Global agency network Dentsu Aegis Network, together with Google as its partner, launched its regional female-founded startup demo day as part of its Female Foundry Accelerator Programme.
Held on December 14 in Singapore, the event saw eight startups from South and Southeast Asian countries presenting their works for an opportunity to secure a second round of funding from venture capital firms Dentsu Ventures, Monk’s Hill Ventures, NSI Ventures, Seed Plus and TNF Ventures.
The demo day was the peak of a two-month long programme starting in October. It consists of a bootcamp where founders of the selected startups learned about digital, marketing, finance and operations from Dentsu Aegis Network’s senior management. They were also paired with industry mentors for weekly consultations.
“As more and more women in Asia are using smart technology solutions to start their own businesses, we hope our industry will provide more platforms to help support and empower. Female Foundry and our commitment will continue into 2017 and we will also be extending our programme into Latin America and Africa to raise the voice of women from emerging markets, who are dominant players in the growth of e-commerce. Ultimately, we hope to reshape and fuel this emerging ecosystem,” explained Ruth Stubbs, Global President iProspect and Chair of Female Foundry, in a press statement.
The following are the startups and their founders:
Founded in 2015 by Prinda Pracharktam. The startup aims to simplify the shopping experience for prescription eyeglasses with a vertical-integrated platform, providing a “photo-rich e-commerce shopping experience.” It complements its services with free eye exams and after-sale service through optical retail partners.
Pracharktam graduated with an MSc in supply chain from Warwick University and MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. Apart from having experience working at Boeing and BCG, she also has experience with the optical
industry through her family’s business in lens manufacturing, eyewear wholesale, and retail.
Launched in 2016 by Swati Kochar, Hoppingo is an aggregator of e-commerce sites that allows users to follow their
favourite curators and online stores, as well as to create a personalised feed.
Kochar is an alumnus of Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad, India (MICA) and a media professional with over seven years of experience. She had been shortlisted for various awards, including The 100 Most Promising SME Leaders of India 2016 at The India SME – The New Superpower, Business & Leadership Conclave.
Founded in 2015 by Tracy Wong, Infini Videos is a “self-service” tool for businesses to easily create and manage online interactive videos.
Wong herself is an award-winning TV and production veteran with more than a decade of experience at MediaCorp and at Sony Pictures Entertainment. Some of the awards that her works had won including the prestigious New York Festivals, Promax BDA awards for marketing and promotion, Asian Television Awards and Asia Image Apollo Awards. She executive produced Sony Pictures Entertainment Network Asia’s telemovie LAMB, which won Singapore’s first-ever Golden Bell Awards (Taiwan’s version of the EMMYS) for Best Animation.
Stock photo website Klaud9 was founded by Isabel Gonzalez in 2016. Noticing the lack of Asian people images in common stock photo platforms, Klaud9 aims to solve this problem by creating “a curated Asian photo stock website that focuses on Asian people images, nature, food and its culture.”
Gonzalez has over 15 years of experience in marketing and e-commerce. She had launched and managed CheapTickets.sg and Skiddoo.com.sg in Singapore.
Made Real Pte Ltd
Robin Lim co-founded Made Real at the age of 19 in 2014, inspired by her personal struggles with body image. A subscription-based service powered by data analysis and machine learning, Made Real does not only give away expert opinion on nutrition and diet, but aso delivers the products to customers themselves.
Lim is taking a leave of absence from her Business Administration undergraduate degree at Singapore Management University to focus on building the company.
Co-founded by Ria Lao in 2015. PrecisionBit is a platform that connects leading brands with Asian consumers through user-generated visual content produced by micro-influencers to drive sales.
In her previous experiences with P&G, L’Oreal, and as Entrepreneur in Residence with Zalora (Rocket Internet), she had proven her capabilities in developing and scaling early-stage B2C and B2B technology ventures in both North America and Asia-Pacific markets. Her specialties are Digital and Consumer Marketing, Business Development and
Strategic Enterprise Sales.
Water solutions provider Swajal Water was founded by Dr. Vibha Tripathi in 2014. With energy-saving cleansing method, it claimed to have reached out to 100,000 customers through its water ATMs and water stations.
Dr. Tripathi has been visualising and refining the Swajal Water concept for more than six years. She graduated from IIT Kanpur and her work has been recognised and awarded by organisations such as REEEP, Goldman Sachs, ISB, Lockheed Martin, UNDP, and MNRE.
Wander was founded by Krystal Choo in 2013. The platform allows like-minded people to gather by allowing them to join the best communities in a city right from their devices.
A two-time TEDx speaker, Choo has been described as “one of Singapore’s, most awe-inspiring women” by Cosmopolitan, the “gritty entrepreneur Singapore needs” by e27, was chosen to represent global Change Destiny campaign with over a million views online, and named LinkedIn Power Profile 2015 and 2016 in the CEO category.
Image Credit: Female Foundry