Singapore’s Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), a public-private sector collaboration to promote startups, launched its mentoring programme yesterday. A group of 11 startups were awarded grants up to S$ 50,000 and will also receive mentoring for a year from experienced entrepreneurs during this period. ACE chairman Teo Ser Luck, who is also the minister of state for trade and industry, presented the grants.
Under the aegis of ACE, the selected startups and their mentors will work together to seek solutions to functional or industry-specific needs that the startup companies will identify. Mentors and startups will provide periodic feedback to the ACE on their progress and problem areas. ACE is also keen to assist startups that are not able to find mentors.
The eleven startups chosen for their business differentiation, potential, feasibility and capability are:
Biggest Baddest Parties | Mobile
The company is developing a mobile application for partygoers, which will offer location-based services and information on clubs, drink promotions, charges and rewards. The company’s founder is Subaish, a student at Singapore Management University. It is being mentored by Elaine The, executive director at Octopus Group.
All ID Asia | Software
The company is developing automatic identification and data collection solutions for enterprise customers. Founder Alfred Leong was earlier a director at a technology company. Leong will be mentored by Lim Song Joo, founder and CEO of BWG Consulting.
Arcsis | Retail
The company makes healthier, specialty food and works with the Food Innovation Resource Centre, Singapore. Its founder, Caleb Leow, a student at the National University of Singapore (NUS), is currently being incubated by NUS Enterprise.
Discarver | Software
The company is developing solutions for car owners to keep track of the condition of their cars. Founder Gim Huat, a former telecommunications industry executive, is currently being incubated by NTU Ventures.
Greendot Gourmet | Retail
The company is in the vegetarian fast food business. Co-founders Justin Chou, Zhi Qi, Fu Yong Hong, Leonard Ryan Lim and Shu Jie are undergraduates at NUS and Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) and are currently being incubated by NUS Enterprise
Coordsafe | Software
Coordsafe is developing a device that offers tracking and risk prevention services to protect elders. Founder:Jack Li Hui is being mentored by Hui Wing Feh, co-founder and managing director of ODM Innovations.
Innervative Learning | Mobile
The company has a mobile edu-game application called Econopolis which aims to revolutionise the study of economics. Founder James Chia was earlier a government employee.
Uberquery | Internet
Uberquery is an online platform for deal sites to source products globally. Founder Yow Yong Hui is a student at the University of Sydney and will be mentored by Manoj Sharma, founder of DifferWorld.
Wan La | Internet
Wan La is a financial portal that shares trading strategies. Co-founders Wilson Ong Wei Zheng (undergraduates at SMU) and Maslema Zainal Abidin are currently being incubated at SMU.
Windphony.com | Internet
The company’s digital music score distribution platform allows composers to self-publish their music scores. Founder Tan Siow Wee was earlier a regional apps engineer with a Taiwanese multinational. The company will be mentored by Charlie Sim, co-founder of Renovell and Allied Intuit.
Zinicat | Software
Zinicat’s products is a patentable algorithm to match people to food outlets. Co-founders Thomas Wong, who has experienced in management and strategy consulting in China and Singapore, and Daniel Yap, who has earlier worked in financial and social analytics and project management, will be mentored by Genevieve Heng, managing director of Chepstow Capital Advisors.
The mentors for the programme are a mix of experienced businessmen, angel investors and professionals familiar with startup companies. The mentors will work with the ACE startups on a pro bono basis. So far, 27 mentors have signed up for the programme. These include Adrin Loi (Ya Kun International, Singapore), Boyd Au (7 Notes Capital, Singapore), Charlie Sim (Renovell and Allied Intuit, Singapore), Elaine The (Octopus Group), Genevieve Heng (Chepstow Capital Advisors), Huang Shao-Ning (Leigh) (JobsCentral Group), and Lim Song Joo (BWG Consulting).
ACE was formed in 2003 and the its ACE Startups Scheme which was launched in January. The organization’s leadership team also includes deputy chairman, Steven Fang, who is also group CEO of Cordlife Group. It has recently articulated a renewed focus to build a pool of mentors for its startups, help young entrepreneurs expand their network both locally and globally, and help businesses access overseas markets by developing ACE’s presence in select locations.
Image Courtesy: ACE