Apple Seed showcases local talent at Expo launch

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By Stefania Gonzalez Russi

Apple Seed, a Singapore-based venture accelerator, inaugurated its official launch during an expo, presenting eight startups to an audience of investors, entrepreneurs and guests. Apple Seed brought a diverse set of solutions from maritime simulation to facial recognition to e-commerce and automotive technologies.

Mr Kumaran Pillai, CEO of Apple Seed said, “We are proud to present eight successful upstarts at our startup expo. These companies, seven of which are homegrown, showcase what our technopreneurs are capable of – setting a new benchmark in innovation.”

Designed and established by JTC Corporation, the LaunchPad is a venture cluster for up-and-coming startups to grow, develop and mature in the ecosystem. Currently, the LaunchPad is host to more than 500 startups and is expected to reach out to over 30,000 employees by the end of 2015.

Apple Seed is currently incubating 16 start-ups at JTC Launchpad @ One-North. Supported by SPRING Singapore’s Incubator Development Programme, Apple Seed is led by key players of the entrepreneurship community who bring a cache of knowledge and expertise to propel the startups into success. Since 2014, Apple Seed has been incubating a range of startups by helping them to identify markets overseas, source for new and existing revenue streams, guide them through mentoring programs, and assist with investor relations. Through these efforts, Apple Seed has developed and nurtured homegrown businesses to tap on regional markets and become a roaring success in the entrepreneurship community.

Some of the startups have been working with Golden Equator Consulting, providing business management direction to produce effective strategic and execution driven results.

Adam Flinter, Director of Golden Equator Consulting, said that Singapore’s ecosystem is a platform for tech startups, “We see Singapore as a hotbed for tech startups due to the financial capital, government support and investment, infrastructure, stability, and as a safe and transparent place to do business. Golden Equator Consulting see’s the tech sector as a growth engine for Singapore for the next 5-10 years especially because there is still so much untapped opportunity here in Singapore.”

The eight startups are a success story that represent a combined portfolio value of S$40M and a ground level opportunity for angel and seed investors. They have ready technologies to be deployed across pan Asian markets.

Homegrown startup Trakomatic is a shopper analytic solution that helps understand shopping behavior. The company tracks foot traffic in malls using high-density cameras. The business has seen more than a quarter million sales from Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and China.

“The Growth Acceleration Programme by Apple Seed has been a springboard for revenue and funding. Apple Seed has helped us develop our business and market reach,” said Allen Lin, CEO of Trakomatic.

Apple Seed also presented a regional startup from India. Indian-based Viswire is a real time visual simulation provider that focuses on simulations for training and research. Iswaran Subramaniam, CEO of Visewire shares, “Apple Seed has worked closely with us in creating our investor pitch/business plan. Apple Seed mentors guide us towards refining our business development activities.  Their startup events has been useful, in interacting with investors and like-minded entrepreneurs – Apple Seed is clearly committed to empowering entrepreneurs like myself to grow and scale the business.”

Receiving business strategy advice from Golden Equators Consulting is Nearcircles. Nearcircles is a messaging application that allows people living in the same neighbourhood to engage in community-related discussions. Users can leverage the application to pose questions, sell household stuff to neighbours and connect with like-minded individuals by joining the lifestyle groups in their local community areas.

One of the first incubatees to join Apple Seed is Fashory. Fashory, a fashion social commerce mobile application, is a pioneer in Asia to the image of transactions technology. The local company provides an effortless online shopping experience for consumers. The company also assists brand owners by providing insights about their consumers.

Apple Seed has been very supportive in our startup journey. Mr Kumaran and his team have given us dedicated guidance and useful ideas on how to shape our business. What we really appreciate about Apple Seed are the one-to-one investor pitches that they’ve organised and the overseas market access trips,” said Emmy Teo, CEO of Flashtag LLP.

The expo was a platform for key players of Singapore’s aspiring startup ecosystem to meet and forge new ties. Entrepreneurial activities in Singapore have taken off thanks to efforts of venture accelerators such as Apple Seed.