Techventure 2015, concluded yesterday on a high note with potential collaborations forged between investors, exhibitors and delegates.
Techventure 2015 was organized by the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore with support from ETPL, SPRING Singapore, NUS, NTU and IPI, Singapore. The event saw over 1,000 local and international participants comprising of more than 160 startups and 50 investors from 13 countries coming together to exchange ideas, exhibit their innovations and helped facilitate deal-flows between investors and startups by initiating one-to-one meetings.
Most of the action yesterday was at the exhibition hall that was brimming with conference delegates and visitors thronging these booths. Most of the participants had very positive reactions to share and added that they were excited and looking forward to follow through the proposals they had received.
“Techventure 2015 is a great success and we found a large variety of Asian startups here,” said Chris Keen, Senior Associate, Taylor Vinters, a law firm in London, Cambridge and Singapore specialising in technology, investment and private client.
Professor Yoshika Sekine of Tokai University, Japan, was extremely happy with the kind of response he got at the conference. He was here to look for seed funding for his wellness monitoring device through human skin gases. “We have received enquiries from five to six venture capital firms,” he said. “We are very pleased with the response.”
Inauguration of the event
The first day of conference began with a inaugural speech by the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan where he reiterated that the next phase of growth for the country was to strengthen its research and industry capabilities across innovative enterprises. He also spoke about the vibrant startup ecosystem in Singapore and announced the launch of National Research foundation’s S$40 million fund to grow local tech start-ups.
The opening panel titled “Start Here!” featured renowned accelerators and venture capitalists discussing global trends in technopreneurship and what they look for in startups. The stellar line-up of speakers and panellists in this session included: Chris Wade from Octopus Ventures, Foo Jixun from GGV Capital, Richard Webb of Start Mesh, Paolo Borella of AppCampus/Vertical Accelerator.
It was followed by a technology panel titled: Tech Up! From Start-Up to Scale Up! where leading technology speakers provided tips for start-ups to scale up and grow their businesses. It had an interesting mix of panellists from venture capitalists to Professors to Scientists such as Dr. Duncan Irschick, Professor of Biology from University of Massachusetts Amherst; Dr. Andrew Hessel, Distinguished Research Scientist of Bio/Nano research group, Autodesk, Inc.; Phil Chen, Chief Content Officer, HTC Corporation and Cedric Giorgi of SIGFOX.
Andrew Hassel who comes from the world of genetic technology spoke about how tools used by major biopharma are becoming more and more accessible, and gave the example of DNA Sequencing at BGI, Shenzen China which offers world-class facilities at an incredibly low cost. And he said, that is empowering synthetic biology and start-ups across the world. He also stressed upon how the tools people are developing should have an open-access policy.
Dr. Duncan Irschick, an integrative biologist, innovator and co-founder of GeckSkinTM touched upon how curiosity about basic research and science should be encouraged in a nation, because they are the roots of major innovations.
The third and final panel discussion was titled “SG Tech Can Lah!” where several success stories from the Singapore tech scene was shared by eminent panellists such as Nick Nash from Garena; LuYoh-Chie from Biosensors International Group Ltd and Klaudyne Hong from Peach IntelliHealth. They spoke about how they grew their technologies into a thriving and profitable business.
International Start-Up challenge
This was followed by the International Start-up Challenge where 13 finalists were competing for a top cash prize of S$50,000 sponsored by StarHub and a 1st runner up cash prize of S$10,000 sponsored by L’Oreal together with incubation spaces at A*StartCentral sponsored by ETPL. The winner of the top prize was Igloohome, a Singapore based software company that brings convenience and cost savings to hosting guests via innovative smart home technologies. While the runner up prize went to Easyship, a Hongkong-based startup that provides logistics solutions to all companies selling online.
Thereafter, the exhibition hall remained a hub of action and interaction for the conference delegates. Some of the biotech and medtech/healthcare companies which had booths there were AIM Biotech, Austrianova Singapore, ETPL-AIT Technologies, Soundeye; Get2volume-Connected Health, Globetrekker Challenge, Mercatus-Patientsengage, Pellucid Networks Pte Ltd., Net-Bio Biotechnology Enterprise, NUS-Fitsense Pte Ltd., RVC’s Breath Analyzers, Elgen Technologies; Small world group’s- Biomachines Pte Ltd., Wisewater Pte Ltd.; The Biofactory’s Innovfusion, SG Meditech, TNR Diagnostics; Tip Biosystem Pte Ltd.
By providing a platform for all the interested parties in the Startup ecosystem to meet and showcase their innovations, Techventure 2015 facilitated what it set out to do – Start Here!
Pics Courtesy: biotechin.asia