World Economic Forum starts ASEAN Startups Programme

At the meeting, start-ups will be invited to lay out their plans for creating jobs in ASEAN in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and build vital connections for regional expansion.

WEF | Updated: 27-06-2018 14:13 IST | Created: 27-06-2018 14:12 IST
World Economic Forum starts ASEAN Startups Programme
11,000 workers will join ASEAN’s labor force every day for the next 15 years. (Image Credit: Wikimedia)

The World Economic Forum today launched its ASEAN "Start-Ups Programme", aiming to bring together the region's most innovative start-ups and connect them with business, political and academic leaders.

Start-ups can apply now to join the community, and participate to the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, which takes place on September 11-13.

At the meeting, start-ups will be invited to lay out their plans for creating jobs in ASEAN in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and build vital connections for regional expansion.

Deadline for application is 15 July 2018

Ha Noi, Viet Nam, 28 June 2018 – The World Economic Forum today opened up applications for start-ups to participate in the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, on September 11-13. Selected entrepreneurs will be invited to join the ASEAN Start-Ups Programme at the summit, which will bring together the most innovative emerging companies in the region.

At the Meeting, the start-ups will have the opportunity to connect with 850 participants, including 70 ASEAN government ministers and 550 business leaders, in order to catalyze future-oriented conversations, especially around the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the future of jobs. For the entrepreneurs who take part, the goal is to open doors to new opportunities, build vital connections, explore regional expansion, and help craft a new vision for the region

"11,000 workers will join ASEAN's labour force every day for the next 15 years," said Justin Wood, Head of Asia Pacific at the World Economic Forum. "Given the disruptions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, how will the region's growing workforce find jobs? We believe innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs can help answer that crucial question through their efforts to build new companies, new industries and to shape the economies of the future. , We invite them to share their stories at our ASEAN meeting."


Applications for start-ups to join the ASEAN Start-Ups Programme are open now. To be eligible, companies should

  • be less than 10 years old,
  • have received at least one round of funding,
  • be generating revenue, and
  • be tackling problems or delivering services in highly innovative ways
  • Application deadline is 15 July

A panel of judges from regional start-up accelerators, venture capital, and private equity funds, media, economists, and technology experts will choose which start-ups take part.


The World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018 will be held under the theme "ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution", to help nurture tomorrow's corporate champions and upgrade regional innovation ecosystems.

The tailored Start-Ups Programme at the Meeting includes valuable interaction with chief executives and political leaders, as well as discussions about regional challenges and how innovation and technology can address them. In addition, the summit will feature an "Innovation Hub", where start-ups will have the opportunity to share their stories.

Beyond the Summit

This new initiative aims to integrate ASEAN's most promising start-up leaders and entrepreneurs into national and regional dialogues about the region's most pressing challenges on a sustained basis. The goal is to build a regional community of innovators, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders to deliver positive change in the region.

Entrepreneurship and the scaling of disruptive start-ups will be critical to building a sustainable and inclusive economy, the World Economic Forum believes. This is particularly true in the 10 countries of ASEAN. But as robots displace factory workers, AI threatens service jobs, and self-driving vehicles take over from taxi drivers, it is crucial that the region's innovative entrepreneurs help solve the problems the Fourth Industrial Revolution creates



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