The inaugural Techcracker Singapore was held to great success at the National University of Singapore (NUS) University Cultural Centre today. Jointly organised by the Li Ka Shing Foundation, Horizons Ventures, NUS Enterprise and Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd, the event had attracted over 600 participants including students, industry leaders as well as representatives from corporations and start-ups in Singapore.
The half-day roadshow featured inspiring presentations by eight founders from seven technology start-ups around the world, into which Horizons Ventures have invested. The presentations all captured the sense that in a technological revolution, the global economy and relationship between entities and people are changing; and while the idea of change is daunting to most, the ones who embrace it can liberate infinite possibilities.
Impossible Food highlighted how it develops transformative new technologies to produce plant-based foods that outperform existing meat and dairy products in taste and nutrition at a lower cost and with a much lower impact on the global environment.
Modern Meadow shared how it applies the latest advances in tissue engineering to develop cultured leather and meat products that require no animal slaughter and much lower land, water, energy and chemicals input. Muse also delighted the crowd with how it uses brain-sensing technology to create meaningful products and experiences that let people understand and improve how the mind works.
Participants were also treated to a peek into the future through Meta’s 3D stereoscopic display that merges the physical and holographic worlds, as well as Roli’s Seaboard, a keyboard that melds digital music and natural intuition in a seamless way. Teralytics shared their vision for how big data can solve the world’s toughest complex problems, while MeMed demonstrated how technology can prevent the misuses of antibiotics.
Techcracker Singapore at NUS is the event’s first showing outside China. First launched in May 2014, Techcracker seeks to encourage and empower people to explore creative solutions to tackle existing problems and build a more sustainable and responsible future through adoption of disruptive technologies.
Techcracker is the brainchild of prominent business leader, investor and philanthropist Dr Li Ka-shing. Dr Li said, “The heart and soul of innovation is more than knowing how to build a ship. We must be inspired to yearn for the sea.” In a continuing effort to inspire the youth, the Li Ka Shing Foundation also invited student representatives from the Hong Kong University, Chinese University, University of Science and Technology, and Polytechnic University to participate in Techcracker Singapore.
NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, “We are honoured and privileged to be presenting Techcracker Singapore together with the Li Ka Shing Foundation, Horizons Ventures and Vertex Venture. The spirit of inquiry, innovation and entrepreneurship is an integral part of the NUS culture. Innovation-driven initiatives such as Techcracker are outstanding platforms that inspire our students and encourage them to be creative and bold in trying new approaches and concepts. They empower our students to create positive change for Singapore and the wider society.”
Group President and Chief Executive Officer of Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd, Mr Chua Kee Lock said, “At Vertex, we believe our collective future will be impacted by potential champions with disruptive technologies or business models. Over the past 26 years, we have supported promising businesses from around the world in their next phase of growth to help build them into prospective global champions. We are therefore pleased to partner the Li Ka Shing Foundation, Horizons Ventures and NUS Enterprise in bringing the inaugural Techcracker event to Singapore and we hope that the event will serve as a springboard for our next-gen business leaders.”
The event also included private networking sessions and discussions among the investors, industry and start-ups in the afternoon. A select group of NUS students also had the opportunity to participate in a workshop with the founders for insights into the challenges and inspiration for their innovations and businesses.
The Li Ka Shing Foundation envisions Techcracker to reach out to cities across Asia, and eventually the global community, as a catalyst to achieve greater social positives through technology and innovation. Techcracker will be heading to Shanghai on 9 Oct 2014.
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