Top 10 Asian TechnoVisionaries

ZDNet Asia picks 10 promising homegrown startups, each brimming with innovative technology ideas.

Asia is more than just a huge market for technology products and services. Great innovative technology ideas are brewing across Asia, from China and India to Malaysia and the Philippines.

Pierre Hennes, a partner with Upstream Ventures and advisor for ZDNet Asia's Top Tech Index, said: "With a high concentration of the world's manufacturing and services, Asia is increasingly a locus of global research and development.

"The region continues to lead in economic growth, driven in part by large populations of highly educated and trained professionals, many returning from overseas as entrepreneurs with deep industrial and scientific experience," he noted.

"With a high concentration of the world's manufacturing and services, Asia is increasingly a locus of global research and development."
-- Pierre Hennes,
Top Tech advisor

According to Hennes, the region's private equity markets are attracting large inflows of foreign investments. Couple that with India and China's sizeable domestic markets, in particular the rapidly growing middle classes that are driving consumer demand, "these factors all contribute to the emergence of innovation and technology applications that are re-shaping Asia's economies", he noted.

This is why ZDNet Asia has introduced the Top Asian TechnoVisionaries award category. We want to recognize the great ideas that are coming out of garages and home offices in Asia, a region that is fast cultivating its own pool of technopreneurs.

The Top Asian TechnoVisionaries generated tremendous interest and queries, and at the end of the nomination period, ZDNet Asia received 30 completed nomination forms. We narrowed the list down to 15 and ended up with our top 10 picks. Nominees were judged on six criteria: technology innovation, market potential, business model, investor/financial record, customer strategy, and creative branding/marketing.

The Top 10 Asian TechnoVisionaries for 2006/07 are:
Antig (Taiwan)
ARE Technologies (India) (China)
Bluebird Soft (Korea)
Drishtee Dot Com (India)
Exist Software Engineering (Philippines)
Jataayu Software (India)
NetInfinium Corporation(Malaysia)
Peering Portal (Korea)
Singular ID (Singapore)

Commenting on the winners, Hennes said: "I am pleased to see that such a variety of strong entrepreneurs, companies and technologies are featured in this year's list.

"This year's Top Asian TechnoVisionaries is an indication of the promising future for Asia's entrepreneurs who are driving the emergence of Asian multinationals that could someday supplant foreign ones that currently dominate the Top Tech 50 list," he added.

Michael Leung, CIO of Bank of Amercia, agreed that tech startups in Asia have an advantage. "The Top 10 Asian TechnoVisionaries are fine examples of how a technology company with vision, determination and talent could, like a David among Goliaths, grab its fair share of the market, and win the support of the community at the same time.

"I believe the awards serve as important encouragements for many Asian companies in their pursuit of technology innovation and value creation going forward," added the Top Tech advisor.

Daniel Lai, CIO of MTR, said such award programmes are an excellent way in providing benchmarking opportunities and recognition for innovative technology companies. He also believes this will help encourage more tech startups to aim for further developments and achievements.