Techcracker roadshow brings disruptive technologies to Singapore

Techcracker, a roadshow featuring disruptive technologies that could one day change the world, has brought eight international start-ups to Singapore. Organisers hope these inventions will inspire more innovations that could help to tackle global problems.

The roadshow began its tour in Beijing in May, with a mission to promote and inspire innovation. Singapore is the only country outside China to host the roadshow. It is organised by Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures, the investment arm of Mr Li Ka Shing. The company now supports about 50 startups from the US, Europe and Israel.

California-based start-up Meta is in Singapore for Techcracker. Its product: A pair of glasses that can merge virtual reality with the physical world. This may sound like a gamer’s fantasy, but developers are finding practical uses for them, including in architecture, and the firm believes this is the future of computing. The glasses can be used to place holograms of skyscrapers in front of clients, for instance,said Meta CEO Meron Gribetz.

“The architect can show it to a client and they could also zoom in with their hands into one particular floor, and they can even go further into the floor, and it will actually look like you’re inside that floor,” Mr Gribetz said. He expects the glasses to “completely revolutionise architecture” in the coming years.

Another innovation from start-up Impossible Foods aims to create meat and cheese from plants – without compromising on taste. Said Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown: “We know enough now about what underlies the things that people love about meat and dairy products that we can take a better approach.”

“It is more efficient, it is more cost-effective, it is more sustainable, it produces a healthier product and most importantly, we know how to produce meat and cheeses that are more delicious than any meat or cheese the world has ever seen,” Mr Brown added.

The company’s vision is to phase out animal farming, which is believed to use 30 per cent of global land area and to be the largest emission of greenhouse gases. Mr Brown says his company is driven by a vision – it wants to contribute something good to the world. Its employees also share the same sentiments.

Image credit – e27

“That’s something important I think for start-ups to have – it’s a mission that matters, that people care about, that inspires the employees,” he said. Impossible Foods hopes to put its product out in the market in about a year.

Organisers of the event hope these innovations can inspire more people to develop disruptive technologies to solve global problems. Singapore also provides strong support to innovation, to drive its competitiveness and growth.

Second Minister for Trade and Industry Mr S Iswaran says the private sector is a “key partner” in the Government’s efforts to develop a conducive environment for entrepreneurship and innovation.

“Successful entrepreneurs are in the best position to help shape the development of initiatives to strengthen the eco-system, and provide mentorship to budding entrepreneurs,” he said, adding that events like Techcracker can help Singapore and Hong Kong create a connection to enhance the environment for start-ups.

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