[caption id="attachment_168522" align="aligncenter" width="690"] From left to right: Matt Clifford (CEO & co-founder of EF) and Alice Bentinck (co-founder of EF)[/caption] Most accelerators work on a model of helping existing teams and companies build and enhance their solutions, but Entrepreneur First (EF) takes a different approach. It is, in their co-founders Matt Clifford's and Alice Bentinck's own words, "a place where outliers come together." Like hackathons, teams in the EF programme are built from up the ground up — meaning that talented individuals with no prior ideas or relationships with each other are paired up to work on new solutions. Yesterday, the London-based accelerator showcased the 12 startups of its inaugural Singapore cohort in an Investor Day at the Google APAC headquarters. In an address to a room packed with investors, the co-founders explained that EF is about bringing the brightest minds from the top universities, including PhD graduates from Ivy League schools and UK's Golden Triangle universities, to work on deep tech solutions. They said that these individuals have the talents, but getting connected to the right co-founders and finding the right idea may be difficult, so EF aims to facilitate this process. In addition, EF supports the companies throughout the hiring and product building process. Its model, they said, has been developed and perfected over six years. The co-founders said that EF is not an accelerator but a company builder. They claim that over 140 companies have been built since 2013, and collectively, they brought in a total of S$380 million (US$271 million) in revenues in 2016 alone. Also Read: Disobedience as a necessity for success, especially for social innovation Singapore is EF's first venture outside of the UK. The republic's burgeoning tech ecosystem, reputable research institutions and universities were cited as factors favourable for EF to set up shop here. "We support the companies for a year; you get an individual stipend of S$5,000 (US$3,570) per month for the first three months, then another S$25,000 (US$17,850) for the second three months per company. [The Investor Day] yesterday was the end of the first six months, and now we move into fundraising. SparkLabs and SG Innovate have put S$90,000 (US$64,200)...which will see them through until they raise proper seed rounds," said Anne Marie Droste, Director of Entrepreneur First's Singapore operations, in a statement to e27. Here is a sneak-peek at the 12 solutions being developed by graduates of the world's most elite universities. vergence accommodation conflict, which is an eye-focussing problem. The solution developed by Lemnis helps users receive the same visual cues that they do in the real world but in VR. In a nutshell, they are making changes to the VR lens as well as the software to tackle this problem. Lemnis said its concept has already been tested and proven. These 3 simple technologies are making proptech more accessible SensorFlow claims it can help companies save up to 20 per cent of their energy bill, and it works on a subscription-based model. Current solutions that automate website testing are costly and often require a programmer to carry out. According to UI-licious, only 10 per cent of companies in the software industry automate website testing, so, many websites remain faulty, which can lead to loss of revenue. UI-licious's platform solves this pain point by creating an easy test scripting language that automates website testing without the need for a programmer. It currently has seven customers using its closed beta. Chemical Coagulation. HydroLeap wants to replace this chemical process with an electrical process called Electrocoagulation. It claims that it is "cheaper, faster, and easier" than the former, and could potentially save up to S$15 billion (US$10.7 billion) each year. Scoot over, Apple: This Chinese startup's wireless earphones can rival the AirPod It will be working with game studios and real estate companies that use VR building designs to roll out this product. e27 gave the beta product a test run and can verify that the sound tech is eerily life-like. Two thumbs up. Unity, then walk around in them using VR. Also Read: Virtual reality arcades are booming in Shanghai Currently, clients have to use a controller to "teleport" from one location to another. But VRcollab is incorporating conventional keyboard movement hot keys to allow them to move around naturally. Andrew Ng, Baidu's Chief Scientist and leader of AI, resigns in setback to company's renewed focus "We use computer vision, deep learning, and sensor fusion for robot navigation. Our technology makes robot work in many places that not possible before: crowded places like a hospital with a lot of human traffic, or very large space like an airport where even human can easily get lost," said Movel AI co-founder Haoyu Bai. The counter lady/guy at the drinks store may soon be out of a job, if Souschef's device goes mainstream. In a nutshell, it is a modular plug and play automated dispensing machines. Think of it as lego blocks for beverage companies. Companies can assemble them and automate the process of making complex beverages, thereby increasing revenue and cutting down manpower in the process. Digital recipes can be updated seamlessly, and Souschef claims it offers full customisation (unlike the one-size-fit-all of current products) flexibility and easy maintenance. New ingredients can be added and integrated quickly.
Entrepreneur First unveils the 12 startups of its inaugural Singapore cohort
Since its launch five years ago, the London-based accelerator has built over 140 companies