With over 700 promising start-ups specialising in advanced manufacturing, biomedical, info-comm and urban solutions at LaunchPad in one-north and Jurong Innovation District, JTC has launched a new initiative – LaunchPad Investor Network (LINK) – to curate and connect start-ups with global companies for collaboration and investment opportunities. Today, eight industry heavyweights DeClout Ventures, Excelpoint, Grab, Hyundai CRADLE, Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), MANN + HUMMEL, PSA unboXed and Sea Limited form the pioneer members of LINK. This was announced by Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Gan Kim Yong at the inaugural LaunchPad TechFiesta 2022 today.
2. With LINK, LaunchPad start-ups will have a new avenue to collaborate with global companies in investment opportunities, joint innovation and R&D activities, testbed and scale their solutions, and tap on their regional and global networks for market expansion. Key areas of collaboration between start-ups and LINK corporates have been identified in the emerging high growth sectors of agrifood, fintech, logistics, urban mobility and sustainability. This is part of JTC’s efforts to give LaunchPad start-ups a leg-up in their growth as well as access to market and funding opportunities.
3. Over the last three years, the LINK corporates have collectively invested over US$23 million in 8 Singapore-based start-ups to develop new solutions. For example, in January this year, Sea Limited anchored the US$6 million Series A funding round of LaunchPad start-up, Refract, to develop wearable full-body motion-capture technology for gaming. In the same period, PSA unboXed and several other corporates invested US$7 million in homegrown start-up Haulio to transform the region’s port logistics by enabling hauliers using technology. In February 2022, LDC made its most recent investment in ProfilePrint, a Singapore-headquartered start-up which aims to develop innovative approaches to grading and pricing raw ingredients such as coffee beans. Aside from the capital funding, LDC is also working with ProfilePrint on potential commercial partnerships to help it grow and scale.
4. Mr Alvin Tan, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Industry Cluster Group, JTC, said, “As an industrial developer, JTC plays a critical role in curating dynamic industry ecosystems to accelerate business growth in our estates. We are excited to establish LINK as a new platform for start-ups and corporates to connect and partner, creating opportunities for innovation, investment and growth. We look forward to welcoming more corporates onboard LINK.”
5. In a similar vein, JTC launched the second edition of the JTC Innovation Challenge today with $4 million set aside to develop new solutions for the built environment sector. Supported by Enterprise Singapore, the Challenge aims to identify partners, including start-ups, to jointly develop solutions that address built environment challenges faced by the public sector. These include helping the public sector to build and operate sustainably, better manage building lifecycle costs, as well as improve safety and productivity throughout the building lifecycle.
6. Shortlisted projects get up to $250,000 in funding, and JTC will provide domain expertise and access to test-bed locations in selected industrial estates or business parks. Identified parties will work with JTC research engineers, operations specialists, and building and estate owners to co-develop these solutions. The developed solutions may subsequently be adopted by other public agencies or corporate partners.
7. The second edition of JTC Innovation Challenge comes after the success of its first run in 2020, where 5 projects were awarded to Singapore-based start-ups. Since the award, JTC and the start-ups have collaborated to refine and trial their solutions. These include automated inspection of roads for defects, encroachments as well as tree health monitoring solutions.
8. Among them are Singapore-based start-ups Vulcan Al and Vebits that have successfully developed and test-bedded their individual proprietary automatic inspection solution at JTC’s Tuas industrial estate and Seletar Aerospace Park. Their AI solutions automatically detect road cracks, faded out road markings, and illegal parking. With the adoption of such technologies, it increases work efficiencies and achieves 40% cost savings. Their solution is now ready for commercialisation and JTC is working with them to showcase to facility management companies for adoption.
9. Led by JTC and co-organised with the Infocomm Media Development Authority, the inaugural JTC LaunchPad TechFiesta 2022 event serves as a platform for LaunchPad start-ups to showcase their latest innovations and technologies. A total of 40 start-ups demonstrated their solutions in Augmented and Virtual Reality, drone, mobility, and smart living and robotics to about 1000 visitors from corporates, investors to students from Institutes of Higher Learning.
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