How a Dutch Startup Experienced Asia’s Largest Tech Conference

Floown went to RISE in Hong Kong

Inspired by ReviewIT's great write-up, we too like to share our experience at RISE. Also because RISE is still very much in our systems. In fact, last week when our entire team met up, the memories literally flew across the table. So let’s get to it. How did a Dutch startup experience Asia's largest tech conference?

To paint you a picture of what type of event RISE is: Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels was around, 9GAG’s founder Raymond Chan talked mobile and large companies like Facebook, Uber and Google were among the more than 5000 attendees. This all took place in Hong Kong’s beautiful Convention Center. For most people, that alone should be enough to have a good time.

By Alessandro Cardinali

So what’s the best way to describe our RISE experience? How about… pitching Floown almost non-stop. From the moment we arrived in Hong Kong we’ve been talking to attendees, investors, media representatives, other startups and whoever was interested in hearing from us almost day and night; basically we talked to people from all over the world with many kinds of backgrounds. The common denominator in all these conversations was that everyone was having a great time and couldn’t wait to share their story or hear about ours. So it wasn’t all that surprising that instead of leaving Hong Kong with a bunch of souvenirs, we actually left the city with a suitcase full of business cards. Business cards, we must say, that all represent amazing individuals and companies.

By the way, want a little glimpse of what the vibe was like at RISE? Check out our video — if you haven’t already — underneath. Also we’ll be sharing more elaborate video of our entire Hong Kong experience very soon.

Pitch Perfect

One of the absolute highlights of the conference for us as a company was undoubtedly the pitch competition, where our co-founder Olaf managed to tell the story of Floown in his own unique way. It was great to hear that other people saw as much potential in Floown as we do. While we didn’t win — congratulations to Ambi Labs! — we ended up very happy with the response we got and the experience as a whole. Pitch was a terrific way for a beginning startup like us, to put ourselves in the limelight. So thanks again for the opportunity RISE!

By the way, our co-founder Alessandro Cardinali also really wants to share his personal RISE experience:

“It has now exactly been three weeks since our last day at RISE. And to tell you the truth: I’m still recovering from pitching Floown non-stop to all the great people at the conference and in the city. I’m still recovering from having more than one drink with all our new acquaintances, and listening to so many great speakers. Hong Kong provided us with right energy cocktail to really get the most out of this experience.
“And aside from all the great contacts we gained during the event, RISE also gave us a huge boost in motivation and reaffirmed our feeling that we’re on the right track. Typing this while being at the other side of the world in the quietness of my empty home sometimes makes me feel like it was all a dream and I just stepped out of a time machine. RISE was fantastic!”


how was it for a Dutch startup to come all the way to Hong Kong? Can we recommend more European companies to take the leap and attend RISE? Do we want to come again?

For us the answer is quite simple: RISE is a top conference with the potential to be an amazing meeting place for each and every tech startup in Asia. So no matter where you're from, you're gonna meet interesting people you can learn from and people who are gonna inspire you. But more importantly: if your startup has any ambitions to become a global product or service, then there's no better way to get head start than at RISE. You'll be building up a genuinely cool network in no-time.

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