ENTERPRISE Singapore has launched Founder Ignite, the first in a series of startup showcase events as part of Startup SG Founder Venture Building programme.
Some 14 graduate teams showcased their solutions at a hybrid pitch event to a live panel of judges that was screened to a virtual audience. Of those 14, five startups walked away with close to S$40,000 worth of startup resources and support, including co-working spaces and enterprise tools.
The winning startups are:
MediVR - healthtech startup using virtual reality and artificial intelligence to provide accessible and standardised medical training for medical schools;
Konnect - healthtech startup that aims to use technology to supply soft food to the elderly;
Whyte Labs - A B2B (business-to-business) edutech platform aiming to make robotics learning for kids fun and engaging;
360green - environmental sustainability startup focused on mitigating and the offsetting of carbon dioxide in forestry; and
Proccoli - A software-as-a-service platform aiming to simplify workflow processes in the facilities management industry. (see amendment note)
Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing graced the event as guest-of-honour for the prize presentation. Other notable attendees included local and foreign investors and accelerators such as Huang Shao-Ning, chief angel of AngelCentral; Koh Shi Yan, co-founder and general partner of Hustle Fund; and Chirayu Wadke, founding member of XA Network.
Speaking at a post-event interview, Mr Chan shared that Singapore has seen good growth in the startup ecosystem even during the pandemic.
"When we look at the larger startup ecosystem that we are looking at this point in time, notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic, we are quite happy with the progress we have been able to achieve," he said.
"The thing that is very encouraging for us is that today, we see a vibrant ecosystem of mentors helping the new startups, getting them up off the ground... this suggests that we are moving in the correct direction," Mr Chan added.
He added that the growth of the Republic's startup ecosystem is accelerated by the entrance of global venture capital (VC) firms into Singapore over the past year, including US-based Lightspeed Venture Partners.
"It is not just about the amount of money they (foreign VCs) bring in, it's also the networks... they have rich networks to help our companies to go overseas," said Mr Chan.
With Singapore becoming a more vibrant startup scene and hosting global venture capital firms, Singapore will become an attractive hub for neighbouring startups to scale up their solutions and operations, which allows Singapore to work more closely with regional partners.
360green, one of the five startup winners of the event on Tuesday told The Business Times that the funding secured from the competition will be channelled into getting the right people on board and ramping up efforts to secure forested land in the region to start off its carbon credits and carbon offsetting solutions.
"Our immediate plan is to get the right people on board, we are looking at a carbon trader or analyst. With regard to expansions, it is to expand on the amount of forested land to secure so that we can move forth with our various plans, like the reduction of the haze or degrading forests. This affects us directly," says Dilveer Singh, founder of 360green.
The Startup SG Founder Venture Building programme was launched in August 2020 and is supported by five Venture Builders - Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design and Singapore University of Social Sciences.
These Venture Building programmes aim to provide support to groom aspiring entrepreneurs with no experience to build and scale their business ideas. Participants in this programme gain access to mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs to secure feedback and validation of their ideas from potential customers.
Since the Venture Building programme was launched, over 80 per cent of the graduates have gone ahead to build their startup ventures.
Amendment note: An earlier version of the article stated that Proccoli was a security-as-a-service platform. It is in fact a software-as-a-service platform.