About Startup Challenge

Presented by NTT Communications, Japan's largest telecom firm will be supporting the Asian startup ecosystem with an opportunity for funding, access to our investor network and quality technological infrastructure

Our Goal is to support startup ecosystem in Asia and scale or leverage startup business through the alliance with NTT Communications

About NTT Communications Group

NTT Communications (NTT Com) is one of the world`s largest telecommunications company and wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT Group).
NTT Com Booked Operating Revenues of USD 13 Billion (11% out of NTT Group Total Revenue) as a result of FY 2016.

NTT Com provides consultancy, architecture, security and cloud services to optimize the information and communications technology (ICT) environments of enterprises. These offerings are backed by the company’s worldwide infrastructure, including the leading global tier-1 IP network, the Arcstar Universal One™ VPN network reaching 196 countries/regions, and over 140 secure data centers worldwide


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Speakers & Judges

  • Kuan Hsu

    Co-Founder and General Partner - KK Fund

    Kuan Hsu is the Co-Founder and General Partner of KK Fund, focusing on early stage internet and mobile investments in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. He started his career in management consulting with McKinsey & Co. in the US.

    He subsequently moved to Singapore, executing PE deals at Temasek throughout the region prior to becoming a Venture Capitalist responsible for GREE Ventures' Southeast Asian operations.

  • Andy Kondo

    Managing Director - NTT Docomo Inc.

    Andy Kondo has been serving the Internet/Telecom industry for more than 2 decades. Out of the period he spent over 12 years in the States, including cities of Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, and the Silicon Valley. Having spent over 7 years in the Valley, he reverted back to Tokyo in 2016 to join NTT DOCOMO VENTURES (NDV) as the Managing Director of investment and corporate operation.

    At NDV he established new branch of the company in the valley to enhance its activity, and set up 2 new funds consecutively just in 2 years.

  • Jeffrey Paine

    Founding Partner - Golden Gate Venture

    Jeffrey Paine is the founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures, an early stage technology venture capital fund based in Singapore investing in Southeast Asia with over US$75 million under management investing in over 35 companies since 2012. Jeff started and manages the Founder Institute in Singapore where he is currently overseeing its expansion in Southeast Asia, and Japan. Since 2010 the Founder Institute in Singapore has graduated over 100 companies. He is a recipient of the Founder Institute Director Award 2012 for “Greatest Ecosystem Impact” Worldwide (Singapore).

  • Eddie Thai

    Partner - 500 Startups

    Eddie Thai is a partner with 500 Startups, the San Francisco-based global early-stage venture capital firm, and a general partner of 500's Vietnam-focused fund.

  • Leo Pham

    Program Manager of VIISA

    Leo is the Program Manager for VIISA (Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator), a corporate-backed accelerator investing $6 million to build global-ready startups in Vietnam. He also supports the Vietnamese tech community as the Chapter Director for Startup Grind in Ho Chi Minh City. Long was previously based in Boston as the co-founder of Edvntr, an education startup, and a developer at FASTPORT, an employment software development company.

  • Justin Nguyen

    Advisor of Monk's Hill Ventures

    Justin is an entrepreneur, investor, and engineer who has played instrumental roles in four start-ups in Silicon Valley, Shanghai, and Vietnam. Most recently, he founded Asianfocused gaming company Aspect Gaming, where he raised more than $18 million in funding and lead it to become a leading supplier in the industry. Before that, Justin worked his way from engineering manager to China CEO of StarCite, which he helped transform from a dotcom consumer play into a thriving enterprise SaaS company, growing from zero to more than $50 million in revenue.

  • Akie Iriyama

    Associate Professor – Waseda Business School

    Professor Iriyama joined WBS in 2013. Prior to joining WBS, he served as an assistant professor of State University of New York at Bufallo, United States, for five years. He received MA and BA in economics from Keio University, Japan, and Ph. D. from University of Pittsburgh, United States. Professor Iriyama has broad research interest in strategic management, international business, and entrepreneurship. He has widely published in premier academic journals including Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Global Strategy Journal, and so on.

  • Bobby T.Y. Liu

    Senior Director - Topica Edtech Group

    Co-Director - Topica Founder Institute

    Bobby Liu is a global citizen, having lived and worked in 5 different countries. A keen learner, he appreciates the differences in cultural background of people and what make them tick.

    Ideas abound, he started a coworking space/incubator called Hub.IT (http://hubitasia.com), a space that provides to young entrepreneurs a conducive environment to innovate and share collective experiences, and in the process contributing to building a great entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hanoi and Vietnam. Hub.IT was acquired by Topica end of 2015, where he's now the Senior Director of Topica Edtech Group and co-director of the Topica Founder Institute.

  • Kazuya Murata

    Senior Director - NTT Docomo Ventures

    Kazuya Murata leads activities in Southeast Asia in NTT Docomo Ventures, the corporate venture capital of NTT Group. After a career of IT infrastructure specialist and project management, he experienced Post Merger Integration of acquired companies in NTT Group before joining NTT Docomo Ventures.

  • Nguyen Phi Van

    Chairwoman - Board of Advisor of SIHUB

    Nguyen Phi Van holds an MBA from Australia majoring in marketing communication. Her experience spans over 20 years as a senior executive in brand, retail, and franchise development across global emerging markets in Asia, The Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe.  She is also board advisor at the Asia Pacific Chief Marketing Officer Council (CMO

    Phi Van is 2015 award winner of Retail Leadership presented by Asia Retail Congress, and 2017 award winner of 100 Top Great Retail Minds presented by World Retail Congress. PhiVan is the author of four books, “Franchising – The Short Route to Global Markets”, “Cross The Rice Field, Reach The World”, “Global Citizen Handbook - Version 4.0”, and “Go Global: An MSME’s guide to global franchising"

  • Truc-Dao Phan

    Incubation/ Acceleration Program Director of BSSC

    An entrepreneur, an entrepreneurship trainer and a value-oriented executive with 7 years of experiences in multi-stakeholder (CSOs, Governments, Corporates, Start-ups, Institutions) and multi-cutural contexts (US, EU, ASEAN, Korea, Japan, India) with competencies in Strategic Planning, Ecosystem Development, Business Transformation and Communications of Social ventures, CSR/sustainability and Digital businesses. As an entrepreneur, founded The Body Food – a nutritional mealplan platform and Returnia – a resource matching platform with seed fund $200,000; As a partnership lead, joined to raise €3,5mil in funding for 8 social PPP projects in Vietnam; as a senior business development executive, successfully executed branding/marketing/sales plan in national scale for FMCG, Retail, Wholesales and Multi channel.


1st Winner
Best Innovation Award
Best Marketing Award

Our Last Startup Challenge


How many startup will be selected for final stage?

It will be varied according to the total number of applicants, but we will select the top 10-20 startups among the applicants.

Do you have any instructions for application?

Yes. First go to APPLY NOW! Button and you will be directed to a form. Once you are directed, please fill in some details including email address. You will be receiving further instruction details by email. Follow the instruction and submit your business plan. Your application is well-received and wait for the announcement,.

What type of startups can apply?

Any startup companies operating business in (*Indonesia/Malaysia/Vietnam) can apply. Please note that startup must be a legal entity not just an idea.

Do you have any sample application slides?

Please see the template here

Who will evaluate the applications?

Evaluation committee, which is consist of VCs, Startup’s CEOs, Executives from NTT Communications and more, will evaluate the applications.