Lignar Labs, a legacy environmental engineering company in Singapore, has just inked a partnership with the VC firm TNB Ventures to launch an accelerator programme to support startups focused on environmental protection, pollution management and energy innovation.
Dubbing the initiative a ‘Call for Innovation’ the accelerator is targeting startups in the AR/VR, IoT, robotics, big data, AI and fintech sectors. The important twist is they must also be solving environmental problems.
Selected startups will be granted access to facilities, infrastructure, technical perks and will work closely with Lingar. The companies will receive co-investment from TNB Ventures and Lignar.
“The emerging frontier technologies can add ‘smartness’ to the environment to better respond to our needs, and has the potential to generate quantum leap improvement affecting billions.” said TNB Ventures Founder Michael Yap in a statement.
What makes this initiative interesting is the participation of Lignar. The company is a 50-year-old engineering firm that began as a coffee machine/coconut shredder manufacturer. It then grew to become a pollution solutions provider before graduating into a major environmental technology firm in Asia.
Currently, Lignar has one startup listed in its portfolio online, although it does not fall under the environmental sector. The company is called Kyck and it uses blockchain to help companies identify and verify their clients (the term for this is KYC, thus the name).
For TNB Ventures, the accelerator comes about 9 months after the VC was appointed by SPRING Singapore to take the lead in developing Smart Cities, B2B and IoT solutions in Singapore. The appointment was meant to incentivise TNB to pursue these sectors with an offer from SPRING to co-invest in the startups.
The overall goal from SPRING was to jump start deep tech investment in the clean tech and advanced manufacturing industries.
While accelerator programmes are common across Singapore, one dedicated specifically to environmental protection is more rare. It will be worth keeping an eye on the startups that are eventually accepted into this programme.
Photo courtesy of TNB Ventures