Business Innovations Generator (BIG) — the incubator managed by the Singapore Management University (SMU) — has unveiled 19 new startups accepted into the programme. This is its largest cohort yet.
The programme began in 2009, and accepts three cohorts of pre-seed and seed stage startups each year.
Early-stage startups and student founders can expect opportunities to validate their business plans and gain access to mentors and grant opportunities during this equity-free programme.
Meet the 19 startups in this cohort which span diverse sectors, from e-commerce to financial services to sustainability.
Atsell is an e-commerce enabler that helps merchants and brands supercharge their online sales.
The startup helps its merchants understand which marketplaces are the best for their business, boosting their success. Their team of 30 spans across two cities in the region.
Beauty Undercover matches discerning customers to quality salons by providing relevant information for them to make better salon decisions.
It is a platform where everyone can share their experiences, and help others discover great salons.
Captive Interactive – Live
Captive Live+ is a digital content production and integrated digital marketing agency. The startup is focused on focused on e-commerce livestreaming and e-commerce marketing.
The team has an experience of more than 18 years in China, and is well-poised to help Singaporean brands with their e-commerce expansion plans in China.
Feige is a digital identity and credit line marketplace for gig workers and freelancers.
According to the startup, freelancers do not fit the mould of traditional banking. It aims to solve the problem of its target customers being rejected from loan applications, under-insured, and excluded from financial advice.
Fluidlytix Asia is a water intelligent management technology that helps reduce water bills by up to 30 per cent and water consumption by six per cent.
The team has developed various valves such as the Compressible Flow Valve and Pressure-Reducing Valve, which can be installed in pipes and aids in lowering water wastage and preserving resources.
Ion Mobility is a tech-driven all-electric mobility company tackling a challenging and complex space.
The team is designing, developing and selling all-electric motorcycles, with a focus on Southeast Asia.
Kalpha is a peer-to-peer mobile platform where individuals can discover, connect and meet up to learn and share any skills, knowledge and experiences on a one-to-one basis.
The Kalpha team believes that everyone has something to share, and thus a lot of focus is placed on the quality of the sharing session, rather than the qualifications of the Sharer.
Mantheos provides data intelligence and lead generation services that supports its clients with targeted data aggregation, processing and delivery on demand.
The startup helps businesses make data-driven decisions and prevents the proliferation of outdated and inaccurate data.
ØRBIT-animal offers an innovative smart device that is able to detect vital health signals of animals by leveraging acoustic signals.
It is also centered around a community of caretakers and vets, which helps to monitor animal health, and educate caretakers on how to better manage their pets’ health.
Paladium seeks to help business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses earn up to 35 per cent more revenue by using machine learning.
The startup matches merchants’ products and promotions to relevant potential new customers based on the consumer’s preferences and purchase history on various platforms. This helps to drive higher conversions for merchants.
Pogmothoine is an online shop and platform serving a community of vintage-lovers. Its vision is to “make vintage clothing affordable, while creating an inclusive community run by youths, for the youths.”
The startup specialises in the procurement and sale of hand curated vintage designer and streetwear apparel.
QuikChef started with the idea of bringing convenient, quality, and storable hawker food to one’s doorstep.
Delivery costs often outweigh food prices, and the startup aims to solve this problem by serving Singaporeans with affordable, vacuum packed food that just need to be reheated before consumption.
Ridr is a delivery aggregator. It is an all-in-one online parcel and food delivery search engine that comprises data from food services companies, SMEs and online sellers.
It began as Hop Express in 2018, and is headquartered in Thailand. The startup’s Singapore operations is supported by partners with a strong expertise in IT and blockchain.
Sealed is the first Southeast Asia-focused expert network. It is tech-enabled, and connects organisations with expert insights to plug knowledge gaps.
The startup is currently serving investment funds, management consultants, corporations, and more.
Sekoni Original creates beautiful and quality watches that inspire a better appreciation of time.
The startup was born from an identified gap in the watch industry — the lack of a product that sat perfectly in the overlap between design, quality and price.
Twimbit aims to create exponential impact for every business and individual through the power of research.
It is a tech-based knowledge firm which provides information and advisory to individuals and companies. The team aspires to change the way research is produced and consumed.
UniStop Tech provides an automation vending store system that is based on robotic technology and information technology.
It allows for easy maintenance on store owners, hassle-free transactions for customers and helps the retail industry save rental and manpower cost.
Version22 is an automation consultancy that helps forward-thinking businesses strategise, craft and maintain automation solutions
It helps companies get started with their digital transformation journey by automating repetitive, mundane and inefficient business processes through software.
Vita is a platform that allows a retrenched worker to objectively prove their resume claims through ex-employer feedback.
It is designed to help great workers shine and seen for their actual work contributions, and performance, throughout their career.
Starting Up In A Crisis
Due to COVID-19, the entire incubation programme for the 19 startups will be conducted virtually, which is a first for BIG.
The COVID-19 pandemic and global economic uncertainty have not stopped these startup founders from pursuing innovation and entrepreneurship.
In fact, some of the most iconic global startups today such as Slack and Airbnb, were all created during the last Great Financial Crisis, said Hau Koh Foo, director of SMU Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE).
Despite the economic uncertainty, the BIG programme has continued to receive a high volume of applications on the back of a vibrant local startup community.
At IIE, we encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to leverage on our strong in-house expertise, network of partners, as well as the strong government support during this unprecedented period to build companies of tomorrow.– Hau Koh Foo, Director of SMU Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE)
Featured Image Credit: Justina Lim via Linkedin / Sekoni Original / Jacob Chee / Kalpha