All over Asia, the tech race is heating up, with cities competing to be the “Silicon Valley of the East” – and Singapore looks poised to lead. For a start, 80 out of 100 top tech firms in the world have a presence in Singapore. And we have consistently ranked top in Asia in the Global Innovation Index. Our developed infrastructure, rigorous intellectual property protection and skilled talent pool makes an ideal incubation environment for start-ups from all over.

What this means: major tech business events are naturally drawn to Singapore. Each year, the tiny red dot plays host to multiple exhibitions, meetings and conferences in this sector, and facilitates the exchange of ideas and networking amongst hundreds of thousands of tech executives from around the world. Here are three recent events that stood out. 

Credit: EmTech Asia

1. EmTech Asia

Co-organised by MIT Technology Review (the world’s oldest tech publication) and trade fair company Koelnmesse, EmTech Asia is one of the most highly anticipated events on the tech calendar each year. The 2019 edition, which ran on 22nd and 23rd January at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, attracted over 700 executives, scientists, innovators and investors from 30 countries. 

Then, attendees discovered the latest world-changing technological breakthroughs. One key highlight in 2019 was the use of tech for humanity (think PET plastic-eating enzymes to solve plastic pollution; fusion power for clean energy; and electricity generating windows for future cities). Speakers also covered topics including the importance of liberal arts education in the age of artificial intelligence and applications of blockchain beyond finance. 

Credit: TechXLR8 Asia

2. TechXLR8 Asia

TechXLR8 has been known as London Tech Week’s flagship event, and its Asian edition is now touted as the region’s fastest growing tech event. The festival of innovation slants towards business transformation powered by new technologies such as 5G, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and blockchain. 

Held from 10th to 12th September 2019 at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, the latest instalment brought together 5250 attendees from 77 countries and featured over 260 speakers and some 120 sponsors and exhibitors. The multiple content streams allowed participants to deep-dive into their area of choice, and offered a comprehensive learning and networking experience.

TechXLR8 Asia will return in September 2020.

Credit: SFF X SWITCH

3. SFF X SWITCH

This government-led initiative was an ambitious endeavour in scale and depth. For the first time in 2019, two of the country’s biggest events Singapore  SFF x SWITCH (SFF) and the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH) came together as SFF X SWITCH to allow deeper exchanges and learning between folks in fintech and deep tech. 

The five-day conference and exhibition (held from 11 to 15 November at the Singapore Expo and in various other locations) covered key sectors from Urban Solutions and Sustainability and Health and Biomedical Sciences to Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering. 

SFF X SWITCH also featured three highly-watched competitions: the Global FinTech Hackcelerator (matching innovative startup solutions to address industry problems); SLINGSHOT (an international startup pitching competition); and the FinTech Awards (that recognises the most innovative solutions in the field). 

SFF X SWITCH will return in November 2020.