Singapore's promising firms winning with innovation


SOME of Singapore's most promising startups and aspiring small and medium-sized enterprises were celebrated for their entrepreneurial daring and innovative business strategies at the Emerging Enterprise Awards 2018, held on Sept 21 at The Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore.

This year's awards had 15 finalists from a myriad of industries from healthcare to collectible art and from fintech to biotech. FOMO Pay, AEvice Health and XM Studios, took home the top honours that night amid raucous applause and cheers. They received the Emerging Enterprise Awards from Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon, who was the guest-of-honour at the gala dinner.

The firms impressed judges with their ability to leverage technology and innovation to take on opportunities and challenges in their various industries, while building sustainable business models. FOMO Pay is a provider of QR code payment solutions; AEvice Health develops wearable devices for asthmatic people, while XM Studios designs and produces hand-crafted luxury art collectibles.

Each of them received prizes worth at least S$340,000, including consultancy services, executive education programmes, business debit card credits and a S$200,000 interest-free business overdraft facility from OCBC Bank.

Aside from the main prize, three companies were awarded Best Innovation for their innovative spirit and novel business concepts: EndoMaster, which aims to create the world's first flexible robotic system for endo-luminal surgery to treat early-stage gastrointestinal cancer; Engine Biosciences, which uses data analytics and machine-learning to speed up the discovery of new drugs; and Whizpace, which taps unused television broadcasting airwaves to transport data.

They received an Information and Communications Technology business solutions package from Singtel worth up to S$30,000, and a S$50,000 interest-free business overdraft facility from OCBC Bank.

Another two firms, local designer toy studio Mighty Jaxx and builder of small, eco-friendly homes for rent, Big Tiny, each bagged the Most Promising Startup Award and S$50,000 worth of digital consultancy services from Wavemaker.

Now in their 11th year, the entrepreneurship awards, jointly organised by The Business Times and OCBC Bank, remain the only one giving recognition to Singapore's young businesses with annual sales turnover of up to S$20 million. The awards were supported by Acorn Marketing & Research Consultants, Enterprise Singapore, Insead, MasterCard, RSM, Singtel and Wavemaker.