New “G” block emerges at [email protected]

A so-called “G” block has emerged at Singapore’s largest start-up enclave in [email protected] in Ayer Rajah Industrial Estate.

“G” for government refers to Block 79, according to industry observers. It earned its name given the number of government-related tenants there. Many are part of the 11 incubators and accelerators which have opened offices there.

They include Exploit Technologies, the technology transfer arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research; Ntuitive, the innovation and entrepreneurship arm of Nanyang Technological University; Bash from Infocomm Investments, the venture arm of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA); and Action Community for Entrepreneurship, a private sector-led movement currently supported by Spring Singapore.

However, there are also venture capital firms and private incubators and accelerators in Block 79 like Red Dot Ventures, Jungle Ventures and Biofactory.

Blocks 79 and 73 are new additions to [email protected] one-north which also includes Block 71. The two new blocks for start-ups in Ayer Rajah Industrial Estate are fully tenanted.

Two-week tech innovation bonanza

About 200 foreign entrepreneurs and investors descended upon Singapore over two weeks at the end of April to debate, brainstorm and discuss some important global technology challenges in various sectors, including healthcare, energy, e-commerce and media.

Kicking off the two-week innovation bonanza was Founders Forum on April 21 at Raffles Hotel where nearly 100 local and foreign investors, entrepreneurs and policymakers gathered for the Leaders in Tech event. Participants discussed Singapore’s role as a technology innovation hub for South-east Asia. There were also panel discussions on specific topics like the future of e-commerce, media and work in smart cities.

On April 22 a one-day conference on Smart Nation Innovations was held at Hotel Fort Canning where participants learnt more about Internet of Things applications, massive open online courses and digital money.

A technology carnival rounded out week one. Held in the Suntec convention centre, it included a drone competition, and technology showcase and workshop sheds where the public tried out new technologies such as 3D printing and robotics.

On April 28 and 29, NUS Enterprise held its annual InnovFest conference, also at Suntec. Called InnovFest unBound, it hopes connected and matchmade local investors and entrepreneurs with foreign companies as well as venture capital firms and businessmen.

This is the first time that NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurship arm of the National University of Singapore, is opening up InnovFest to a global audience in a bid to promote local start-ups.

SAP accelerator programme

Tech firm SAP has partnered IDA and local investment firm August Capital Partners to start an accelerator scheme which will run for two years.

The $10 million programme will provide grants to 20 start-ups which will use SAP technology to develop big data, predictive analytics and real-time data applications for smart cities.

SAP will provide the mentors who will guide the start-up teams on a business model, technology development and customer validation. Successful start-ups which have proven their technologies and business models work will have their work showcased by SAP and co-branded with the companies’ products.


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