#Asia Captain’s Log, Sept 27: Singapore has a new early-stage startup mentoring initiative


Also, a Hong Kong-based smart yogurt maker has launched its Kickstarter campaign, and more

Tri5 Ventures launches early-stage startup mentoring programme

Singapore-based VC Tri5 Ventures has launched an one-to-one early-stage startup mentoring initiative called NEXT50. The initiative will take the form of a ‘pay-it-forward’ approach, consisting of a team of over 50 business and technical mentors.

They include startup founders, traditional businessmen, data scientists, medical scientists, digital marketers, software engineers in the fields of fintech, logistics, Food and Beverage, e-commerce, HR, SaaS, legal and education.

Prior to this new initiative, Tri5 Ventures team have conducted over 800 mentoring sessions over the past 7 years, in conjunction with its NRF-backed seed stage incubator Angel Gates Advisory. According to an official press release, the incubator assisted 38 Singapore startups to raise around S$7.5 million (US$5.5 million) in grants and follow-on funding.

“The imparting of knowledge and the sharing of experiences, especially during the early stages, are essential in building startups with a solid foundation. With a wide range of mentors from across industries on board, we are certain that the startup Founders will benefit more from a variety of quality perspectives”,  said Christopher Quek, Managing Partner of Tri5 Ventures.

Singapore Fintech Association signs MOU to extend reach into Central Eastern Europe

The Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Enterprise Hungary and The Hungarian National Trading House to strengthen fintech cooperation between the two nations, as well as other parts of Central Eastern Europe.

Singapore is Hungary’s biggest bilateral trade partner in ASEAN, at 35 per cent of total trade. Hungary is also a member of the Visegrad 4 Group (V4), the key economies in Central and Eastern Europe.

Also Read: Bfab pivots with a launch of SaaS product for salons; forays into Singapore

“The signing of the MOUs reflects the strong ties between the two countries and recognises Hungary’s key economic role in Central Europe,” said Chia Hock Lia, President of the SFA, in an official press statement.

“Our job is to build capacity for Hungarian startups to go global. Partners like SFA are important allies in this mission. One of the most crucial necessities for startups to succeed is to be at the right place at the right time. We believe that the right place is in Singapore and the right time is now. We are glad to introduce the first 6 Hungarian pioneer companies at the Startup Campus Singapore event,” Zsolt KOVACS, CEO, Enterprise Hungary.

Hong Kong-based smart yogurt maker launches Kickstarter

Hong Kong-based startup Lecker Labs has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its smart yogurt maker Yomee.

The machine creates yogurt in a few simple steps: Users pour milk into the Yomee cup, attach it to the Yomee machine, then drop the patented Yomee pod inside the machine. Within six hours, chilled yogurt will be created. Each pod can create two servings of yoghurt.

Users can select their preferred yogurt type through an app, which they will need to sync to the Yomee machine.

Each Yomee kit costs US$99 on Kickstarter, and they come loaded with 20 Yomee pods. The campaign has already received over US$20,000 in backing, with 36 days on the calendar.

Uber ventures into tourism in Malaysia with UberTRIP

Ride-hailing giant Uber has teamed up with Destination Perak, Perak’s tourism agency, to launch UberTRIP in the city of Ipoh.

UberTRIP is a feature that allows riders to book a single ride that stops at several destinations within a stipulated timespan, for a flat fee. Travellers to Ipoh, in this case, will have to pay RM 140 (US$33) for four hours of a single ride. They will have to pay RM 0.60 (US$0.15) if they cross the four-hour mark.

Also Read: Grab makes move to undercut ComfortDelGro in Singapore, is Uber on their mind?

“The state of Perak has seen a steady increase and the highest domestic tourist arrivals for 3 consecutive years: 7.02 million in 2014, 7.96 million in 2015, and 16.8 million in 2016. Ipoh is undoubtedly the most visited city in Perak, and we support the timeliness of introducing an innovative product that can help tourists move around better, using modern technology,” said Abd Raheem Mohamad, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Destination Perak, in an official press statement.

Uber and its rival, Grab, were officially authorised to operate their services in Malaysia in June.

India-based edtech startup NeoStencil acquires analytics test practice portal TestCafe

India-based live-learning platform NeoStencil has acquired analytics-based test practice portal Testcafe. The acquisition will improve NeoStencil’s testing capabilities and help users improve their exam-readiness. Anish Passi, the Founder of Testcafe, will join NeoStencil as a director.

Founded in 2014, NeoStencil connects top teachers and institute with students across India via a live classroom platform. Students can receive study materials, personalised feedback and mock tests all on one platform.

TestCafe, on the other hand, tracks and analyses students’ performances and gives them actionable insights. So there are clear synergies between the two companies.

“We’ve always aimed to make the process of exam preparation as
hassle-free as possible. This move will help both our students understand their strengths and weaknesses better, and see rapid improvements in their performance,” said Passi, in an official press statement.

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