The Straits Times Online reported that according to Dr Wong Poh Kam, director of NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, while there was not enough government funding in supporting deep tech startups in Singapore, the launch of SGInnovate marks a step towards the right direction. SGInnovate was launched to help develop niche areas that require deep technical expertise and plays a vital role in helping deep tech startups grow into globally successful companies. Addressing a panel at the seventh Asian Entrepreneurship Award (AEA), Dr Wong said that more investment in higher-risk sectors working on deep technology will be required for Singapore’s startup scene to mature and develop critical expertise. He also believes that too much government money is going into supporting very general startups, which could be bad because too much easy money spoils the market with too many startups that might not deserve funding. The AEA is a Japanese startup pitch contest in Kashiwa-no-ha smart city, which first started in 2012. In 2017, the second-prize winner was ViSenze, a Singapore startup providing AI-based visual search and image recognition services.
e27 published an article from an interview with Ben Goertzel, CEO of SingularityNET and Chief Scientist of Hanson Robotics, at the sidelines of Deep Tech Summit that was organised by SGInnovate. Kevin McSpadden (e27) spoke with Ben to get his thoughts on the progress of AI development, empathy in machines, and some of the exciting practical implications of AI in our world today.
OpenGov reported the MAS has announced that the 380 participating investors who enrolled in the Singapore Fintech Festival’s (SFF) deal-making platform, MATCH (Meet ASEAN’s Talents and Champions), have indicated intentions to invest up to US$6.2 billion in ASEAN enterprises next year. An additional US$6 billion has been earmarked over the subsequent two years. MATCH is a new platform at this year’s SFF which curates and brings together promising next-generation ASEAN enterprises with global private equity and venture capital. At the beginning of this month, MAS also announced the 60 finalists of the Global FinTech Hackcelerator and FinTech Awards. Past year’s finalists have gained exposure and connections from the competition – one company which pitched a blockchain technology to deliver international aid (AID:Tech) has since secured €1 million in investment from both Enterprise Ireland and SGInnovate.
Fintechnews Singapore published an article with a 2018 info-map of the AI startups in Singapore. The Singapore government has been proactive in their efforts in AI, with MAS announcing a US$27 million grant for the technology in the previous year. Aside from the MAS, SGInnovate has also been seen doubling down on AI with their investments into deep tech startups. The article highlights several AI startups in Singapore that are active in the fintech and finance space, with SGInnovate portfolio companies AIDA and Evie being mentioned.
SGC Business Magazine published an editorial contribution by Steve Leonard on the startup landscape in Singapore. Steve highlighted that while Singapore is helping drive some of ASEAN’s booming digital economy, most startups in Singapore are building businesses around consumer-facing technology. He emphasised the importance for Singapore to create startups that pursue ‘deep tech’ products and how SGInnovate was formed to tackle the challenges faced by these startups such as the lack of investment, the scarcity of talent and the long gestation period for commercialisation.
IDG Connect published an article based on an email interview with Juliana on the AI developments in Singapore and how the nation can continue to excel in deep technology innovations. Since its establishment in 2016, SGInnovate has invested in more than 35 deep tech startups at the pre-seed to Series A levels and through its Deep Tech Nexus strategy, SGInnovate is working closely alongside partners and co-investors to back deeply technical founders through equity-based investments, access to talent, and support in building customer traction. Juliana emphasised on the need for a shift in the collective mindset and “frame Singapore as ‘the little red dot’ that can make a difference to the world”. By welcoming IT professionals who are already ‘knee-deep’ in the technology ecosystem to participate in SGInnovate’s events, the organisation hopes to inspire them to develop AI systems or build startups that can address real challenges that people and businesses face around the world.