Speech by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Trade and Industry, at JTC's LaunchPad TechFiesta

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 1. Good afternoon. It is my pleasure to be here today at JTC’s LaunchPad TechFiesta, to welcome the first batch of participants for the LaunchPad Investor Network (LINK).

 2. Notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic in the last couple of years, Singapore’s start-up landscape has remained resilient and vibrant.

a. In 2021, Singapore-based start-ups raised a total of $14.7 billion, which is almost triple that raised in 2020.

b. At the same time, we also saw more local startups cross into unicorn status than ever before, with some notable examples such as Carousell, Nium and PatSnap, who are also alumni of LaunchPad @ one-north.

JTC’s LaunchPad Investor Network (LINK)

3. I am pleased to witness the launch of LINK today which will provide a further boost to the local start-up landscape here.

 a. LINK will connect 8 globally competitive and highly successful corporations with over 700 LaunchPad start-ups in JTC’s one-north and Jurong Innovation District and provide them with access to funding, co-innovation and wider networks to spur rapid expansion.

 b. These 8 pioneer corporations of LINK which hail from a wide-range of sectors from agrifood, fintech, logistics, urban mobility to sustainability, have a track record of working with promising early-stage start-ups and have collectively invested over US$23 million in about 8 Singapore-based start-ups in the last 3 years.

 c. I am confident that today’s LaunchPad TechFiesta led by JTC and co-organised by IMDA will see many new partnerships being formed.

 d. I would like to take this opportunity to commend JTC and IMDA for organising this event and for providing this platform for start-ups to pitch their ideas and innovations to potential investors and business partners.

 4. I encourage more corporations to take part in LINK in the future.

 a. With over 700 start-ups within a tightknit ecosystem that continuously promotes entrepreneurship and innovation, there are many opportunities for investors and existing corporates to find attractive value propositions amidst these start-ups.

 b. For example, the Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), one of the world’s largest agricommodity player recently partnered with ProfilePrint, a Singapore-headquartered biotechnology start-up, to uncover innovative approaches to grading and pricing raw ingredients such as coffee beans without the need for technical training or extensive lab equipment, by using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

 c. PSA International’s external innovation and corporate venture arm, PSA unboXed, has also forged a partnership with homegrown start-up, Haulio, to explore the concept of crowdsourcing trucking services within PSA terminals.

 d. These partnerships have led to a win-win scenario for both the investor and start-up, and we hope to see more of such partnerships in the future.

 JTC Innovation Challenge

 5. I am also happy to see the launch of the second edition of the JTC Innovation Challenge today, supported by Enterprise Singapore.

 a. This edition of the JTC Innovation Challenge will see JTC commit $4 million to identify partners, including start-ups, to jointly develop new solutions to address built environment challenges faced by the public sector.

 b. This challenge comes after its successful first run in 2020, where 5 of the projects were awarded to local start-ups, and 3 of these start-ups are presently located in LaunchPad @ one-north and Jurong Innovation District.

c. Since the launch of these projects, JTC and these start-ups have worked tirelessly to refine and trial their solutions in public sector developments such as conducting automated inspection of roads as well as tree health monitoring.

 d. Most recently, I am glad to learn that Vulcan AI and Vebits from JTC’s first Innovation Challenge have successfully developed and test-bedded their automated inspection solutions at JTC’s Tuas industrial estate and Seletar Aerospace Park, and their solutions are now ready for commercialisation.


6. Let me thank our industry partners who have recognised the potential of our start-ups and committed to invest both their time and money to co-create innovative solutions for the betterment of our next generation. I look forward to seeing more meaningful collaborations take flight between our industry partners and start-ups at both LaunchPad @ one-north and Jurong Innovation District.

7. Have a pleasant day ahead and thank you.