The key to an interesting startup conference is quality and variety of both content (workshops and panels) and exhibitors.
This year’s Echelon Asia Summit showcased a wide range of young and maturing startups spanning across different verticals and markets. Some focussed on B2B industries while others had their eyes on the consumer segment.
It’s always exciting to check out B2C startups because their product use-cases are always palpable to the ordinary non-techie folks. They are all vying to be the hot new app on everyone’s smartphone, so mass market appeal is their goal.
Here’s four of them that I thought were pretty nifty. Check them out!
Can’t get put a finger on that weird rumbling sound coming from your car? Korea-based startup AIDENTIFY wants to help drivers diagnose vehicle problems easily.
Essentially, its aicar app uses AI algorithms that are trained to detect abnormal signals in the car. If it finds that a particular component is emitting abnormal signals at a high frequency, the app will alert the driver to check that component.
How it works is that every car comes with an Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which detects signals from hundreds of components. Drivers then buy an IoT dongle and plug it to the ECU. This IoT dongle is linked to the aicar app using Bluetooth.
The company says aicar can gather data from more than 100 components within the car via OBD2 DLC (on-board diagnostic data link connector).
Queuing can be such a major inconvenience that customers are actually willing to pay other people to wait in line for them.
Singapore startup cutQ helps people sick of long lines to skip the wait. It wants to facilitate the true hassle-free grab and go experience on a digital platform.
There are two services it provides: Instant take away and advance take way — very similar to a taxi booking service.
Currently, it is only targetting the F&B sector. It has over 3 F&B merchants on board including chains such as TCC and Krispy Kreme.
Customers can book up to two days before the pickup. So if they are preparing for an early morning meeting and need some coffee and tidbits, they can place an order well in advance.
There’s no extra fee on top of their purchases too, cutQ monetises by selling its platform to businesses through different-tiered packages (so it’s technically a B2B platform too).
One of the most annoying things about travelling overseas is the packing.
Singapore startup Gibbon is tackling this pain-in-the-ass point using its on-the-go travel library. It is basically a rental service for essential travel items such as clothes and toiletries.
Travellers inform Gibbon on pertinent details such as their overseas addresses and accommodation dates. Then, the requested travel package will be sent to the hotel/hostel concierge or the room itself if the accommodation is one of its partners.
Gibbon will also work with Airbnb hosts directly to deliver the packages.
Gibbon charges travellers between S$13.90 (US$10) to S$19.90 (US$14.50) per day. They also have to pay a deposit on top of the rental fee. Gibbon says its target market is Asia-based millennial travellers going to Europe.
The internet is helping to democratise music collaborations, transcending physical music studios.
Korea-based Diocian provides a web and app platform that allows aspiring composers to operate a live studio online. They can then find other musicians to contribute parts to their song and mix them in according to their preferences.
Diocian also helps musicians distribute their tracks globally to major music publishing platforms such as iTunes and Spotify. Some streaming platforms, publishers and distributors require an upfront free, but Diocian only takes a cut from the musician’s revenue once they clock in sales.