The Fall 2018 Startup Launchpad Future of Retail Show: What Did You Miss?

The Startup Launchpad 2018 Fall tradeshow and tech conference kicked off on October 18th at the Asia-World Expo in Hong Kong. 300+ shelf-ready startups were present from 15 different countries, and they came ready to provide eye-catching product demos and pitches, to participate in the international Startup Launchpad Investment Competition (SLIC) for both $100,000 USD worth of prizes and invaluable business advice, and to network with a wide variety of attendees.


An engaging opening ceremony demonstrated Startup Launchpad’s focus on the future with an impressive AR display and ribbon cutting ceremony. Following the opening words was the much anticipated SLIC Semi Final Pitching Competition.


Before the start of the trade show and conference, Startup Launchpad screened 456 entrants to find the startup that could best present their products and business strategy to investors. 10 finalists presented on this first day; of these finalists, 3 startups were chosen to continue competing on the next day of the competition, October 19th : Bagel Labs, presenting the PIE, a smart tape measure for body measurements that wirelessly sends the data to an app on your phone; HireAPartner, an agency that matches businesses to highly-qualified factory and supply chain auditors; and Interlinkages Consultancy Limited, a B2B cross-border finance and trade consultancy for corporations and financial institutions.


It would be Bagel Labs that would end up stealing the show (and winning the first place prize money!) with their creation of a sturdy product that filled a gap in a market open to digitizing and automating health statistics. Congratulations once again to Bagel Labs!


The SOSV Retail Showcase then took off, showcasing innovative AR/VR, AI, and hardware startups from SOSV’s portfolio. These young companies were showcased in a case study format throughout the day. They served as a great example to other nascent startups of what kind of qualities investors seek.


In order to cover a wide variety of topics of interest to startups and buyers, Startup Launchpad scheduled focused days for certain subject matter to be covered by the 60+ experts presenting at the conference. Speakers on October 19th focused on the topic of retail investment trends, both within Asia and on a global scale. On this day, startups were not just educated on the latest trends in investment but were offered advice on how to focus on innovation and long-term growth.


The theme of October 20th was emerging technology, and we heard from speakers on topics such as utilizing Big Data and AI to meet ever-changing consumer demands, how supply chains and logistics are changing, and how stores can digitize their interfaces to enhance the customer experience.


October 21st was Global Ecosystem Day at the show, where attendees heard from experts on what to expect from the startup ecosystem in Asia and Europe as a whole, with sessions also focusing on more localized markets in Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan.


Global Sources spoke with buyers and sourcing professionals during the show to get opinions on the value of the exhibit and demonstration floor full of booths. As Startup Launchpad originally set out to do, we found that the trade show brought together global retailers and hardware startups to facilitate and streamline distribution. The startup product categories on display included IOT, health tech, sports tech, smart home, AR & VR, AI, maker tech, robotics, education tech, green tech, wearables, mobile solutions, and more. Be sure to check out pictures and videos from the show on our Facebook page.


Didn’t make it this year? Keep an eye out for announcements on the Spring 2019 trade show and conference.

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