Ministry of Communications and Informatics (KOMINFO) Indonesia TBD
Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) Laos TBD
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Malaysia TBD
(TBD) Myanmar TBD
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Philippines TBD
Enterprise Singapore (ESG) Singapore TBD
National Innovation Agency (NIA) Thailand TBD
National Innovation Center (NIC) Vietnam TBD

Judges on the event day will be formed by panellists and event host countries' national agency


Selection Schedule

  • Five finalist startups to be selected for each category in each pre-event.
  • Finalist startups will be invited to pre-event to pitch in-person at the event.
    • Proposals on research topic for each category to be included in each pitch presentation.


Judging Criteria

  • Average score counted equally from each committee member and top scorers will be nominated as finalists.
  • Scoring process for winner selection:
    • 60% from pre-selection by selection committee and 40% from judge on the event day.
  • Rating Criteria: Scoring 1~10 for each criterion.
    • [Digital AI Category] Technological superiority
      • Does the proposed solution contain innovation or superior elements compared to existing solutions in similar fields?
    • [Impact Category] Relevance of social issues
      • Does the social issue seeking a solution have a wide impact across the ASEAN region?
    • Appropriateness of the plan
      • Is the target society and vision clear for the social issue to be solved?
      • Are the bottlenecks clearly defined in the hypothesising and verifying process?
      • Is the latest technology such as AI being utilised to solve social issues?
      • Is it a viable plan?
      • Is there a realistic plan to expand the impact?
      • Has the nominee correctly analysed the existing initiatives and created a plan better than the existing one?
    • Validity of survey/research content
      • Are the proposed investigations and research content necessary to implement the plan?
      • By sharing the results of surveys and research, will it encourage not only the nominee but also other parties attempting to solve the social issue?
    • Feasibility of the plan
      • Does the company have an appropriate financial base to carry out the plan?
      • Does the management team have the appropriate expertise and background to address the social issue? Does it have a sufficient technical base?
      • Does the company already have a certain level of operations within the ASEAN region?


1st Pre-event

Date: 23 April 2024

Venue: Manila, Philippines

Nomination Period: Mid-Feb to mid-Mar 2024


2nd Pre-event

Date: June 2024

Venue: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nomination Period: End of April to mid-May 2024


3rd Pre-event

Date: Aug 2024

Venue: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Nomination Period: End of June to mid-July 2024


Terms and Conditions

  • Award prizes are granted under the condition the startup commits to be an E-DISC research partner in 2025 for a year.
  • Award winners are requested to submit their research results to ERIA in documents within a year after the award is granted. The format and details of the report are to be discussed with ERIA.

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