Some startups had 15-year-old founders while others targeted marginalised groups and youth-trends
Three months ago, The Start, a pre-accelerator programme organised by StartupX was kickstarted to catalyse the growth of early-stage startups. For these startups, most of whom had just completed a hackathon, it was a 12-week alternative to returning to their nine-to-five jobs and truly actualising their semi-validated ideas.
The pre-accelerator was also supported by Temasek, which saw this partnership as an opportunity to galvanise the ecosystem.
Under three months of close mentorship and constant refinery, the cohort of 10 startups have finally graduated from the programme and took to the demo day stage to share their tractions and growth.
One of the most impressive startups to present at the demo day was the cohort’s most junior team.
Bridge, founded by four 15-year-old students, is nothing short of being a product of prodigy. Tired of the old “you’re too young to have a debit-card son” situation, these kids set out to bridge the financial parent-student conflict by creating an e-wallet app that digitises pocket money.
The app is able to mitigate both student’s desire to make independent financial decisions, and parent’s distrust over said desire. It does this by equipping students with the tools to pick up better financial literacy while allowing their parents to keep a careful eye on their expenditure. A perfectly poised take on holding on, yet letting go.
Bridge’s cashless payment system has already attracted attention from Favepay and Grabpay, and will test its beta app in Raffles Institution this month.
According to Rafael Soh, Bridge’s Co-Founder and CEO, a “pressing yet ignored” fact of today is that less than 10 per cent of Singaporean teenagers aged 13-16 have debit-cards, while more than 89 per cent of them own a smartphone. This demographic not only represents a huge untapped market potential, but also speaks volumes about a culture that stigmatises a child’s need to learn financial responsibility early.
Therefore, arbitrating the financial strain between parent and student seems like a right move by instilling better financial wit in the next generation of economic drivers.
Interestingly, e27 also saw a familiar face on the demo day stage. StaffAny, our TOP100 Singapore champion, will be making its debut at our Echelon Asia Summit on 23-24 May.
StaffAny started out with a cash poor, idea-rich situation, and has definitely come a long way from humble beginnings. Its app provides a unique workforce management system that accommodates employees with multiple jobs and uses real-time deployment.
Killing the need for your scribbly spreadsheets, StaffAny is a revolutionary mobile app that combines operation systems and HR management to engage and manage hourly workers.
Aided with the rising gig economy, 70 paying locations have already adapted StaffAny’s technology into their management systems. Some notable companies include Killiney, Yah Kun Kaya, and KOI.
Wearing his company logo proudly across his shirt, Janson Seah, Co-founder and CEO of StaffAny shared that the startup was already experiencing a 25 per cent month on month growth and had plans to regionalise.
Janson also attributed part of his success to his entrepreneur buddies from the programme who have “helped each other along the way” and “frequently share leads”.
This comes from StartupX’s effort in making their pre-accelerator programme an opportunity for all startups to scale and grow together in healthy competition and cohesion.
According to Durwin Ho, Managing Director at StartupX, these startups are supported by a curation of the programme’s “community of mentors, networks, and resources to help them get to the next stage”.
Speaking of networks, the graduates of the pre-accelerator programme form quite a remarkable one.
Let’s meet the rest of the teams!
Outside is a community tasking app that believes in solving everyday problems with everyday people. It leverages geolocation technology to allow users around the vicinity to complete other people’s tasks.
What’s fun about Outside is that it’s like a task-based pokemon-go whereby the rewards are actual cash.
The app has already had 500 downloads and 60 posted tasks. Co-founder Nicholas Lim has also previously shared Outside’s entrepreneurial journey with e27.
Mindpalace sees itself as the next best thing to teleportation — virtual reality. It allows long-stay residents from nursing homes to indulge in virtual travel, keeping their minds active and slowing dementia effects.
Founder Eugene, says that Mindpalace will put the AGE back in AGENCY and provide a meaningful way to enjoy life’s decrescendo. It’s even been approved by PM Lee and has been endorsed by SGH and NTUC nursing homes.
As Kpop’s ‘Hallyu wave’ continues to take the world by storm, a deluge of Kpop fans remain deprived of a central, easy-to-access K-pop marketplace. This is where KpopKart comes in to play. It provides a centralised e-commerce site for K-pop fans to purchase fan-made merchandise.
Launched two months back, the company led by CEO and Co-founder Vera Sun, has already bagged Unicon’s Grand Champion title and sees expansion into J-pop and C-pop in its horizons.
SG Assist is a crowdsourcing mobile app that takes care of ‘urban unsupported’ members of society. These include people like live-alone elderly, single parents, and unwell individuals. It does this is by linking these residents with trained and trusted community respondents in their hour of need, granting a commodity of time ambulances cannot guarantee.
The app is already being used in two major districts in Singapore and plans to expand to China, Malaysia and Thailand in the future.
Master’s catchphrase, “the app to remember”, has two meanings. One, that it has great market potential in transforming Singapore’s pressure-cooker type education system, and two, that it literally helps students remember and retain information better. This is done by integrating machine learning with textbook content to customise learning for every student, at an accessible and low cost.
Master plans to revolutionise the way of studying and adapt its technology into our classrooms, helping students excel more effortlessly.
The Kint Story
Much like the Japanese Kintsugi, The Kint Story sees value in old clothes and prides itself in contributing to the circular fashion economy in Southeast Asia. Since their launch in January, Founders YuShu and Elisa have earned the title of ‘Thrift Queens’ in Singapore and continue to curate and sell pre-loved clothing on their platform.
The Kint Story mainly caters to millennials who seek alternatives to fast-fashion, or simply want to look unique.
In Indonesia, many drivers spend up to 160 hours per year servicing their vehicles, given the poor traffic conditions. Veport is an AI-powered vehicle services marketplace that will offer busy drivers price and service provider comparisons and valet services.
The app has already attracted more than 1000 interested users and looks forward to alleviating the 137 million vehicle owners in Indonesia. “The Go-Jek for vehicle services”, envisions Priscilla Artistotles Co-founder of Veport, who hails from an automotive background herself.
HomeyDays relies on VR technology to provide online property walkthroughs to help overseas renters make informed decisions before moving to Singapore. Their main target markets consists of international students and inbound professionals staying in Singapore.
Their app has already received the support of more than 1000 foreigners on WeChat and aims to become a renowned co-living provider in major Southeast-Asia cities by 2029.
The Demo Day was a true celebration of milestones and we look forward to hearing more from these 10 startups in the future!
As seen on: https://e27.co/10-startups-shine-at-the-starts-pre-accelerator-demo-day-stage-20190418/