Top Three Deep Tech Startups of Extreme Tech Challenge Singapore 2020 Unveiled | SGInnovate

Top Three Deep Tech Startups of Extreme Tech Challenge Singapore 2020 Unveiled

Thursday, March 26, 2020

26 March 2020, Singapore: SGInnovate and Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) have announced the top three Deep Tech startups in the Singapore leg of the XTC regional competitions. Following intense pitching rounds at the XTC Singapore Demo Day held yesterday, Lucence, SEPPURE, and TurtleTree Labs were selected from a pool of 10 outstanding startups, earning coveted spots at the XTC Global Finals this June.

A not-for-profit organisation supported by leading corporations, venture capital firms, universities and institutions, XTC is the world’s largest startup competition to discover and support new technologies and innovations to solve the world's most extreme problems. In particular, this year’s competition seeks to empower startups to innovate in the following seven key categories, as inspired by the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • AgTech, Food and Water
  • Cleantech and Energy
  • Education
  • Enabling Technologies
  • FinTech
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation and Smart Cities


In the Healthcare category, Lucence is a precision oncology company founded on a vision of a world without avoidable cancer deaths. The company is developing highly sensitive liquid biopsy tests for disease detection and treatment selection.

SEPPURE, in the Cleantech and Energy category, provides a sustainable solution to industrial chemical separations by replacing the current distillation process with chemical-resistant nano-filtration membranes that results in 90 percent less energy consumption and pollution.

Through its proprietary cell-based methods, TurtleTree Labs is a biotech company with the unique ability to create milk from all mammals, entering in the AgTech, Food and Water category (Refer to Appendix A for finalist quotes).

The three startups from the Singapore finals will be amongst the top 50 startups selected from over 1,600 global applications and pitching rounds at regional competitions held in 10 countries. The finalists will be invited to XTC’s Global Finals in June 2020, where they will participate in a final-round boot camp, with the opportunity to connect with and receive world-class mentorship from XTC partners.

“XTC is a new ecosystem for innovation. One that welcomes ideas from all corners of the globe, and encourages the world’s brightest entrepreneurs and startups to develop technological innovations that lead to a more sustainable, more equitable society by making progress toward the UN SDGs,” said Bill Tai, Co-Founder, XTC. “The XTC Global Finalists, selected from our regional event in Singapore with 2 SGInnovate, are great examples of innovators and entrepreneurs designing technologies to address the world’s biggest problems, like climate change, pollution, and health.”

One of the judges, Keith Magnus, Chairman, Asia, Evercore, said, “It is extremely exciting to see such a huge amount of technology innovation emanating from Singapore, being developed and accelerated from here. I see potential in many of the finalists, in being able to make a global impact with their differentiated products. They now need to execute, and Singapore has made significant strides in developing a growing Deep Tech ecosystem here to support them. With a growing swathe of smart capital like SGInnovate, and with the burgeoning venture capital scene, startups here would be able to lean on a strong investing community to partner them on their growth plans.”

“The focus of XTC in 2020 is closely aligned with our mission to help entrepreneurial scientists develop Deep Tech solutions to challenging global problems. Even with growing awareness about the importance of the UN SDGs, more needs to be done to encourage greater interest in, and investments into Deep Tech that can make a positive impact on humanity,” said Hsien-Hui Tong, Head of Venture Investing, SGInnovate. “Thus, we are privileged to co-host XTC Singapore Demo Day and the XTC regional competition in Singapore, to cast a spotlight on startups that are addressing the most pressing issues of today. The finalists have delivered impressive pitches. We look forward to seeing how these innovative Deep Tech ideas can unlock a better and more sustainable future.”

For more information on the Extreme Tech Challenge competition, please visit:

About SGInnovate

At SGInnovate, we build and scale Deep Tech startups into high potential companies with global impact. We believe that hard global problems can be solved using Deep Tech, and Singapore, where we are based, is uniquely positioned to realise Deep Tech innovations that can tackle these challenges. Our Deep Tech Nexus Strategy is focused on adding tangible value to the Deep Tech startup ecosystem in two key areas – development of Human Capital and deployment of Investment Capital. With the support of our partners and co-investors, we back entrepreneurial scientists through equity-based investments, access to talent and business-building advice. Our efforts are prioritised around emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Tech, MedTech and Quantum Tech, which represent impactful and scalable answers to global challenges.

SGInnovate is a private-limited company wholly owned by the Singapore Government. For more information, please visit

About Extreme Tech Challenge

The Extreme Tech ChallengeSM (XTC) is a U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit devoted to elevating the next generation of entrepreneurs who create new technologies and innovations to benefit humankind.

Inspired by the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), XTC supports and showcases the innovators harnessing the power of technology to address the greatest challenges facing humanity and our planet. Through its global startup competition, XTC provides top contenders the potential for global visibility, the opportunity to raise capital, the option to network with global entities (corporations, VCs, partners), and the ability to gain mentorship opportunities in order to help them pioneer technological breakthroughs and help power a sustainable future.

Media contacts

Eugenia Lee

Sylvia Lim
IN.FOM (Partnering agency of SGInnovate)

Daniel Yoo
Extreme Tech Challenge

Appendix A – XTC Top Three Finalists’ Quotes

  1. Mohammad H. D.A. Farahani, Co-founder and CEO, SEPPURE, said, “When it comes to climate change, everyone is looking in the wrong place! Industrial chemical separation is one of the world’s largest silent polluters, consuming up to 15 percent of the planet’s entire energy use as these processes, e.g. distillation, simply use heat to separate chemical mixtures. SEPPURE's patented nano-filtration membrane can separate chemical mixtures without the traditional use of heat resulting in 90 percent less energy consumption. Our technology can potentially conserve billions of gallons of water, millions of tonnes in volatile organic compound emissions and billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in a year. At SEPPURE, we not only believe in a more sustainable world but also moving towards it.”
  2. Tan Min-Han, Founder and CEO, Lucence, said, “We're glad to bring innovative liquid biopsy blood testing to achieve less pain, suffering and futility for cancer patients by better treatment selection.”
  3. Fengru Lin, CEO, TurtleTree Labs, said, “With another billion coming onto this planet, and seeing how the coronavirus is highlighting the need for food security, our technology can help to build resilience to disasters. TurtleTree’s technology can allow countries like Singapore, Africa and the Middle East to have a source of dairy close to the city, providing consumers with the loved cheese, butter and yoghurt products they are used to. This is the extreme technology needed today for global food security and to feed the planet in a sustainable way. We are thankful the Singapore government is supporting us in every way to invest in FoodTech and diversify food sources.”

Appendix B – XTC Top 10 Finalists List

AgTech, Food & Water
TurtleTree Labs
Cleantech & Energy
EcoWorth Tech
Enabling TechnologiesAID:Tech
FinTechArival Bank
Transportation & Smart CitiesUNL

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