Hot and buzzing – two words that describe the economic situation in Singapore very well – we spent a great day at our first Seedcamp in Asia this week, and it was a full on success.
We were hosted at the Singapore Management University, thanks to the generous help of the IDA, and Expara, who helped out with the organisation of the day.
In the morning, team pitches went very smoothly and displayed the great diversity of the visiting companies: coming from 7 different countries in the region, they were active in fields as varying as cloud storage management and the development of digital sales materials. From consumer focused companies to teams active in enterprise and government sectors, we had a great selection across the board.
Despite the hot and humid weather (challenging for us northerners coming from cold and rainy London), the discussions stayed very focused on the development of the teams’ ideas and businesses. Already after the first mentoring sessions, the teams commented on the great input they received – owed to the great mentors we were able to find in Singapore and the region. Next to the already mentioned repeat mentors coming over from Europe, we had local VCs, angel investors, representatives of large tech companies and government passing on their knowledge to the teams.
One of the striking findings in new geographies (this applied to South Africa and Singapore alike) is the enthusiasm that builds up during only a very short time – both mentors and teams who are skeptical or do not know what exactly to expect in the beginning of the day are teeming with excitement during lunch at the latest. To see this energy carry on throughout the day is one of the most rewarding experiences of running Seedcamp.
The same energy was also what carried many of us through to the hackerspace in Singapore’s Arab street district, where we closed the day over drinks and talk. The final winners of Seedcamp Singapore were announced by Singaporean minister Mrs. Lim Hua Wee one day later during the Techventure conference taking place at Singapore’s newest and undoubtedly most striking addition to the skyline – the Marina Bay Sands: