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Singapore’s SMU announces winners of its startup competition

Written by Ursula Florene Published on   2 mins read

The winners receive SGD 250,000 in cash and other prizes.

The Singapore Management University (SMU) on Friday announced the winners of its tenth Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition. The contest, which was organized by the university’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE)​​​​​​​, received over 850 entries from 650 universities across 60 countries.

This year’s theme—Reimagine smart, sustainable, and resilient cities—was calling for startups covering public health, infrastructure and industry, environment, transportation and mobility, along with government tech and civil solutions, among others.

“This edition’s theme is timely and relevant, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The world is looking to rebuild its economies with a stronger focus on sustainability and resilience,” said SMU president Lily Kong in a statement.

Winner of the Lee Kuan Yew Beta Prize Iterative Scopes. Photo courtesy of Iterative Scopes.

Iterative Scopes from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which develops AI-based detection and diagnostic tools for gastrointestinal physicians, won the Lee Kuan Yew Beta Prize, a category for pre-revenue teams or startups. Energy storage maker Relectrify from the University of Melbourne received the Lee Kuan Yew Infinity Prize, which targets revenue-generating early stage startups. Total prizes amounted to SGD 250,000 (USD 186,105), in cash and other benefits.

Each team had to present their business plans in the virtual grand final event, in front of a committee of judges including managing partner of VC firm Wavemaker Partners Paul Santos, Vertex Holdings’ Liu Gen Ping, and iGlobe Partners’ Robert Chew. The finalists were evaluated on innovativeness, commercial feasibility, impact, and the capability to execute.

This edition for the first time included ‘VC office hours,’ offering one-on-one consultations for the founders by more than 30 senior partners from leading venture capital firms who manage assets totaling USD 16 billion.


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