Amazing Time at Rise Conference in Hong Kong

In hong kong business by Michael MicheliniLeave a Comment

It’s been a couple weeks now since the Rise Conference happened here in Hong Kong. It has taken me about that much time to catch my breath – what an overwhelming time for entrepreneurs, investors, and tech enthusiasts. And a big win for the Hong Kong startup scene, finally getting some much needed exposure.

Today I’m just going to randomly share some of the things I saw and learned.

What’s The Rise Conference?

Sure, first you may wonder what this thing even is. Well it is a massive conference organized by the same organizers as the Web Summit in Ireland. They work hard to get top speakers, top sponsors / booths, and a big crowd of top attendees.

It was the first time – and not sure why it wasn’t just called “Web Summit: Asia” or “Web Summit: Hong Kong”, instead they are going with a strategy to have different conferences in different regions under separate brand names.

The event was two full days, with four stages of speakers and events, along with a huge network of booths that ranged from small startup to Facebook and Braintree.

Here is how they introduce themselves on their website:

We organize “the best technology conferences on the planet”. We take a different approach. And that difference works for our attendees, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to the most exciting startups in the world. Our speakers are world class, but our networking is “simply legendary”.

Our first event, Web Summit, has grown from 400 to over 20,000 attendees from around the world in just 4 years. It’s held in Dublin every November. RISE is our sister event in Asia – which will take place in Hong Kong on 31 July and 1 August 2015.

Having such heavy hitter speakers also helps out, here is the list of amazing big names and companies who were there.

Neil Shen, Founder & Managing Partner, Sequoia Capital China

Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon

Jenny Lee, Managing Partner, GGV Capital

John Collison, President & Co-Founder, Stripe

Jean Liu, President, Didi Kuaidi

Pete Lau, CEO, OnePlus

Matt Mullenweg, Founder & CEO, Automattic

Dave McClure, Founding Partner, 500 Startups

Amit Singh, President, Google for Work, Google

Liu Nan, Founder & CEO, MIA

Takeshi Idezawa, CEO, LINE

Tony Conrad, Founding Member & Venture Partner, True Ventures

Melissa Yang, Co-Founder & CTO, Tujia

Nikesh Arora, Vice Chairman, Softbank

Liam Casey, Founder & CEO, PCH

Andy Pan, Vice President of Ecosystems, DJI

Hugo Burge, CEO, Momondo Group

Michael Wolf, Founder & MD, Activate

Sonny Vu, Co-founder & CEO, Misfit

Holly Liu, Chief Development Officer, Kabam

Rod Drury, Founder & CEO, Xero

Sheng Fu, CEO, Cheetah Mobile

Micha Benoliel, Co-Founder & CEO, Open Garden

Jonathan Caras, Co-founder & CTO, Glide

Bobby Lee, CEO & Co-founder, BTCChina

Ray Chan, Co-Founder & CEO, 9GAG

Harry Hui, Founding Partner, Clearvue Partners

Maria Gracheva, CEO Yandex Money, Yandex

Jane Zavalishina, CEO Yandex Data Factory, Yandex

Gloria Ai, Founder & Anchor, iAsk Media

Highlights from the Rise Conference

I went there with an open mind to see what to expect. I was blown away with a majority of a whole floor in the Hong Kong Convention Center full! For those who also go to the Hong Kong trade shows know how massive this convention center is so that is quite a feat!

The main speaker hall was always jam pack, standing room only. I normally go to events to network anyway and was going from booth to booth hustling. I was looking around trying to meet everyone I had chatted to on email and twitter about who were also going – and sadly it was just so big I didn’t get a chance to “bump into” some. Even those on Whatsapp I had trouble finding!

I also went to a party boat on Friday evening. Met more people, and they converted a commuter fairy that goes between Central and Kowloon into a private party boat – how awesome is that. There was also tons of sponsors on the boats from San Miguel beer to a photo booth on demand company.

Here are some photos from the conference, that I know everyone will like. I went a little crazy with a selfie stick.

They Already Have Next Year’s Date Set!

The 2016 Rise Conference is already set for May 31 to June 2, 2016 and I can’t wait to go. These guys are professional event organizers! They have already started to hire full time event organizers in Hong Kong, as I have seen some promoted tweets going around during and after the conference.

Really happy Rise is based in Hong Kong and seems to be a yearly recurring event to grow the tech and startup reach here and in Asia for the long term.

Did you make it to Rise? My biggest feedback is that next year I’m going to have to pick a spot in the conference area to meet people that is obvious. Such a big venue and so many people, I’ll maybe wear a bright colored shirt and hold a massive sign.

Check out their website at if you’re curious.

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