Asia Hardware Battle 2018: Paying a visit to the East Asia Trio

3 min read


In South Korea, you’ll find the fastest, free internet in the world. Not only is South Korea known for its astounding internet access speed, but it is also home to many world-famous tech giants like Samsung, LG, and Hyundai. Just a hop and a skip away, you’ll find yourself being served by robotics and automation at a Japanese sushi restaurant, where the traditional raw fish over rice balls are brought straight to your dish on highly accurate conveyor belts with just the tap of a button on a touchscreen panel. You may not be able to take one of the world-renowned Japanese high-speed bullet trains all the way to Taiwan, but you can still witness the high-tech and innovative spirit on the island. Scattered all around Taiwan’s tech hubs are towering skyscrapers, perhaps the office buildings of the many blockchain, semiconductor, and AI companies that have been gaining international attention.

The East Asian trio has been known for their relatively successful hardware sectors. That’s why Seoul, Tokyo, and Taipei are all on the list of cities Asian Hardware Battle (AHB) will be coming to this year in search of the next hardware startup superstar.

Now accepting applications!

We are currently in the Online Registration phase. We’re looking for hardware startups with Pre-Series A or a total funding of less than $5 million. Startups must have a prototype, and projects must exhibit the following: creativity, pain point resolution, business value, sustainable development, technical innovation, and product design.

Note: We are only looking for startups from Mainland China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, India, and Malaysia.

Preliminary Selection

After online registrations are complete, applicants will be reviewed and 10 teams from each city will be chosen to take part in City Pitching. City Pitching will be half-day affairs taking place city-by-city. Startups will be given 7 minutes for pitch and demo, followed by an intense round of questions from prominent judges in the industry. After all 10 startups have completed their pitch, judges will deliberate over the top winner. The top winner from each city will automatically qualify for the final, and remaining runner-up teams will undergo stringent preliminary selection by top international judges including, but not limited to, professionals, corporates, and VCs from TechCrunch, BMW, SoftBank, 500 Startups, and many more.

Final Challenge

Only 15 teams will emerge to take part in The Grand Finals held in Shanghai.

A rundown of the awards:

  • AHB Gold: RMB 50,000
  • AHB Silver: RMB 30,000
  • AHB Bronze: RMB 10,000
  • Top 3 Winners are entitled to 6 months of 7 complimentary workspaces, courtesy of NodeSpace.
  • Top 15 Finalists will get the chance to interact and network with our distinguished judges and conduct exclusive interviews with TechNode and our media partners.
  • Top 15 Finalists will be invited to our branded events.

Seoul-searching

AHB’s City Pitching portion in Seoul will take place on September 7, held at Convensia by our partner China Lab. China Lab is a content planning, production, and distribution company jointly established by Korea Central Daily News and NAVER. The NAVER China Channel, which is in charge of China Lab’s operations, has at present more than 1.5 million subscribers. With the main user group composed of 30-40 year-old white-collar workers, NAVER China Channel has become the most influential China-focused channel in Korea. Drawing from NAVER China Channel, China Lab actively builds an ecological community to help foster communication and exchange of ideas between Chinese and Korean companies through advertising, forums and seminars, educational activities, and market research. China Lab’s mission is to “spread China’s news and create a new chapter in China-Korea economic and trade cooperation.”

Proto-Taipei-ing

Meet (數位時代創業小聚), our partner in Taipei, will be organizing AHB’s City Pitching portion at YOUR SPACE. Meet (數位時代創業小聚) is an innovation and entrepreneurial community platform promoted by Digital Age since 2011, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to share and exchange ideas and resources. Meet (數位時代創業小聚) organizes startup exhibitions, entrepreneurship gatherings, industry salon exchanges, annual conferences and demo shows with the aim to empower the Taiwanese innovative and entrepreneurial community.

For a comprehensive schedule of City Pitching dates, visit the AHB official website.