An Insider’s View of She Loves Tech 2019 in Beijing, China
by Maureen Ledesma
August 3, 2019, Vesl was so blessed to be chosen to represent the Philippines in She Loves Tech, the biggest tech competition worldwide focused on women.
About a month later, Sep 10 2019, fifteen (15) teams from all over the world were flown into Beijing China for a week-long set of workshops, networking, and a conference-competition to end it. Most of the teams were heavy in artificial intelligence driven solutions, and with impact focus on health. Others have fintech and cybersecurity solutions. Whatever focus the startups have, the underlying theme of “Tech for good” prevailed.
- Aeloi Technology, Nepal, Fintech, Tokenizing microfinance for financial inclusion
- Canairy, USA, Healthtech, AI driven mobile application that can identify respiratory problems based from the sound of coughing.
- Cyca Oncosolution, India, Healthtech, Nanotechnology to lessen the toxicity of chemotherapy for cancer patients.
- Dhaka Cast, Bangladesh, Healthtech, helping diabetes patients organize their restrictive lifestyle
- DOT Mind Unlocked, Pakistan, Deeptech, AI analytic services for restaurants to improve service quality, automate menu engineering, and optimize pricing
- EvidenceB, France, Edtech, personalizing learning for kids
- Jala Tech, Indonesia, Agritech, AI driven and IoT solution for shrimp farming
- Phantasma Labs, Germany, Deeptech, Simulation for Self-Driving Cars
- Planto, Hong Kong, Fintech, Mobile app that helps millennials manage assets and liabilities
- ReSync, Singapore, Renewable Energy Tech, Helps organize solar power management via cloud
- Vitacell, Latvia, Healthtech, Skincare solutions for burns, doing away with grafting
- Vesl, Philippines, Fintech, Trade finance platform that connects businesses to affordable trade credit insurance and financing
- Wenspire, Israel, Cybersecurity, API security and management platform that scans API data stream like an Xray
- Zicheng Health, Platform that helps parents track their kids’ health with O2O health services
She Loves Tech 2019 was packed with four very immersive workshops for delegates.
There was Psychology of a Founder led by Leanne Robers who is a Co-Founder of She Loves Tech and a trained Psychologist. This was a very empowering and therapeutic session. Being women, we are more prone to emotions and stress.
There were also crisis management and negotiations workshops, pitch training, and a closed doors session with Sequoia China. Beyond workshops, Linkedin, Cartier for Women, and Microsoft also arranged for VIP networking.
The delegates from each country visited prominent Chinese tech companies in Beijing such as Baidu, “China’s Google”, where they demonstrated their technologies such as facial recognition, healthtech robots, facial recognition, and autonomous driving.
Xiaomi was also an interesting visit. Its growth over the last decade has been most fascinating. It will continue to grow as it envisions to offer a fleet of IOT day to day products to serve consumers worldwide.
Horizon Robotics, the last company visit was most notable. It’s a 4 year old unicorn company that would like to consider itself as the “wintel” of robotics, a coined term for “windows and intel”, as they develop both operating system and processors for robots. The company was very secretive that no recordings were allowed once the presentations started.
The Main Event: She Loves Tech Conference and Pitch Competition
Despite it coinciding with the mid-autumn festival celebration in China, the full day conference was a success, as She Loves Tech invited founders from different Chinese unicorn companies to speak and share their passion to the crowd.
Among the most notable speakers was Cindi Mi, the charismatic founder of VIPKid, a $3Bn 6 year old company that allows teachers from all over the world teach English to kids between the ages of 4-12 who are based in China.
Nio’s founder, William Li known as the “Elon Musk of China” along with his wife who’s also a founder, were there to share about their daily grind as founders and as a couple. It was a fun spectacle to watch having them both on stage.
A panel discussion on tech and investment was moderated by Nina Xiang of China Money Network. It was attended by very notable panellists Ilaria Chan, Group advisor for Social Impact or Grab, Nicole Chen of Refinitive China, Daniel Hersson of ADB Ventures, and Jeff Shen of Leping Foundation.
The pitch competition came after the conference. The ultimate winner of the competition was Germany’s Phantasma Labs presented by their CTO, Maria Meier. The company received RMB100,000 from Teja Ventures and preferential investment from partner investors. Runner ups were Canairy of USA, and Cyca Oncosolutions of India. Among the judges were representatives from ADB Ventures, SOSV Accelerator VC, Dell Technologies, Microsoft for Startups, TUS Pine Peak Group, Borderless Healthcare, Tus Holdings, Intel, Gobi Partners.
Photo Gallery: bit.ly/SLT2019Photos
More than Just a Competition
Carrying the Philippine flag behind Vesl was a huge honor and responsibility. Although it may be perceived that the main event of being in Beijing was the pitch competition, the truth is that the trip itself was the prize. A shared experience among female founders from 15 different countries was a rare occasion that each will surely treasure for the rest of their lives. In a way, a sisterhood was formed.
The inspiring gathering of this scale could never be done without the support of She Loves Tech team (all women by the way), who worked very hard to make this happen. With a mission to uplift women who are making a change in this world with the help of technology, this organization is truly a force for good.
From the Vesl team of the Philippines, thank you for having us part of this empowering movement. We are happily obliged to pay it forward, to inspire many others who dream to change the world.