We’re a month away from IBM Connect 2015 – here’s who you’ll get to meet


IBM Connect 2015_Lock-Ups_TechInAsia-02

The countdown towards IBM Connect 2015 begins! The can’t miss half-day session on 3 September, brought to you by tech giant IBM in collaboration with Tech in Asia, seeks to provide attending startups tips on growth hacking their business. If you’re a founder looking at how you can scale your business quickly, this is the event for you.

We’ve locked down several key speakers and VCs so here’s who you can meet:


The morning event will kickoff with a welcome address delivered by Karthik Padmanabhan, ecosystem development head (Asia Pacific) at IBM. Then hear from Amit Anand, partner at Jungle Ventures, as he reveals his secrets on growth hacking a startup to success in a keynote session.

Next on the agenda is a series of lightning talks on bootstrapping at speed, facilitated by Stephan Wissel, cloud development advocate at IBM; William Lim, SoftLayer guru; and Rohit Dewan, chief technology officer at Viki.

Just before you head to break, stay on for an exciting panel discussion on why startups and large enterprises should tango. Panelists include Saemin Ahn, managing partner at Rakuten Ventures; Nathalie Benzing, COO at TradeGecko; Dr Abhijit Shanbhag, founding president and CEO of Graymatics; and Tim Greisinger, CEO at IBM Singapore.

The fun continues after the break, where four different sessions will take place concurrently. At Startup Clinic, selected startups get to engage on a one-to-one session with IBM experts, Amit Anand, and Paul Santos, managing partner at Wavemaker. The group will evaluate and analyze your startup’s top challenges and provide solutions to tackle these problems.

Alternatively, make your way to the Force Multiplier segment, where you can gain an insight or two on how to reach, engage, and retain your customers. The Learning @ Speed Solution Zones will also offer a platform for startups to experiment and learn more about IBM’s technologies and how it can give your business the boost it needs. If, on the other hand, you are craving for some action, Pitch @ IBM SmartCamp is the place to be – watch six startup teams across ASEAN battle it out in a pitch competition of innovation and wits to win a trip to Silicon Valley!

Which VCs are attending?

So far we’ve got GREE Ventures, TNF, Yello Mobile, Spaze Ventures, BlueHill Asset Management, Pix Vine Capital, and LeoTech. With this great bunch of VCs in attendance at IBM Connect, you can be sure that there will be plenty of networking opportunities at the event.

I’m in! Now what?

If you’re a CEO/Founder, COO, CIO or entrepreneur whose startup has secured at least seed funding and above, we want you!

IBM Connect is free to attend, and you can register your interest through the button below.

IBM Connect registration


Time Topic Speakers
9am to 9.25am Welcome Address by IBM Karthik Padmanabhan, Ecosystem Development Head, Asia Pacific
9.25am to 9.40am Keynote: Growth Hacking to Success: Shifu’s Secrets Revealed Amit Anand, Partner, Jungle Ventures
9.40am to 10.15am Lightning Talks: Bootstrapping @ Speed

  • Innovate @ Speed
  • Operate @ Speed
  • Growth @ Speed
Amelia Johasky, Cloud Leader (ASEAN), IBM

William Lim, SoftLayer Guru

Rohit Dewan, chief technology officer, Viki

10.15 am to 10.45am

Panel Discussion: Why startups and large enterprises should tango

Entrepreneurs want to scale their company. Large enterprises must embrace change or else decline into irrelevance. How does the CEO of a large firm enlist the entrepreneur who will disrupt his business before it happens? And how can startups work with large enterprises despite the cultural differences? This panel discussion will get viewpoints from both sides of the coin and bring forth best practices.

Tim Greisinger, Managing Director, IBM Singapore

Saemin Ahn, Managing Partner, Rakuten Ventures

Nathalie Benzing, Chief Operating Officer, TradeGecko

Dr Abhijit Shanbhag, founding President and CEO of Graymatics

Amelia Johasky, Cloud Leader (ASEAN), IBM

10.45am to 11am Break
11am to 12pm(please note that these 3 sessions will happen concurrently) Force Multipliers: How to power your startup

  • Business expansion with Analytics
  • Acquiring customers with Digital Marketing
  • Differentiating your startup with Watson
Gunasekharan Chellappan, Business Unit Executive, Big Data and Cloud Data Services, IBM

Antonia Edmunds, Digital Marketing Solutions Leader, IBM

Stephan Wissel, Cloud Development Advocate, IBM

Startup Clinic

1-on-1 deep dive session with IBM and VCs to address specific challenges of growing startups.

Amit Anand, Partner, Jungle Ventures

Paul Santos, Managing Partner, Wavemaker

Pitch @ IBM Smartcamp


Learning @ Speed

Solution zones will be set up for startups to experiment and learn more about IBM technologies.

12pm to 1pm Lunch & Networking


Resorts World Sentosa
Compass Ballroom, Basement 2
8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island
Singapore 098269

Speakers profile

Stephan Wissel, cloud development advocate at IBM

Stephan Wissel

Stephan helps customers navigate the IaaS, PaaS and SaaS jungle. Working with IBM’s fast evolving Bluemix platform, he interacts with startups and venerable corporations alike, energizing development teams and mediating between business and IT.

Nathalie Benzing, COO at TradeGecko


Nathalie Benzing is the Chief Operating Officer at TradeGecko, a fast-growing Singapore startup providing a SaaS inventory and order management platform solution. With its recent $6.5M USD Series A financing, Nathalie’s focus is on driving, enabling and supporting TradeGecko’s aggressive product expansion plans. Prior to this, Nathalie spent six years as Autodesk’s Global Head of Acquisition Integration within Corporate Development. In this role and her previous one, as Autodesk’s EMEA Integration Lead, she led more than 60 merger integrations, from due diligence through to integration completion.

Dr Abhijit Shanbhag, founding President and CEO of Graymatics

Abhijit Bio pic

Dr Abhijit Shanbhag is the founding President and CEO of Graymatics, developing a highly scalable, contextual image and video analysis platform. He was the first awardee of the Global Executive Entrepreneur investment and a recipient of Rising Star Innovator award from Singapore’s Prime Minister’s Office (National Research Foundation).
Prior to this, he was the CTO of Scintera, which he founded in 2001, and continues to be on Scintera’s Board of Directors. Scintera is a leader in algorithmic mixed-signal IC’s and is backed by some of the top venture capital firms.

Amit Anand, partner at Jungle Ventures

Amit is the founder & managing partner of Singapore based Jungle Ventures, an early stage venture firm focused on investing and building regional category leaders in Asia Pacific. At Jungle, he focuses on early stage investing in consumer and enterprise tech companies. His recent investments include India-based LivSpace, Pokkt, and Zipdial (acquired by Twitter), Singapore-based Travelmob (acquired by NASDAQ listed HomeAway), Voyagin (acquired by Rakuten), and CrayonData, Malaysia-based iMoney and CatchThatBus, Thailand-based Pomelo Fashion, and Australia-based Edrolo, amongst several others.

Paul Santos, managing partner at Wavemaker

Paul is the managing partner of Wavemaker Partners, an early-stage, cross-border venture capital firm with dual headquarters in Los Angeles and Singapore. Wavemaker aims to back the best founders in Southern California and Southeast Asia. Since 2003, it has invested in more than 150 internet, mobile, and enterprise technology startups. Wavemaker Partners is a member of the Draper Venture Network, the world’s leading venture capital collective with nine firms spread across four continents.

Rohit Dewan, chief technology officer at Viki

Rohit Dewan

William Lim, SoftLayer Guru

william lim

William Lim is the Guru at SoftLayer, and in charge of identifying and developing new channels, recruiting and enabling new partners, forging new initiatives and solutions with key industry providers in order to build a comprehensive ecosystem for both IBM and SoftLayer’s partners and customers across Asia Pacific.

Prior to SoftLayer, William was a Global Account Manager Enterprise at Starhub.

Saemin Ahn, managing partner at Rakuten Ventures

As the managing partner of Rakuten Ventures, Saemin leads and evaluates investments, conducting due diligence and analyzing deal structure. Since Rakuten Venture’s inception, it has made investments in verticals including C2C marketplace, payment infrastructure technology, visual search technology, and file transfer platforms.

Prior to Rakuten Ventures, Sae was at Google for 5 years from 2008 to 2013 managing sales and business development for Asia.

Tim Greisinger, Managing Director, IBM Singapore

Tim Greisinger is the Managing Director at IBM Singapore. He currently overlooks sales, marketing, research and services operations in the country. Prior to his current role, Tim held the role of Vice President of IBM Asia Pacific, where he led an integrated, cross-brand sales force of IBM industry, solution and technical experts across the region.

Antonia Edmunds, Digital Marketing Solutions Leader, IBM

Antonia is the Digital Marketing Solutions Leader at IBM. Previously the Director of Client Relationships for Silverpop, Antonia was responsible for the overall EMEA customer base, working with strategic clients to ensure they met their marketing and ROI goals through maximising their use of Silverpop’s technologies and services.

Editing by Michael Tegos
(And yes, we're serious about ethics and transparency. More information here.)

Read More