Monday, 21 October 2019

Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge picks top 3 finalists

15 March 2019 | News

The finalists will each receive a cash prize of S$10,000 to support their future growth and will proceed to the next stage of the competition

Three finalists in Singapore were announced today in the Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge (“Challenge”), jointly launched by Alipay, the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform, operated by Ant Financial Services Group (“Ant Financial”), and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (“NUS”). The finalists, SmartPeep, Wika Media and Whizpace, were selected for their ability and potential to leverage digital technology to improve lives.

Launched in November 2018, the Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge aims to identify and support the growth of start-ups in Southeast Asia that are using digital technology to build an inclusive society. The finalists will each receive a cash prize of S$10,000 to support their future growth and will proceed to the next stage of the competition. The grand finale, to be held in April, will see the Singapore finalists compete with those from Malaysia and Indonesia for the grand prize of S$50,000.

The finalists from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia were selected through a rigorous judging process that comprised evaluations based on five criteria: innovation, social impact, market potential, economic model, and the strength of the team.

Contestants from each country demonstrated how they use digital technology to solve challenges across sectors, including financial services, agriculture, health & wellness, education & training, food & beverage, energy & environment, logistics & transportation, and communications.

Details of the Singapore finalists are as follows:

  • SmartPeep has developed an AI system to help medical professionals closely monitor seniors and patients who are at risk of falling and who suffer from sub-acute and chronic conditions. Its solution enables medical professionals to respond faster in emergency situations, and to better understand the patients' and seniors' health conditions. 
  • Wika Media develops solutions that enable people living with hearing impairment to watch movies, TV shows, and videos, using Wika’s app, smartglass, or set-top box. The solutions can detect what is being said on screen and simultaneously display sign language and captions. According to the World Health Organization, around 466 million people worldwide suffer from disabling hearing loss, and the number is expected to surge to 900 million by 2050.
  • Whizpace has created a Super Wi-Fi connectivity solution that makes use of TV White Space (TVWS), an underutilized TV spectrum due to the shift from analog broadcast to digital. TVWS has cost and transmission advantages, particularly in rural areas, in comparison to the alternatives of cabling, fibre and microwave link. For example, it can help to better connect smart sensors and provide broadband internet access for schools and hospitals in remote locations.

In addition to receiving financial rewards to further their businesses’ social impact, the finalists will also receive mentorship and incubation support from NUS Enterprise for a period of three months, as well as access to its BLOCK71, an ecosystem builder and global connector community with co-working spaces in Singapore, Bandung, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Suzhou and San Francisco.

In addition, the finalists will be eligible to join the 10x1000 Tech for Inclusion programme, jointly set up by International Financial Corporation (“IFC”), a member of the World Bank Group, and Alipay. The comprehensive training programme will support the cultivation of 1,000 technology experts in emerging markets from both public and private sectors over the next 10 years.

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