Asian start-ups flock to Singapore to seek funding – and fame
These five start-ups showcased their products and services at this week’s Innovest Unbound conference in Singapore
A total of 14,000 people are expected to attend the Innovfest Unbound conference in Singapore this week, billed as the biggest gathering dedicated to innovation in Southeast Asia. Held at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre that overlooks the mouth of the historic Singapore River, the conference also featured dozens of start-ups in various stages of development. They came not just from Singapore but from the region, a reflection of the country’s ambition to become an innovation hub for its neighbouring region.
Here are a few start-ups that were showcasing their products and services at the conference. Many are start-ups in the purest sense of the word – still in the self-funding stage and hoping to attract investment and financing:
Founders: Yuca Yu Yue and Jin Zhuoyan, both 28
2. Spark Toys
Co-founders: Pratyush Gosain, Ganesh Perichiappan
What they do: On-demand shared economy service for toys. In other words, parents who don’t want to be lumped with boxes of toys that have fallen into disfavour can opt for a box to be sent every month tailored to the child’s age and development for a subscription. Plans are afoot for a pay-as-you-go model soon, with charges for a box of toys at about 1 per cent per day of the retail price of the toys. There is interest from Shanghai and Seoul in replicating the model, says Gosain. Each box contains about five to six toys.
What they do: By far the smiliest and chilled out dudes at the conference, co-founder and chief content officer Jasir Abro was playing on his electric guitar behind the stand while co-founder Shahzaib Zulfiqar explained how Jambro worked. The app connects musicians, band managers and venue organisers in a social network to make it easy for people in the music business to book a gig. The app now has more than 10,000 musicians, mostly in Pakistan, India, US and Singapore.
4. UNCVR Clothing