Singapore — Last Friday, 26 June 2015, the Metalworks team went on a city-wide excursion organised by Walkabout Singapore (SG) to visit various technology-based companies in Singapore. Walkabout SG is an annual open-house event celebrating the technology and entrepreneurial scene in one of Asia's main innovation hubs.
We explored and connected with the tech start-up scene in Singapore, looking to collaborate with some of the most promising tech start-ups in Asia. It's interesting to observe the abundant accelerator and incubation programmes for start-ups here and we seized this opportunity to understand the nitty gritty details of how they work. Having rubbed shoulders with founders, we were given exclusive, behind-the-scenes insights into how they brought their entrepreneurial ventures to fruition.
What's compelling to note is how most of the start-ups here have zero-ed in on a niche market and specialisation regardless of their seed stage. One company that broke the mould and were more open to different verticals for their offering is Visenze. As an image recognition start-up, it provides visual search and visual recognition for e-commerce and contextual advertising. Despite being mostly known for offering solutions to fashion e-commerce companies, it is driven by high scalability and transplantability to other verticals.
The abundance of accelerator and incubator programmes is a true testament to how Singapore is quickly rising to become the entrepreneurial hub in South East Asia. From Plug-in @ Blk 71 to IDA Labs, the increasing prominence of government-backed incubators really creates a unique differentiating point from San Francisco. Even media agencies such as Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) are building their very own incubator — SPH Plug and Play. Such a trend may reflect on how large players are looking for new ways to innovate within their already established verticals. It is safe to say that the start-up scene here is growing to become a comprehensive value chain for start-ups to prosper.
Some of the places we visited were:
- BASH Singapore
- IDA Labs
- Uber Singapore
- Plug-In @ Blk 71
- The Hub
- SPH Plug & Play
Here are some pictures documenting our Walkabout SG experience: