We’ve been planning this day for months, and it went exactly as planned, well – almost. With all the new interactive formats and our super line-up of speakers, the excitement was real! Hundreds of people joined us in-person at Spielfeld Digital Hub!
Let’s get into it!
We started AsiaBerlinSummit22, celebrating 25 years of history, with opening ceremonies both in Japan and Berlin! While Senator Stephan Schwarz, Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises spoke about the unicorns and thriving startup ecosystem in Berlin; Svenja Schulze, Minister at Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development underlined the powerful impact that startups can have on people’s lives. The keynote by Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, touched upon the plan for City-Tech.Tokyo, where 300 startups will exhibit their ideas for sustainable cities, an event that will bring together 10,000 people from 100 cities.
- Powerful stories and takeaways from the above keynotes
Senator Stephan Schwarz: “Exactly 25 years ago, Berlin opened the Asia Pacific weeks in the City Hall. 180 events took place across four weeks, organized by more than 160 public institutions and private companies from 16 countries. Just a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The city was in rapid transformation and Berlin and its people were in the face of deep uncertainty but also deep hope. To many then it seemed a curious idea to bring the Asia Pacific weeks to Berlin as a gateway to the Far East. Today, we know we were right.”
Minister Svenja Schulze – “We are living at a time when digital technologies are increasingly changing our lives and industrial production. All of this potential is extremely promising. But we must not lose sight of the fact that technological progress can also further deepen existing inequalities. If the digital transformation is left to the forces of the free markets, if technology is used to suppress unwelcome opinions or to spread fake news, it is extremely problematic. We need to make sure that technological change is open and inclusive and supports sustainable development. Technology should not only drive forward economic growth, but also protect our planet at the same time.”
From Tokyo we also heard from Noriyuki Shimizu (Executive Officer, Group President, Global Strategic Planning & Marketing, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation) on creating society 5.0 and investing $5bn with startups all over the world over the next 10 years! Go Fukino (CEO, LINKWIZ), Hiromi Hara (Managing Director, SAP Japan), Takahiro Isaka (Senior Alliance Manager, SAP Japan), Ryosuke Morinaga (Solution Manager, SAP Japan), Kenji Ohyama (Director, Head of SAP.iO Foundry, SAP Japan) talked about SAP’s commitment to supporting startups with GTM strategy and building a strong member community and cutting edge industry 4.0 innovations.
Noriyuki Shimizu: (Executive Officer, Group President, Global Strategic Planning & Marketing, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation): “Japan is aspiring to achieve a super smart society called society 5.0. The vision is to realize the high degree of convergence between cyberspace and physical space in order to achieve economic development and social equality making people’s lives comfortable and sustainable.”
The interview of Roland Busch, President and CEO, Siemens AG, and Chairman Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) by Ali Aslan was a look at all the hard numbers. If Asia is going to bring one billion new people into the middle class by 2030, it will account for 50% of the world market and also become 50% of the source of all emissions without the right global partnerships.
- Quick Take:
Roland Busch: “Diversification, resilience and education go hand in hand. COVID has shown us you really have to have diversification of the supply chain but also access to markets. Digitalization is the name of the game, in all industries. Business models also are changing. Technology is rapidly developing, so this combination is an explosive mixture. Digitization tears down data silos. That enables ecosystems. The whole idea about ecosystems is rather than taking a piece of pie you are expanding the pie.”
In the hot seat format, makers Sophie Chung, CEO and Founder at Qunomedical; Varun Sridhar, CEO at Paytm Money; Shunji Kurita, Corporate Executive and Chief Representative for Europe, Middle East & Africa Region, Mitsubishi Electric and Hannes Hauswald, CEO Europe at Delivery Hero discussed the similarities and differences between the Asian and German business ecosystems and talent retention strategies that work. Let people work from anywhere!
- Insights on Japanese work-culture:
Shunji Kurita, Corporate Executive and Chief Representative for Europe, Middle East & Africa Region, Mitsubishi Electric: “Japanese companies are really conservative and a lot of decision making is centralized in Tokyo. Usually this has its downsides but it had its advantages in dealing with covid 19 because the situation on the ground was so fluid.
In Japan we like to do product or technical development by ourselves. It is good if you are patient but it is not good for the future because we need technical acceleration. For that we are looking to work with startups and fill in the gaps.”
The fireside chat with Young Sohn, Founding Managing Partner | Chairman of the Board at Walden Catalyst Ventures, HARMAN International, Extreme Tech Challenge gave us insights on how ease of use and creating frictionless experiences for customers, can be key differentiators for businesses. That’s how he invested in Zoom!
- Panel Summaries
We had an inspiring panel on ‘Female Bravery and Role models for a better future with Daria Suvorova, Founder at WAA Podcast & Community; Tina Nayak, Co-founder & CEO at Volument; Chunchun Qiu, Founder and CEO at cyclio and Kalbiye Nur Yegnidemir, Founder at Krisenglanz, & Project Lead AsiaBerlin at enpact. The message was clear: you have to be persistent, find the strength to start again after a setback or failure, stay true to yourself and drown out all the noise outside.
In the ‘Female Digitalisation Synergies – Robust Tools for Women Entrepreneurs’ session our panel spoke about self-belief, commanding your rightful space and lifting each other. Because both in traditionally male-dominated spaces like cement or spaces like menstrual research/ fem-tech, making in-roads is tough, only the reasons are different. Thank you Shriti Pandey, Founder at STRAWCTURE ECO; Aditi Dimri, Founder at Cranberry.Fit; Anandi Iyer, Director, | Chairperson at Fraunhofer Office India
In ‘Taking Noise To A Global Scale With NFTs – The Indonesian Way’, Farrel Fachrizal Darian, Chief Technology Officer at Netra; Bryan Perwira, Co-founder and COO at Netra; Claudia Siregar, Founder at welinku 21 afforded the audience a glimpse into the inner workings of the music industry in Indonesia. As part of Asia’s first royalty sharing NFT platform, they also introduced the audience to Indonesian musician Sandhy Sondoro’s first German song on Netra – Berlin! Berlin! Ick lieb dir so sehr!
We picked up quite a few insights through this discourse on social entrepreneurship. Gilang Fauzi, Founder and CEO at PT. GEMILANG MEDIA WISATAMA (TRAVELXISM); Florian Holm, Founder & CEO at Stilt Studios; Fritz Neumeyer, Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer at Oceans 2050 with moderator Karena Belin, Co-Founder & COO / CFO / RO | CEO at AngelHub, WHub talked about restoring abundance to the environment and how a deteriorating state of nature leads to social issues.
For those who read and write non-English content online, the tools to track trends and data is minimal. But this company is working to solve just that problem in Tamil and other local languages. Kudos to Gunarakulan Gunaretnam, Guardian at Software Lab at DreamSpace Academy, Aravinth Panch, Co-Founder, Co-Director at DreamSpace Academy, araCreate
Rainer Seider, Head of Division International Cooperation at the office of the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery laid out for us how the relationship between Tokyo-Berlin strengthened on our policy-making panel moderated by Diksha Dutta, Marketing Head, AsiaBerlin and also took us through the history of event with Karena Belin, Co-Founder & CEO at AngelHub, WHub. In another segment, he talked about the government’s focus on startups in Africa and Asia especially in the field of IT and supporting female entrepreneurship.
And one of the final panels, gave us some hope for the future. A way to reimagine the future of city life through Government and Startup collaboration! Thank you Tetsuya Yamashita, Chief Program Officer & Senior Advocate at SDGs Challenge (Hyogo/Kobe), Hyogo-Kobe Ecosystem (Hyogo/Kobe) Teresa Kerber, Project Director “Sustainable Urban Development – Smart Cities II” at GIZ GmbH; Jonas Schorr, Partner at Urban Impact Agency and Raymond Miranda, Consultant, Professional Speaker and Executive Coach at Labora[s]tory
Here are details on our Interaction Spot Partners:
Silicon Allee Residency (Korea) – helping the international tech community with everything from equity-free capital to apartments
The City of Kobe – Japanese Impact startups from Kobe’s SDGs challenge
K & L -Karnataka (India) startups going global with AI. (Startups: RootsGoods, Care-AID Labs Pvt Ltd, Quoqo Technologies, Integrated Energy Solutions, Onder Shipthis Technologies, TriSpace Technologies (OPC), Vipragen Biosciences, IntPurple Technologies, SAFL)
German Accelerator – empowering German startups to scale globally
Smart Change Jakarta – accelerating sustainable cities
GIZ – Bund-Länder- Decentralised Development Lab
The Drivery – Community marketplace for mobility innovators
Dreamspace Academy (Sri Lanka) – Mitigating hate speech
InvestHK – the Global connector for Startups