Celebrating entrepreneurs who dare

IT was an evening to remember at last Friday's Emerging Enterprise Award 2017 (EE 2017) as the business community came together to recognise the achievements and potential of some of Singapore's brightest startups and young businesses.

The black-tie event - jointly organised by The Business Times and OCBC Bank - was in its 10th edition this year. To celebrate this milestone, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran was also present at the gala dinner and ceremony at The Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore on Sept 29 as guest of honour.

Applause and cheers filled the hall as homegrown companies Ace Water, Greenology and Secretlab were announced as the top three winners on that night, chosen from a competitive field of 15 finalists.

They come from very different industries; Ace Water is a provider of wastewater-treatment services and technology, Greenology is a provider of tech-based urban greening services which include vertical greening, interior greening and urban farming solutions, while Secretlab is a maker of customisable computer chairs.

Judges were particularly impressed with their innovative spirit, bold vision and resilience. Other traits that won them over include their consistent and sustainable growth, resulting in outstanding performance, as well as their ability to scale and expand overseas.

Aside from the main prize, two companies also went home with the Best Innovation Award: Bttrigtical, a provider of analytical instruments to measure water content in oil; and Pixel Automation, which designs and builds customised automation solutions.

Another two firms bagged the Most Promising Startup Award: Homage, a provider of on-demand home-based care for the elderly; and The Golden Duck, maker of salted-egg chips.

The awards are supported by Mastercard, Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants, INSEAD, Spring Singapore, Singtel, Maxus and the official auditor, RSM.