Echelon, one of Singapore’s most prominent start-up launchpad, has opened their doors for this year’s submissions from aspiring entrepreneurs. Re-branded as the “Startup Marketplace”, this pre-Echelon call-to-action will close on 31 March, 2012.
An as yet unconfirmed panel of judges will be reviewing the submissions and shortlist qualified start-ups to perform their pitches at one of four cities: Singapore, Jakarta, Manila, and Hong Kong.
Finally, 50 start-ups will be hand-picked out of the lot to exhibit at the main Echelon event in Singapore on 11-12 June.
However, this opportunity won’t come cheap: each two-day exhibition slot will cost S$400.
Nonetheless, the potential payoffs of participation are present. Investors and venture capitalists from the region will be attending the event, giving start-ups a good opportunity to network with their peers, and secure partnerships and funding. On top of that, each exhibitor will be given 2 full passes to the various accompanying conferences and workshops.
As a regional competition, non-English start-ups are also welcome to Echelon. e27 Community Manager Joash Wee said, “I believe some of the non-English products from countries like Indonesia and Vietnam will have a larger traction because they are built for the home crowd and these countries have a huge population.”
But here’s the catch: participating start-ups must have a tech component. “We do have fashion or art related start-ups that had their services built on the web or mobile space, such as FashionSpace (a website which lets users buy, sell or swap fashion products) and Artyii (an online service which lets Asian artists sell their art),” Wee added.
Besides the start-up competition, Echelon also involves conferences and workshops for start-ups to beef up their arsenal. 2012 will see the conferences tackle issues such as the promise of the cloud, ideas worth investing in, and tried and tested business models.
The speakers and panelists for these conferences and workshops have not been finalised, and e27 is trying to attract about 40 speakers from established companies like Rovio, Facebook, and Microsoft.
If you have an idea that’s been in your head for way too long, Echelon is one of the best ways to get started.