The Lion City was the last stop on Tech in Asia’s road to Tokyo, our eight-city quest across Asia to find the most exciting startups in the region – and pack the winners off to the Tech in Asia Tokyo 2015 conference this September. The winning startup that comes out on top in each city gets to fly to the Japanese capital on an all-expenses-paid trip in order to exhibit at a free booth at our Bootstrap Alley, which is always a place of much excitement and networking.
The last Tech in Asia Tour was also the last event to be hosted in Singapore’sThe Hub co-working space before the awesome folks there pack up for their swanky new venue. The judges’ panel scrutinizing the competing startups consisted of KK Fund founder Koichi Sato, venture partner at Golden Gate Ventures Michael Lints, managing director at Monk’s Hill Ventures Kuo-Yi Lim, and associate director at Singtel Innov8 Aaron Tan.
Without further ado, and in alphabetical order, here are the startups who clashed on the road to Tokyo – and the one that won the night!
6Estates is a digital intelligence and analytics platform for advertising professionals. The startup is a spin-off from NExT, a joint research project involving the National University of Singapore (NUS) and China’s Tsinghua University. Its aim is to gather, disseminate, and analyze a multitude of data online in order to come up with useful insights in real-time. At the moment, the startup is gathering data on Chinese TV and entertainment shows, but says it can apply its method to more industries, such as consumer electronics and finance.
2. Funding Societies
The field of peer-to-peer lending is a big part of the fintech boom, and Funding Societies is throwing its own gauntlet into the fray. The startup crowdsources loans for small businesses that would have difficulty borrowing from banks. It incentivizes potential investors to finance those loans by promising higher returns on their investment than what fixed deposits would bring.
3. My Aone Learning
My Aone Learning is an online marketplace connecting students and instructors for a variety of lessons and classes. The startup wants to be, effectively, an Airbnb for all kinds of classes, including music, sports, cooking, and education. Students can choose the instructor that suits their needs – and, using the mobile app, find instructors close to them – while instructors can promote their classes through the service.
4. Nuke Optics
Nuke Optics admittedly has a killer name, but it’s not a startup building nuclear missile scopes or anything like that. Instead, it gives bespectacled people everywhere the ability to create their own eyeglass frames by using modular components. The startup’s method makes the process easier by foregoing things like screws and using components that snap together and are easily interchangeable. It says its customers can choose from 76 different parts to create their ideal glasses or sunglasses.
5. Page Advisor
The phrase “Uber for everything” gets bandied about quite a lot in the startup space, but in this case, it sort of rings true. Page Advisor is a mobile app connecting users to freelance professionals of almost any kind. The service offers access to a variety of services, from cleaning and air conditioning maintenance to medical services and sports lessons.
And the winner is…
Funding Societies ended up lifting the night’s trophy. The startup’s potential market and the team’s collective expertise were some of the qualities that swayed our judges.