by Guest Author on February 20, 2013
Singapore has blossomed as a key business center in Southeast Asia in recent years, and is attracting scores of investors from around the world eager to cash in on the opportunities available in this rapidly expanding economic hub. This is an especially exciting time for entrepreneurs, and start-ups have been popping up across the city even faster than the new skyscrapers transforming the cityscape. Last year, the country hosted its first ever Singaporean Startup Weekend for women, to complement the male-dominated event that has been such a success in the past few years. Startup Asia–Singapore 2013 is scheduled for early April of this year, and will bring together a network of important minds and resources focused on launching a new wave of innovative startups in 2013.
With so much entrepreneurial activity centered in one place, Singapore is producing some remarkable new business ventures. Here are the top five Singaporean startups to keep an eye on in 2013:
Having already attracted several powerhouse investors, including Novartis and British American Tobacco, IDENTIFI is growing fast. In 2012, they launched DiscoverMatch, a visual directory of business- and job-listings designed to showcase company culture, individual employees, and office spaces. The goal of the site is something altogether new when it comes to connecting jobseekers and employers: an online platform dedicated to helping businesses attract top talent.
Already featured in a number of spotlight reports by CNBC, SG Entrepreneurs, and YoungStartups, TradeGecko is causing quite a buzz. They’ve developed a sleek and efficient online inventory and order management software suite, which does invoicing, sales orders, purchase orders, and shipping labels. Propelled by more than $800K in initial startup funding, they hit the ground running and are expanding fast.
Milaap not only built a solid business model, they created an inspiring model for positive social change on an international scale. Their online platform facilitates crowd-sourced low-interest lending to India’s underprivileged, and operates on the belief that ‘a hand up is always better than a handout.’ Users give zero interest microloans, which they can reinvest in other projects after being paid back. Loan recipients use the funds to develop electric, sanitation, healthcare, and sustainable farming projects in their villages, and repay the loan at .6% interest when the community-building project is completed.
Launched in 2012, this iPhone app helps users capture, share, and browse through memorable food moments. By recording the place, date, and details of the meal, the network of users can create food journals, review local eateries, find great meals, and even just indulge in the simple joy of browsing food porn. With a sleek and easy-to-use interface, Burpple has already attracted a lot of attention from foodies around the globe.
Online travel agencies are frustrating, time consuming, and inefficient. GottaGetaway hopes to change that by launching its own proprietary search engine, which they say will offer a faster, more streamlined solution to travel booking. Founder Ric Shreves––author of several books on open source technology and a frequent speaker at web and travel industry events––is spearheading the project. The site is due to launch in a few months, and is certain to change the travel industry if it can live up to expectations.
For investors, entrepreneurs, and consumers alike, 2013 is shaping up to be an exciting year. It is rare to see such an explosion of business concentrated in one small area, and the results of the boom are certain to produce some great new ventures. If these startups live up to the enthusiasm they have already provoked in the business world, they are certain to leave some important marks on the financial world.
If you’re visiting Singapore on business then the Swissotel Merchant Court, located within a stone’s throw of Raffles Place, offers five-star luxury and comfort, and is ideally catered to the needs of business professionals.
About the Author
Jon Turling is a travelling business blogger, currently residing in Singapore. If you’re visiting Singapore on business then the Swissotel Merchant Court, located within a stone’s throw of Raffles Place, offers five-star luxury and comfort, and is ideally catered to the needs of business professionals.