innovfest unboundSoutheas 2018, one of Asia’s largest innovation festival, wrapped up the fourth edition of its annual two-day event at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore this week.
The event, jointly organized by Unbound and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, and in partnership with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), played host to 13,487 attendees from over 100 countries.
innovfest unbound saw an increased number of foreign and local dignitaries at the event, including Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, Mr S. Iswaran, who kicked off the opening ceremony.
Progressive and pro-innovation regulations are crucial for Singapore to achieve its goal of being a leading digital economy that continually reinvents itself. As part of this effort, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) launched three important initiatives — an Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data, a five-year Research Programme on the Governance of AI and Data Use to be led by the Singapore Management University, and a Discussion Paper on AI and Personal Data that will provide a common language for public and private sector deployment of AI.
Mr Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA said,
“Establishing a trusted ecosystem for innovation is an important part of our effort to grow the digital economy and to anchor Singapore as a tech hub for the region. It is with this objective that we are launching the initiatives around the ethical use and governance of Artificial Intelligence and data.
Given the significant interest in the use of AI and data by the industry, it is timely for us to proactively engage various stakeholders on these issues. These initiatives complement IMDA’s existing industry and talent development programmes to foster a thriving ecosystem in the development and use of frontier technologies.”
The festival raised the bar for innovation by bringing together industry leaders from FinTech, AdTech, MedTech, PropTech, E-commerce and more, for two days of panel sessions and keynote speeches. Attendees geared up for inspiring insights from over 300 of the biggest names from top brands, including Air Asia’s Tony Fernandes, Facebook’s Stefanos Loukako, ONE Championship’s Chatri Sityodtong, Go-Jek’s Piotr Jakubowski, Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova and SGInnovate’s Steve Leonard.
The various content streams identified and deep-dived into the latest disruptive trends that will support the transition into a digital economy, and explored ways in which governments, corporates and investors can help create a supportive environment for this transformation. At their keynote session, Southeast Asia’s Grab Inc. announced the launch of Grab Ventures to grow the region’s next generation of technology leaders, and promote innovation and digitalisation in the region.
Albert Ovidi, COO, JLL APAC said,
“Our Proptech Unleashed forum at innovfest inbound was the ideal opportunity to bring together start-ups, investors and corporates to exchange ideas about innovation in the real estate industry.
We were thrilled to be able to share with delegates that we have launched JLL Spark’s new Global Venture Fund that aims to surface exciting new products and services in the PropTech space.”
innovfest unbound continues to bridge the gap between brands and start-ups, and serves as a springboard for the region’s entrepreneurs in more ways than one. Unbound50 ASEAN, powered by Accenture, which was launched at this year’s festival, gave the region’s 50 most inspiring tech startups exposure to visiting investors and corporate representatives.
The road closure along Ann Siang Hill was an exciting first for Unbound, as they brought delegates a value-added experience at innovfest unbound’s legendary after-party, the Urban Experience. Live music and street performances lightened the mood while attendees partook in networking opportunities through the night.
Brands like HSBC and Unilever hosted startup pitch competitions, where revolutionary entrepreneurs gathered to showcase their ideas to media, investors and the tech community, and as a result formed new relationships and created opportunities for collaboration.
The Duke of York hosted the first ASEAN edition of Pitch@Palace, a series of pitch competitions started by HRH himself. Taking place alongside innovfest unbound for the first time, the pitch event saw 19 startups pitching to an influential audience including Dr. Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Communications and Information Singapore and Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia.
Malaysia’s reverse-vending machine (RVM) startup, Klean, was crowned winner with the most votes and will proceed to pitch at Pitch@Palace Global 3.0 at St. James’ Palace, London in December 2018.
HRH The Duke of York, Founder, Pitch@Palace said,
“People don’t realise how Entrepreneurial this part of the world is, I am privileged to bring Pitch@Palace to ASEAN and to take Entrepreneurs from this region around the world.”
“I’m surprised as I was extremely nervous, but I’m also completely thrilled to have won today. Pitch@Palace has been the perfect opportunity for us to talk to business leaders in Asia and these business leaders take you very seriously because of the platform given,”
said Nick Boden, CEO, Klean.
Startup Challenge Winners:
- Pitch@Palace ASEAN 1.0: Klean
- HSBC Hex & Hive: StashAway & EndoMaster
- Unilever Foundry Startup Battle: Pencil & Vase
innovfest unbound’s continued success in 2018 highlights its unique ability as a strong platform for connecting entrepreneurs, brands, government and investors to drive innovation for the future.
“Unbound aims to drive conversations that will help fuel the innovation growth around the world, and especially in Asia where the opportunities are tremendous. This is why we’re really pleased by innovfest unbound’s increased turnout this year.
More importantly, we are thrilled by the positive feedback we’ve received on the meaningful partnerships and connections that were formed between investors and the most disruptive startups during the festival,”
said Daniel Seal, founder and CEO of Unbound.
“We are delighted with this year’s innovfest unbound. For the fourth year running, we have demonstrated the ability to aggregate the community, bringing together the entrepreneurs, corporates, academics, and VCs. I am also pleased to see new faces at our event every year, including top speakers with game-changing ideas, innovators displaying disruptive technologies and entrepreneurs with the next big idea,”
said Dr. Lily Chan, CEO NUS Enterprise.
Featured image via https://www.facebook.com/unboundglobal/