When the Government of Indonesia decided to showcase their experience fostering the development of different digital economy business models, they headed to Busan, Republic of Korea, where ITU, the United Nations specialized agency for information and communications technologies (ICTs) was organizing ITU Telecom World, a global tech event held annually at different locations around the world, connecting heads of government, tech & business leaders and high-growth SMEs.
Indonesia’s ICT Minister, H.E Rudiantara, highlighted his country’s experience to this global audience, hosted a press conference to international media, and helped launch some of the country’s up and coming SMEs onto a global stage.
Participants from around the world, be they a government minister from Tuvalu, a regulator from Poland or the CEO of a small tech enterprise from Mozambique, flock to ITU Telecom World events. Here they can connect to a UN agency director from Geneva, a Boston-based AI expert or the Hungarian representative of a leading global broadband network company.
You’ll find heads of state and government, academics, media, tech experts, heads of international organizations and decision-takers in vertical sectors from finance to education and transportation gathering together. It’s a mixture of stage, melting pot and meeting room when it comes to influential figures in the tech world – the people actually deciding where money is spent and on what, experts in technology, strategy and policy, all ready to connect, share good practice and do business.
Delegates come to meet, network, conclude deals, share their own personal insights and creative ideas, as well as to learn and take in views and lessons of others, to apply back home. “We have to learn what the advanced countries do,” explained Indonesia’s Rudiantara at ITU Telecom World.
“How they develop their digital economy, how they can maximise digital technology to the economic or social benefit of the people – that is our main objective at this conference.”
“It’s an exceptional opportunity to interact with my peers, with governments and policy makers and all stakeholders in one place, and actually hear their perspectives.” said Qualcomm’s Elizabeth Migwalla about her recent event experience.
As it is organized by the UN, the ITU Telecom World event plays a unique role in connecting developing and developed markets across its exhibition, conference and networking hub. The innovation, projects, applications and products on the showfloor provide a window to the world of governments, associations and leading industry players around the world.
Helping tech SMEs grow and scale-up
The second USP is the focus on tech SMEs – the micro, small and medium tech enterprises which are so critical in driving job creation, innovation, entrepreneurialism and socio-economic development throughout the world. The SME Programme of workshops, pitching and mentoring sessions, networking and debates at the event aims to support SME growth – and culminates in the ITU Telecom World Awards for the best innovative tech solutions for social good.
The mix of SMEs, new technologies, big industry, investors, experts and policy-makers makes for an unusual networking hub – one which has proved very successful in building contacts, partnerships, business and creativity.
Ask Sabelo Sibanda, CEO and co-founder of Tuse Applications, a South African SME using IoT, AI and predictive data analytics to bring the benefits of connectivity to agricultural and domestic settings. Tuse entered the ITU Telecom World Awards last year to launch their products, and reach new markets, funding and skilled staff.
“The experience was truly a game changer for our business,” he said. “The SME programme gave us unparalleled exposure, access to markets, finance and new opportunities. And, winning the Award gave us all of that on an exponential scale.”
The result: within weeks of winning, Tuse had increased its business to such an extent that the company had to move to bigger premises and recruit 67% more staff – an important step on the way to becoming what Sibanda calls “the most impactful African unicorn.”
Or, Hiroshi Tominaga, General Manager, Japan Battery Regeneration, and event participant: “A small company like us doesn’t usually have the opportunity to come to this event, but by participating we can meet the right people, announce and advertise our technologies, which is very helpful for the growth of our business.”
Directly following their exposure at the event, Japan Battery Regeneration went on to close a major deal with a global transportation company, significantly accelerating their progress in both domestic and international business
Next stop Budapest
This year the event is headed to Budapest, Hungary, starting on 9 September, where it will focus on international, cross-sector collaboration to harness new technologies and innovative approaches for digital inclusion and social good – all under the theme of “Innovating together: connectivity that matters.
A powerful Forum programme of debate, exhibition plus effective networking with decision-makers throughout the digital ecosystem is on offer – just where the journey will take you is up to you.