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ERIA Announces Winners of the First Pre-Event for the One ASEAN Startup Award 2024

23 April 2024

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Manila, 23 April 2024: ERIA culminated the first pre-event of the One ASEAN Startup Award 2024 at a prestigious ceremony held at The Peninsula Manila today, attended by around 200 people. This competition recognises outstanding startups across ASEAN and East Asia, fostering innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in the region.

Dr Leah Buendia, Undersecretary for Research and Development of the Philippines Department of Science and Technology, and National ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology, and Innovation (COSTI) Chair for the Philippines, opened the event and conveyed the Philippines’ full support and encouragement on endeavours like the Award.  

‘Our country has in place supportive laws like the Innovative Startup Act and the Philippine Technology Transfer Act. Additionally, we have established technology business incubators to nurture and foster the growth of startups nationwide. We believe in the power of innovation and recognise the immense potential that startups hold for economic growth, job creation, and societal development,’ said Undersecretary Buendia.

‘I congratulate all the finalists in today’s pitch session. Your innovative ideas and dedication inspire us all,’ she added. ‘I am confident that your contributions, along with the research fund granted by ERIA, will fuel your expansion plans and make a significant impact not only in your respective industries but also in the research initiatives of ERIA.’

ERIA’s Chief Operating Officer Koji Hachiyama conveyed the purpose of this Award in his welcome remarks.

‘The One ASEAN Startup Award is designed to foster the growth of the startup ecosystem across ASEAN by recognising, rewarding, and promoting the brightest innovators. Open to startups across Southeast Asia, regardless of the country of origin, this award encourages innovation particularly in sectors in Digital AI and Impact Startups, aiming to bring sustainable solutions and technological advancements to the fore,’ he said. ‘This event is only the beginning. We look forward to the main competition where these startups will vie for recognition. We are here to support the growth of new businesses in ASEAN and hope this award will propel their development and help address societal challenges across our region.’

Chairperson of the ERIA Governing Board, Former Department of Trade Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, was also in attendance.

Following a competitive selection process and insightful pitch session, ERIA is proud to announce the winners of the first pre-event for the Digital/AI Category, FathomX, and for the Impact Startup Category, Rezbin Waste Technology.

Hiroshi Ishikawa, Senior Program Advisor on Startup Ecosystem of ERIA’s Digital Innovation and Sustainable Economy Centre (E-DISC), and the award presenter, commented, ‘We were incredibly impressed by the caliber of applications received in this first competition.  The innovative solutions presented by these startups have the potential to make a significant impact on various sectors in ASEAN. We are excited to see them compete at the grand finals and showcase their groundbreaking ideas to the regional audience.’

‘Today’s event marks the first occasion outside Jakarta for the ERIA E-DISC Startup Ecosystem Program, established last year. The energy and commitment from Manila's startup community have made this event exceedingly fruitful. Remember, this does not end here. The two awarded companies will partner with E-DISC to energise the ASEAN startup scene,’ said Ishikawa, as he encouraged startups that did not secure a win today to improve and submit their application for the upcoming rounds.

The winning startups from both categories will now proceed to the One ASEAN Startup Award, where they will compete against winners from the upcoming pre-events in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (scheduled to be held on 25 June 2024) and Phnom Penh, Cambodia (August 2024). The grand prize winner will be chosen during a final award ceremony to be held in Lao PDR later this year.

Nominations for the second pre-event are currently being accepted until 26 May 2024. Startups operating in the Digital/AI and Impact sectors are encouraged to submit their applications.


About the One ASEAN Startup Award

The One ASEAN Startup Award is an initiative organised by ERIA to recognise and support outstanding startups across Southeast Asia. The competition aims to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the region, fostering the development of a dynamic and inclusive startup ecosystem.

Digital/AI Category Finalists in the Manila pre-event:

  • AtoANI Agriventures (Philippines), presenting a cutting-edge approach in production and distribution of fresh produce through its own farm and partner farmers using a produce-to-demand agriculture model. Represented by Maria Wilvenna Anora.
  • Betterteem Technologies (Philippines), enabling business operations leaders to take preventive steps to mitigate potential disruptions to their service delivery and demonstrating how their solution addresses unwanted employee resignation. Represented by Bo Discarga.
  • Data8 (Malaysia), bringing a fresh perspective to digital health and providing solutions that accelerate better health outcomes by using technology and driving positive behavior change. Represented by Rajifah Ramli.
  • FathomX (Singapore), presenting a unique approach to MedTech AI that aims to deploy clinician friendly solutions to enhancing the existing workflow. Represented by Galvin Lian.
  • IOL (Philippines), showcasing their dedication in the field of education technology to help small companies in their digitisation initiatives by building customised and modern systems. Represented by Kevin Philip Gayao.

Impact Startup Category Finalists in the Manila pre-event:

  • AirX Carbon (Viet Nam), committing to transforming industries with carbon-negative coffee-based materials. Represented by Le Thanh.
  • Reconnai (Japan), tackling plastic pollution through a waste sorting application. Represented by Wilson Kien Ho Ko.
  • Rezbin Waste Technology (Philippines), initiating a mission to make waste disposal easy and fun for Filipinos. Represented by Mica Martirez.
  • Sagri (Japan), implementing a groundbreaking strategy to combat food crises and climate change using satellite data and AI. Represented by Kazuki Sakamoto.
  • Surplus Indonesia (Indonesia), dedicating their efforts to combat food waste & food loss in Indonesia. Represented by Muh. Agung Saputra.

Additional information:

The Second Pre-event

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.
  • Startups that were not selected as finalists for the first round are welcome to be nominated again

About the prize :

  • Pre-event award: US$10,000 will be granted to the winner in each category as a research fund 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.

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.

Application deadline: 26 May 2024


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