At Spielfeld Digital Hub, spread across various parallel stages, satellite events, panels, and keynote speeches, Day 2 of the AsiaBerlin Summit 2021 ( 5 October) was full, buzzing with energy. Our sessions focused on Smart Cities, Fintech, and opportunities for cross-border collaboration, intercultural exchange, and learning.
Here’s a quick recap of Day 2 from AsiaBerlin Summit 2021:
Part 2 of our cross-continent conference #AsiaBerlinSummit2021 kicked off with a discussion on learning opportunities for German and Asian smart cities.
While smart city initiatives present significant challenges, cross-border partnerships and collaboration can help innovate solutions. Our speakers Ryotaro Chikushi Bordini of NION, Akiko Takahashi of WOKOBE, Pia Sophie Laube of Tegel projekt GmbH discussed these by drawing from their experiences.
At #ABS2021 we are all about collaborative learning so our panel on German and Asian startups, moderated by Travis Todd (Silicon Allee), was a space where business leaders could learn to build sustainable smart cities. We had an illustrious panel of speakers: Kasia Weina of Evergreen Labs, Thao Tran of New Energy Nexus Vietnam, Eric Weber of Smart Infrastructure Hub/SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator, and Timon Rupp of The Drivery GmbH. Commenting on e-mobility trends in SE Asia, Dr Weina said “Vietnamese culture is more veered towards e-bikes. Battery tech wasn’t considered high tech enough for production to begin in Vietnam”. “In Hanoi, ebike startups are seeing a rise,” said Thao Tran. On the topic of electric mobility, “In Asia, they have many opportunities to make Greenfield approaches in mobility as they don’t have the legacy of cars to deal with as compared to Germany,” noted Timon Rupp.
We also had a lively debate at our panel ‘Banks Vs Fintech’ moderated by Leonie Weigner. where the speakers discussed how banks and fintech can work better together, the common issues that come up when they do work together. All our speakers emphasized the important role of regulators in the sector and how partnerships with them can make and break a bank-fintech collaboration. Our speakers Aria Widyanto of Amartha Fintech, Tobias Ahrens of Berliner Volksbank eG, Thorsten 霍獅騰 Terweiden, Katharina Lüth of Raisin DS brought out some great insights from their varied perspectives on the debate. One thing they all agreed on was that fintech, whether global or local needs to understand customers, work within the regulatory framework and adapt the business model to the local market.
Our Keynote speaker, Gati Kalim of Deutsche Borse Group, shared her insights on the trends in capital markets in fintech. She remarked on the German fintech space and it’s slow pace of evolution in comparison to other countries in Europe. One of the reasons for this, she says, is the regulatory process and another is consumer behaviour in Germany. According to her, the main trends in the capital markets are: enhancing liquidity in new markets, levelling the playing field for retail investors in alternative asset classes, improving analytics capabilities around ESG, improving settlement efficiency through technology, from centralization to decentralization.
Day 2 also had a focus on diversity and inclusion and our panel on the subject gave businesses practical ways for them to improve their D&I initiatives. At our panel, ‘Empowerment & Diversity as a mindset – From Buzzword to Action’, we had Sabrina Yang of Alibaba, Tatjana Trujillo from SAP, Anne Christin Braun from Zollhof Tech Incubator, Timona Borhanuddin Accenture GmbH, Karen Kargar of Rising. The session was moderated by Alina Bassi of Kleiderly and focused on what companies can do to stop the inertia around diversity and inclusion. The tips included improving terminology, being more open and visible as an inclusive company, inclusive hiring processes, actively recruiting diverse talent and promotion of diverse cultures within the workplace.
Our panel on ‘Why fashion needs a sustainability revolution’ brought forward issues about fast fashion and started conversations on small lifestyle changes that can go a long way in saving the planet. Our panelists Sidhartha Mohanty of twik.world, Namrata Sandhu of Vaayu, Alina Bassi of Kleiderly shared that not shopping according to trends, shopping from second hand stores, disposing mindfully are some of the very crucial methods to adopt a sustainable mindset in fashion.
We closed the day with our flagship segment- Annual Pitch Contest: 6 Startups, 4 minutes pitch time and the chance to impress influential Asian and German VCs! There were 6 Startup pitches from across the world and the contest was a simulation of what founders will face when pitching to investors and other stakeholders. Founders had to answer tough questions from our expert panel and it motivated them to think from a global perspective about their business. A huge congratulations to the winning startups- Lovelane and Endeema, and to our participating startups: Panoptic, Magicbit, LAIFE, Rovigos. Thank you to our speaker Sophie Webber of Berlin FoundersFund and Jury members: Urte Zahn of QiLabs, Jasper Schlump of Capacura, Binh Vu of Brandenburg Kapital GmbH.
Photographs: Stefan Wieland