From aquaculture to high-fashion, the startups that descended on Singapore for the Taiwan Accelerator Demo Day were a diverse bunch.
The densitiy of medtech companies stood out from other Demo Days, but the 16 startups also included data analytics, jobs platforms, and car rental services.
It was the second cohort and part of a two-part pitching series between Taiwan and Singapore. One of the core goals of the Singapore leg was pitching their startup in English. Overall, the companies were quite solid, and it was clear the most important step for these Founders was to demonstrate their positive qualities in a second language.
“I can say, of course I will say, all of them are really good, all of them are unique and we believe that they have very good potential to be a big company,” said Kevin Yu, the Founder of Taiwan Accelerator.
So, let’s meet the companies!
Aisa is a micro-data artificial intelligence company that is building a product to help companies understand specific details about an individual’s preferences. For example, the tool could be used to provide hyper-specific restaurant recommendations to someone looking for dinner.
A lot of companies use data to find macro-trends for large populations. Aisa does the opposite. It dives into the individual and pulls out their preferences.
It partners with industries like the hospitality industry, but the service can be be tailored for a specific company within two months of signing a deal. It wants to help smart homes, robots and IoT moving forward.
Abbo wants to make planning a wedding more efficient. Started by a husband-wife duo, it helps people find, book, and purchase wedding services in just a few clicks.
In today’s modern society, with our busy work culture, the idea of planning a wedding sometimes feels like a daunting task. Abbo hopes to make it easier to start the process. It also works to provide quality vendors and simplify the planning process.
The startup makes money by taking a 10 per cent commission on deals signed through the platform. It plans to enter Southeast Asia in 2018.
An aquaculture company that wants to remove antibiotic residues from our fish farms — and then become the go-to platform for buying chemical-free fish. The company claims it has increased survival rates in its prawn ponds to 95 per cent — a massive increase from the average number of 20-30 per cent in China.
The technology is low-cost and efficient, and while it works with farmers to clean their water, it also wants them to sell their fish via Celaqua. The startup wants to sell to local fish markets, restaurants and eventually build out its own e-commerce platform.
Right now it is focussed on Guandong province and wants to become the go-to place the cleanest fish in China.
This food delivery startup is focussed on healthy food tailored to individual dietary needs. Every meal is under 500 calories and just requires the customer to heat it up in about five minutes.
Furthermore, it is developing a network of vending machines so people can just grab-and-go food that is healthier than a typical vending machine snack.
What is interesting is its intelligent meal system. The idea is to take a survey which will prime Yuan Flavor with information they then use to create a personalised meal plan for the customer.
The company has over 7,000 customers and a 30 per cent retention rate. It plans to enter Hong Kong and Macau next year.
Dubbing itself the “AirBnB of car rental”, gogoout wants people to choose their service because of the hyper-specific choices it provides. Most rental companies offer types (mid-size sedan, van, SUV) but rarely the make and model. At gogoout, if the customer wants to rent a Tesla to try it out, they can do it.
It makes its money by charging a 20 per cent commission on each transaction and has grown to over 200 transactions per month since launching earlier this year.
It leverages customer reviews and location services to make the car rental process more convenient.
KD Tech has built a Gimbal system for drones, which makes a big difference in stabilising cameras. Furthermore, during the pitch, it became clear it wants to sell its technology to industrial and military grade drones (the ones that look like planes and not the miniature helicopters consumers usually purchase).
It has cooperation agreements with three UAV companies in Taiwan and the team says the product will help with search and rescue, border protection, forest management, and disaster response. KD Tech said its product is 25 per cent more affordable than the market standard.
Mean Yu is an up-and-coming hotel chain that uses “asset activation” as its business model. What this means is it finds low-cost properties to turn into international hotels that have a unique “creative design”.
The Founders think their unique skill is in finding these properties that may be undervalued but offer a lot of potential. It has already built seven of its own hotels but wants to have 100 by 2022. It recently signed a deal with Malaysia’s KK Group to give it access to 30 hotel chains in the country.
MediU is an e-commerce platform for supplements. The company uses personalised data to send the customer their necessary supplements put in these neat little daily packets. It eliminates the need for plastic bottles and a scheduling tray.
The system can also in take information from the user and recommend to them the supplements that would work best for their needs. MediU charges between US$50 to US$70 per month via subscription. It wants to enter Malaysia and Singapore next year and includes Techang Pharmacy as an investor. The business model has been patented.
Most e27 readers are familiar with online doctor booking services. ProudPet is taking a similar idea and applying it to veterinarians. Users can use the app to make an appointment, schedule check ups and there is even an option to have the vet go to the person’s home.
However, one feature really stood out. The system has an emergency alert system that, should something serious happen, will ping a list of vets that are available for an emergency surgery. They will then accept the user and could possibly be ready to go by the time the person arrives at the clinic. It’s neat because people love their pets, but unlike 999 or 911 it isn’t intuitive of who to call if something in the event of tragedies like a car accident.
The company takes a 15 per cent commission on each transaction and because of one of its main investors is looking to build a presence in the New York area as well as Asia.
Models make their money posing for brands and fashion designers; but if they can successfully launch their own brand, that is where the big bucks exist. Sista Closet wants to democratise this process by building a marketplace for model branded clothing. So basically, every model on the platform has their own private label.
Users can shop like a traditional e-commerce platform, but there also are options for on-demand pick-up and dress up tips. Furthermore, the company was started by Joanna Guo, a former model who touted her network as a major advantage.
Allton is a smart home lighting service that tailors the lighting in the room according to time of day. There is an app and it is complimented by bluetooth.
It uses circadian light to adjust a home’s light to fit the natural environment. For example, in the morning, the human body needs cold light while in the evening it prefers dim, warmer light. It can wake up a customer with a subtle adjustment of a room’s lighting and then in the evening help people relax with their lighting.
The product does not require rewiring and is capable of hyper-precise lighting adjustments. Allton is targetting the greater China market for the first few years.
Dr. Pay is a digital payment system for the health industry. Health payments have the unique pain point of being absurdly expensive — which means people rarely have enough cash on hand or a credit line that can afford medical payments.
Dr. Pay uses the messaging app LINE to manage medical bills. It works by enabling the person to work out a payment installment plan with the hospital. LINE will then send a notification to the doctor, who decides whether or not to approve the contract. If the doctor says yes, the contract is signed via LINE or a kiosk and the payment process begins.
Dr. Pay then enforces the payment plan and keeps both side updated with regular texts.
Furthermore, the company uses blockchain technology to ensure security and privacy. It charges a 4 per cent fee on each transaction. The system is set to go live in November and they already have agreements with about half a dozen clinics and one hospital.
H.E.R.O. uses our cell phones to become a fast and efficient earthquake response system. The idea is to build a huge network via mobile phones so that once an earthquake hits an area, it registers and sends out notifications to everyone using H.E.R.O.
The company says that it can register an earthquake within five seconds which, depending on the location of the user, may give them a 30 second warning to find safety. The alert is quite loud and would be difficult to miss in the case of an earthquake.
H.E.R.O. is confident it can filter out the false-positives.
The company is targeting corporates to make money and would charge about US$5,000 to US$10,000 for annual fees.
MLK is a health-tech startup that uses biomimetic hydrogels to help with wound healing. Biomimetic hydrogels are synthetic properties that properties that mimic the nature of soft tissues in the body. Its strength lies in it adaptability and people think it can help mitigate limiting factors lie moisture and pressure.
It can also help with drug delivery via skin application as well as tissue regeneration.
The company already has a few partners in China and is looking to build its network in ASEAN. For Singapore, this technology could be useful for victims of diabetic wounds. Diabetes is a problem in the country and has recently become a national focus from the government.
SeeJob is a video-based jobs platform. While resumes are great for pushing out experience and achievements, it is nearly impossible to get a feeling of the person’s personality. At SeeJobs, the user records a video resume which can help them display who they are as a person.
In just a few clicks, users can build a three-minute long video resume and if the employer likes what they see, they can engage in instant messaging and video conferencing.
For employers, the company charges US$100 for a year and they filter through resumes with a like/dislike button similar to Facebook. The app will officially launch in November.
UpperMed is a smart urine bag that aims to lower the death rate amongst patients of kidney disease. The issue they are solving is that declining urine flow can directly lead to a patient’s death, but nurses are often very busy and may not have the resources to check up on their patients once every four hours, as is recommended. Plus, if there is a problem, it take awhile to diagnose.
UpperMed uses 24/7 monitoring and can be plugged into the urine bags already owned by hospitals. The diagnosis period is short and the equipment is free. The company hopes to make money on its analysis services (plus a charge for the disposable casing).
The startup begins clinical trials in 2018 and is hoping for US Food and Drug Administration approval by 2019.