A handful of up-and-coming local tech companies will represent Australia for the first time at Singapore’s major innovation summit, Techventure.
Two startups and four established tech companies will be showcased at the two-day summit from September 21.
The Australian companies are among more than 160 chosen from Asia, Europe, Britain and the United States to attend the event, which is in its 19th year and touts itself as the region’s leading event for startups.
The Australian contingent includes software firm FM Innovations and energy management outfit Carbon Track along with 3D real estate startup Scann3d.
The group was brought together by Sydney-based Gemstar Technology, which was invited by the Singapore government’s National Research Foundation to showcase Australia’s tech talent for the first time at Techventure.
Gemstar founder Gemma Manning says the summit is a “meeting of minds” for tech companies and a chance for the Aussie participants to find new investors and customers to help expand their businesses in Asia.
“They’re going there to make deals, it’s a bit like Diggers and Dealers for the tech sector,” she said.
Each of the Australian companies will be presented to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the government-run agency that develops IT and telecommunications for the island city-state.
“Australia is now on the radar whereas in the past they wouldn’t have reached out to have Australian companies at Techventure,” Ms Manning said.
Ms Manning set up Gemstar about three years ago to help Australian companies get a foothold in tech-savvy Singapore to find investors and expand into South-East Asia.
She urged the Australian government to follow Singapore’s lead and do more to support tech firms, which can access specific research and development programs along with cash grants in the city-state.
“Australia needs to look at other growth sectors after the mining boom,” Ms Manning said.
“But the government doesn’t put any effective long-term policies in place that deliver something to the economy compared to Singapore and Israel.”
Ms Manning said the support offered by Singapore to tech companies made it an attractive place for Australian firms to set up shop and use as a launch pad into the region.
“We want to try and educate the local tech sector not to think about Silicon Valley but to look at our regional neighbours and what Asia represents,” she said.