2017 FEATURED PARTICIPANTS
Chatri Sityodtong is a self-made entrepreneur and lifelong martial artist from Thailand. His rags-to-riches life story has inspired millions around the world on BBC News, CNN, Financial Times, Bloomberg TV High Flyers, CNBC Entrepreneur Asia, Channel NewsAsia, Harvard Business School, Sports Illustrated, and many other major media.
He is currently the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ONE Championship, Asia's largest sports media property in history with a global broadcast to over 1 billion potential viewers across 118 countries around the world. Sityodtong was recently named "Asia's King of Martial Arts" by the Financial Times, and the “Most Powerful Person in Asian MMA” by Forbes, Yahoo! Sports, and International Business Times. He is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, Europe's top business school.
Sityodtong holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.
Birth Name: Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco
Also Known as: Jake, Charice Pempengco, Charice
Born: May 10, 1992 (age 25)
Cabuyao City, Laguna Philippines
Label: 143/ Reprisw, Warner Bros. Records, Starmusic
A Filipino singer who rose to popularity through YouTube. Charice was dubbed by Oprah Winfrey as "the most talented girl in the world”, and released the international studio album Charice in 2010. This album entered the Billboard 200 at number eight, making Charice the first Asian solo singer in history to land in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 albums chart.
The single "Pyramid", featuring singer Iyaz, is Charice's most successful single to date, charting within the Top 40 in a number of countries after its debut live performance on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Crossing over to acting on television, Charice joined the cast of TV series Glee as Sunshine Corazon. Subsequently, "Before It Explodes", written by Bruno Mars, was released as the lead single from Charice's second international studio album, Infinity. In March 2012, Charice signed on to be one of the four judges of the Philippine version of The X Factor, which began airing on ABS-CBN in June. In May 2015, Charice reunited with former mentor David Foster by performing a version of Sam Smith's "Lay Me Down" on Asia's Got Talent. In 2017, Charice announced a new name, Jake Zyrus, and disclosed that he had both breasts removed and had begun testosterone treatment.
A household name in her native Malaysia, actress and TV host Neelofa's first claim to fame was winning a local teen beauty contest in 2010. Four years later, she decided to don a hijab - a headscarf worn by Muslim women to cover the hair - a move that inspired her to launch a modest fashion business catering for young and stylish Muslim women. Neelofa credits a big part of her success to entering the market at the right time. A Reuters report estimated that Muslim consumers spent $266 billion on clothing and footwear in 2013 and expect this market to account for over 14% of the global fashion market by 2019. But her social media marketing strategy supported by her millions of Instagram fans has also played a big part in expanding the business. Among her handful of lifestyle brands, the "Naelofar hijab" line now sells in 38 countries, including her latest concession in the heart of London's upmarket Chelsea district.
Aisa Mijeno is a faculty member of Engineering and Innovation Labs Director at De La Salle University — Lipa. Being a member of Greenpeace PH, she has traveled many places promoting environmental campaigns. She also loves hiking which brought her to the majestic mountains of northern Philippines where it all began. The product concept was formed after living with a tribe for days relying only on kerosene lamps to do evening chores.
Her interests vary from astronomy to classical music to embedded systems and electrochemistry.
Li is a Filipino-Chinese-Taiwanese actress, model and fashion blogger who has more than one million followers on Facebook. She has a photography blog called Annsnaps, which provides fashion and lifestyle tips to her many fans. Li won the Shorty Awards for fashion in 2011.
Kawatra's Feeding India tries to solve the country's hunger problem by providing free meals through volunteers and donation centers. It operates a smartphone app where restaurants and individuals can sign up to donate food, which are then collected and distributed to people in need. The nonprofit organization has a network of more than 4,500 volunteers, who run regular feeding programs in more than 45 Indian cities and has served more than 4.8 million meals so far.
When arriving in Australia from Syria on a humanitarian visa, Dacho could speak English, had a master's degree in web science and 8+ years of work experience. Still, he found it impossible to break into the employment market. He cofounded Refugee Talent with Anna Robson, to help other refugees find jobs in their new home countries. By leveraging online tools, the startup aims to connect refugees with companies who are looking to hire them as statistics show that 85% of refugees remain unemployed within the first five years of their arrival.
In 2010, more than 75% of the rural Cambodian population still defecated in the open and Daroath Phav spotted an opportunity to use his business skills for the greater good. He joined non-profit organization WaterSHED aiming to motivate rural families to invest their own money in a household toilet by building a dynamic rural market based on increasing supply and demand, designing aspirational messages for toilets and delivering them through effective sanitation marketing strategies. So far, his team has overseen the sale of more than 150,000 toilets nationwide, generating more than $6 million for local businesses -- helping to push rural sanitation coverage from 25% to nearly 50% over 5 years.
Kazmi raised $100 million to seed Collegiate Capital, a venture firm that focuses on fintech, cybersecurity, energy and gaming; he's Europe's youngest founder and managing partner of a VC fund of that size. He started his first business, a game called U-Design, at age 16; he also now serves as CEO of the Oxford Accelerator, a business incubator hosted by the prestigious university.
Modi is the chief executive of Lucideus, an enterprise cybersecurity company that he helped start. The firm based in India has provided electronic risk management services for four years to large companies offshore. Modi also joined an Indian government committee formed in 2014 to set up cybersecurity vocational courses. Multiple universities in Asia count him as a visiting faculty member specialized in information systems and security.
Zali is a Pakistani filmmaker who was nominated for a Student Academy Award in 2016 - in the narrative category - for his documentary on suicide bombers, 100 Steps - Sou Qadam. He's gone on to win several other accolades at international events including the Miami Independent Film Festival and the Accolade Global Film Festival. He is a communications graduate of Northwestern University's Qatar campus.
These three sisters founded Freedom Cups, a feminine hygiene company operating a "buy one, give one" model that provides women in underprivileged communities with menstrual cups. The cups are ideal for women in areas with no toilets, electricity or running water, as well as reducing waste that alternatives like tampons and pads can create. Each cup lasts up to 15 years and replaces about 5,000 disposable sanitary products, making it a more economical and eco-friendly option.
Fabian von Heimburg co-founded Hotnest Technology, a Big Data and AI marketing platform connecting brands and marketing professionals, in 2014.
Hotnest’s mission is to enable any brand to create effective and affordable marketing by harnessing Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. Hotnest currently works with some of China’s and the world’s largest brands and advertising agencies such as Publicis Group, Interpublic Group, Guotai Jun An Securities and China Life Insurance. Fabian graduated from the London School of Economics (LSE) with a degree in Economic History and has previously worked at the United Nations in New York and Google in London.
Shabibi is the cofounder and CEO of Machine Ventures, a Philippines-based incubator providing financial support and management guidance to people trying to start their own businesses in the country. One of the first companies it hatched is HeyKuya, a text-based personal assistant system with more than 35,000 users. Originally from Iran, Shabibi is a successful serial entrepreneur who founded two startups -- in music streaming and sports media -- before moving to the Philippines.
After trying weight-loss fads like celebrity workouts and detox programs with no results, Lee changed her lifestyle and diet and lost 45 pounds. She cofounded smartphone app Dano to help alter the way many Korean women view body image. The startup offers a mobile personal training service with customized workout videos, nutrition coaching and habit training.
Katrina Razon is an entrepreneur who is the Managing Partner of Third Culture Music + Media, an experiential marketing agency and serves as a Director at Wonderfruit, Thailand's premium lifestyle festival focused on sustainability. With over ten years of experience in the music industry, Katrina has consulted and collaborated on multiple festival brands around the world. In 2016, she launched KSR Ventures as an investment vehicle toward entertainment ventures, technology and biotechnology. Her passions include philanthropy, surfing and sharing music as a DJ.
Education startup Crimson helps students connect with tutors and consultants all over the world for services including academic tutoring, extracurricular coaching and university admissions consulting. The company, which has a network of more than 2,000 tutors from 50 colleges worldwide, has served more than 20,000 students.
Singapore's Privi Medical is a medtech startup that makes transformative medical devices. Their flagship solution is a disposable, drug-free cure for low-grade haemorrhoids that can be used by the sufferers in the comfort of their homes. Since the solution is drug-free, it will be especially helpful to pregnant women -- a group where the incidence of this problem is particularly high. Sina Raja cofounded Privi Medical in 2014, and last year the startup raised $1.1 million in seed funding.
Anand, Issar and Agrawal are a trio of industrial designers from India and the creators of SoaPen, a teaching tool in the form of a wearable soap crayon. The skin-friendly crayon allows caregivers to draw on a child's hands, encouraging them to wash their hands until the mark vanishes -- the aim to make cleansing fun but thorough. The cofounders met at New York's Parson's School of Design and started the project because they were shocked to discover that 1.5 million children under the age of five die every year due to infectious diseases such as diarrhea. SoaPen won the 2015 'Wearables for Good' award given out by UNICEF, Frog Design and ARM technology.
Together with her husband, Eom launched Solidware, a startup that uses big data and machine learning to help financial companies give better credit scores -- and thus, customers a better chance at getting loans. The duo quit their well-paying jobs and bootstrapped the fintech startup at their home, cooking for their employees to save costs while developing an artificial intelligence solution that would analyze financial companies massive customer databases. They were acquired by Korea's Yello Financial Group (now named DAYLI Financial Group) last March, and plan to expand into Japan and France.
The two teenage brothers cofounded GoDimensions, a mobile app developer when they were just 12 and 10 respectively. To date, they've built a total of seven apps for the App Store and three for Google Play, including goDonate, a platform for sharing excess food, clothes and furniture with those in need. Their apps have clocked over 70,000 downloads in over 60 countries. They hold the distinction of being the youngest Mobile Application Programmers in India by Apple.
Datar, a lawyer by trade, founded Vakilsearch ("vakil" means lawyer in Hindi), an online platform that provides legal services to startups, corporates and professionals in India. The startup offers a wide range of services including company incorporation, compliance, tax filing and property agreements. Founded in 2011, the company -- which aims to streamline legal services at an affordable price -- has so far served over 150,000 customers.
Kelsey and De Los Rios are the cofounders of Cazza, a startup that develops 3D printing technologies to construct buildings, allowing users to design their homes while making the process faster, more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. The company is currently working with the Dubai government to establish 3D printing construction standards. Kelsey started his first business at 17, an app development company in which De Los Rios took care of operations. He sold the startup two years later to become a millionaire at age 19.
Guo cofounded Tezign, a platform connecting freelancing artists, illustrators and UI designers in 2014. With a mission to revolutionize the relationship between clients and creative professionals, Tezign has brought together over 2,000 projects, from major clients such as land developer SOHO China, Greenland Group, and the film production company H.Brothers. Guo is an artist at heart and a graduate of China's Central Academy of Fine Arts. She has curated art exhibits worldwide.
A graduate of U.P. Fine Arts and Makati based Visual Artist whose works focuses more on Street Art / Public Art. Most of his art depicts Socio Policital issues, Indegenous People and Filipino inspired themes. Heavy detailed brush strokes can be seen on his style as he captures the expressions and emotions of his subjects. He has held Solo and Group Exhibition, a multi-awarded artist from different art competitions. He believes that art is an effective tool for social change.
As the cofounders of Singaporean food company The Golden Duck Co., Shen and Hwang took advantage of a craze for salted egg yolk there, by creating a series of handcrafted gourmet snack products - from potato chips to crunchy fish skin - with this distinctive flavor. The Golden Duck Co. now sells an average of 10,000 packets of snacks per week.
Gui is a serial entrepreneur and inventor. His most recent creation is Vue, the world's first stylish smart glasses that raised over $2.2 million on Kickstarter from over 10,000 backers. Previously he created Vigo, a patented smart headset that helps drivers stay awake, working with Fortune 500 companies to help save lives. Gui also founded a show in China called Three Fellows, which has garnered over 40 million views and is frequently aired on TV.
Guitar is attractive, but its also hard to learn. Young people who dream of picking up guitar always end up playing [guitar hero] instead, and quit practicing the real guitar. But wait, why not create a real version of guitar hero to gain the same fun gaming experience, and pick up simple guitar skill at the same time? Poputar, with 120 LEDs on guitar finger board, is designed to visualize the finger position and optimize the fun of music out of daily practice. Zhang Bohan, a 26-year-old entrepreneur from Beijing, generated his idea about Poputar when he was studying Finance in Amsterdam, Europe. With a true love of playing guitar, operated under a financial perspective, Bohan Zhang combines a cool real guitar and guitar learning gamification together, creating Poputar that has 120 LEDs on guitar finger board to help locate chord position. Poputar has now reached 20 million RMB sales in China, and has launched Indiegogo crowd-funding in North America.
A user interface designer at Japanese computer and IT giant Fujitsu Limited, Honda began working with deaf people in college as a sign language interpreter and volunteer. Looking to help the deaf, he started work in college on what would become a product called Ontenna (a play on the Japanese words for sound and antenna), a device that translates sound, like music, into vibrations and light. The device won a Good Design Special Award, which is sponsored by the industry ministry, in 2016.
Jianbo cofounded CellRobot in 2014. The startup makes customized modular robots from its lithium battery- powered modulars, which can be rearranged into as many as 100 differently shaped robots. With CellRobot's smartphone app, users can set their speeds and control them for simple tasks such as filming video, watering plants and pouring wine! Yang holds a master's degree in mechatronics engineering from Beihang University in Beijing.
Founded by Cua, SkyEye, which started as a university project in 2009, designs its own drones to perform aerial surveys and produce maps or models for customers. The startup is also part of the United Nations OCHA (Office for Coordination of Human Affairs), which is asked to participate in times of natural disasters.
Liu founded Arashi Vision in 2014. The startup makes 360-degree cameras that can take spherical videos and photos in 4K quality. The gadgets, which can be installed on smartphones, are available in more than 50 countries including China, the U. S. and Japan. It has attracted tens of millions of dollars in funding from investors, including Qiming Venture Partners, IDG Capital Partners and Chinese retailer Suning Group. Liu holds a bachelor's degree in software engineering from the Nanjing University Software Institute.
Since relocating to the Philippines 4 years, Schemm has been focused on his passion for building and consolidating creative culture in his half-native Philippines. He does so through his agency Third Culture Music + Media, and through his ongoing passion for the music and event industry in the wider South East Asia region. Through his agency, he applies the same forward thinking ethic – derived from his background in brand and trends consulting – to push boundaries in the realms of branding, digital, events and marketing, with a stellar list of clients including Diageo, Gatorade, Philippine Airlines, Air Asia, Stoli, Miller Genuine Draft, Wonderfruit Festival and Sonar Hong Kong to name a few. Together with some partners, his latest venture is a cocktail bar named 20:20, with an adjacent nightclub, XX XX, dedicated to quality dance music. Since launching in 2016, the venues have hosted names such as Kevin Saunderson, Objekt, Roy Davis Jr, Kitsuné,. DJ Nobu and Telephones amongst others.
A practicing corporate lawyer in Melbourne, Chai Walli's Uppma Virdi is also the granddaughter of an Ayurvedic doctor who specialized in spices. Her tea blends and products are sold online and supplied to everyone from the regular home-shopper to supermarkets, restaurants, and yoga studios across Australia. Virdi was named Australia's Businesswoman of the year for 2016 at the Indian Australian Business and Community Awards.
A finalist for the S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 award, Seira was one of 20 finalists who beat 3,600 applicants that competed in Milan. Her dishes, including an elegant smoked duck, are designed to capture the beauty and rich color of Japan's four seasons.
Long before he was amassing awards in culinary competitions in the Philippines and abroad, Michael “Miko” Aspiras has already been getting high praises from his colleagues and many people in the local food and beverage industry. His pastry executions are unblemished, his flavour combinations go without any question, and his work ethic is unquestionably professional. All these just when he was still in culinary school, impressing teachers and fellow students alike.
While investing on reputable experience from such renowned chefs, he was trying to build a name on his own by joining competitions, and emerging out of it with awards and much deserved respect and recognition. He has bagged multiple citations (including the highest one possible) in the Philippine Culinary Cup as well as Gold medals in the World Association of Chefs Societies Congress in Korea and Hong Kong Culinary Classics. These have resulted to numerous citations as a “chef to watch out for” by recognized publications, a declaration as “chef of the year” by Esquire Philippines for 2015, consultancy projects for Magnum Cafe in Manila and Malaysia, and a coaching stint at the most recent Coupe de Monde dela Patisserie in Lyon, France, proving that he truly is at the top of his game.
These days, Miko has been busy opening and running establishments that have been shaking Manila’s vibrant food scene.
Michael Keith Tubiera, born April 25 1991 and now 26 years old. Bar Manager of three restaurant and bar of La Lola Group here in Philippines. Graduated college in 2012, with Bachelors Degree of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Had a chance to have internship in USA for a year in a Marriott Hotel working in different departments of the hotel. After graduating I work in a fine dining restaurant before I found a open bartender position here in the company I’m working right now, from there I work my way up. Started as Bartender for a year then transferred and promoted as Head Bartender to our 2nd restaurant and bar. I’m currently the Corporate Bar Manager of the group leading the bar team.
- Worldclass top 4 Philippine finalist 2015
- Worldclass Bartender of the year 2016
- Giffard West Cup Asia Philippine Champion 2017
Vinesh Johny is the co-founder and Executive Pastry Chef of Lavonne Academy of Baking Science & Pastry Arts, India. After graduating from culinary school, he went on to work with The Oberoi Group of Hotels and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, in various capacities, before he found his calling to be an educator. He set up India's first international specialised baking academy (affiliated to City & Guilds, London), in 2012, at the age of 24, with the aim of making pastry arts a mainstream career choice. Lavonne brings in pastry chefs of international repute and thereby provides world class education to students wanting to specialise in the field. Known best for his engaging personality and his non-conformity to old-school methods of teaching, Vinesh brings his expertise to the table through the masterclasses he conducts in addition to heading the academics for the Diploma program at Lavonne. He also owns an award winning patisserie under the same brand.