Talent investor Entrepreneur First builds nine startups in seventh Singapore cohort

DEEP-TECH talent investor Entrepreneur First (EF) has produced its seventh cohort of nine companies from Singapore amid the pivot to virtual interactions as a result of the pandemic.

The startups cut across a mix of industries, including biotech, fintech and energy tech, and address issues such as healthcare access and humans' impact on the environment.

EF invests time and money in individuals with a deep-tech background by matching them with a co-founder and helping the teams to develop a business idea. It has helped over 2,000 individuals build more than 300 companies with a total valuation of US$2 billion.

In Singapore, EF has a partnership with government-owned deep-tech investor SGInnovate. EF's latest Singapore cohort features solutions such as a nano-molecular filter to recycle hydrogen gas, and an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that is designed to optimise waste collection in cities.

Huang Shao-Ning, partner at angel investor network AngelCentral, said: "Investors still recognise the huge potential for innovation during times of crisis. These co-founders have demonstrated an acute understanding of the opportunities in today's business climate, and tackled them head-on with these game-changing solutions."

Ms Huang is part of the Amplifiers Network, which is a talent affiliate and adviser programme introduced by EF earlier this year to connect key players in Singapore's deep-tech ecosystem.

EF is backed by the founders of LinkedIn, PayPal and Google's AI unit DeepMind, and runs cohorts in London, Singapore, Berlin, Paris, Bangalore and Toronto. Major exits include Magic Pony, which sold to Twitter for a reported US$150 million 18 months after the founders met on EF, mobile advertising platform Avocarrot, social commerce startup Represent and AI firm Bloomsbury AI.