There is no shortage of hype articles about ASEAN (an economic, social and cultural block of ten Southeast Asian countries)’s burgeoning tech startup scene. From the valuation of its growing list of promising startups to its community of almost 300 so-called unicorns, those startups valued at US$100 billion.
We at WERKIN were curious about who is behind the excitement and thought we’d recognise some of the region’s top innovators, who also happen to be women. Without further ado…
1. TAN HOOI LING, Singapore
Tan Hooi Ling is the Co-Founder of Grab, a Singapore-based ride-hailing platform, that now also offers food delivery and digital payment services via its mobile app. Grab currently operates in 8 countries across Southeast Asia and is worth US$14 billion. Ling was the keynote speaker at the RISE Technology Conference in Hong Kong in 2018 and also co-chaired the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in 2018.
2. POCKET SUN, Singapore
Pocket Sun is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of SoGal Ventures, a female-led venture capital firm that invests in underrepresented entrepreneurs. She is passionate about changing the ratio of women in technology and entrepreneurship. Her investments include Asia’s biggest fitness subscription service GuavaPass, digital media platform Mogul and facial recognition technology Kairos, among others. Sun was selected as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2016 and has spoken at prestigious conferences such as Microsoft’s CEO Summit and Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit.
3. AULIA HALIMATUSSADIAH, Indonesia
Aulia Halimatussadiah is the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Storial. Storial is a social storytelling platform that allows writers to write their book per chapter, meaning they can monetise their writing per chapter and receive feedback as they write. There are currently 20,000 titles and 80,000 chapters uploaded on the platform. She is also the Co-Managing Director at Girls in Tech Indonesia, which focuses on engaging and empowering female entrepreneurs in tech.
4. CHRISTINA SURIADJAJA, Indonesia
Christina Suriadjaja is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Travelio, an online short to medium term home rental operator, based in Indonesia. She was named as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2017 and received the EY NextGen Award at World Entrepreneur of the Year 2017.
5. NURAIZAH SHAMSUL BAHARIN, Malaysia
Nuraizah Shamsul Baharin is the Managing Director of Madcat World, a multimedia company that produces mobile apps, content and services for mobile and internet operators. It was one of the finalists for Best Startup Company and Best Mobile Application in the NEF-Awani Awards in 2011. Baharin is also the President of WENA, the Women Entrepreneur Network Association of Malaysia and Malaysia’s representative to the ASEAN Women Entrepreneur Network, established to promote business opportunities for leading ASEAN female entrepreneurs.
6. AURORA MENDOZA-SORIANO, The Philippines
Aurora Mendoza-Soriano is the Founder and CEO of PinoyTravel. She spent 20 years working in the telecoms industry and realised that though telecoms had leapfrogged from telegram to Facebook, in the same 25+ year period, the provincial travel industry had remained the same, and people still needed to physically go to bus terminals to buy tickets or simply wait by the roadside - even though they all had smartphones in their hands. She decided to do something about it and founded The Philippines’ first online booking system for seats on provincial busses and ferries.
7. HASLINA TAIB, Brunei
Haslina Taib is the CEO of Dynamik Technologies (formerly BAG Networks), that creates and delivers top-tier solutions and services. It has delivered e-Government projects such as the Treasury and Accounting Financial Information System, the System for Tax Administration and Revenue Services, the Government Employee Management Systems and an online system for Registry of Companies and Business Names. Originally a joint venture by the Brunei government and Accenture, it has now been fully owned by the Brunei government since 2018.
8. TRANG HANH TRAN, Vietnam
Trang Hanh Tran is the Founder and CEO of Enouvo IT solutions, a software development company based in Da Nang, Vietnnam. She is also the founder of Enouvo Space, which is a creative co-working space, that encourages people to create connections and share ideas and knowledge, also in Da Nang. She recently spoke at a Women in Tech event at DNES (Danang Entrepreneurship Support) and wants to build a female-led community in the Vietnamese tech sector.
9. ALAMANDA SHANTIKA SANTOSO, Indonesia
Alamanda Shantika Santoso began coding at age 14 and has worked for a number of successful tech companies throughout her career, including Berrybenka and GO-JEK. She is now the Founder and Director of Binar Academy, which teaches programming for all levels and aims to empower aspiring tech engineers across Indonesia.
10. LIMSAN PONG
Limsan Pong is the Founder and CEO of First Womentech Asia (FWTA), a female-led software development company that specialises in hospital operation management, based in Cambodia. The systems developed by FWTA have been recognised by the Cambodian Health Ministry for their effectiveness in digitising hospital patient data. The systems are already being used in 200 private hospitals and clinics and will be implemented throughout state hospitals this year. Pong recently won the Cambodia Woman ICT Entrepreneur Award.