Two new programs to support entrepreneurs and startups in Singapore were unveiled on Tuesday by the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Vivian Balakrishnan.
The first, Modern Aging, is a four month program that will bring together students, researchers, and health professionals from various disciplines to create businesses for aging.
Coorganized by NUS Enterprise (the enterprise arm of the National University of Singapore) and ACCESS Health International (a nonprofit think tank focused on healthcare), Modern Aging is supported by Duke-NUS and the Ministry of Health.
Participants will – through a blended curriculum of online presentations, workshops, and mentoring sessions – learn about the challenges and needs of an aging population both in Singapore and globally, develop ideas, and translate these into viable business plans.
They will present their ideas at a final pitching session, and stand to win fifty thousand Singapore dollars in seed funding, incubation support, and access to technologies and partners.
Modern Aging will commence in August this year, and is expected to be held annually and expand to the rest of Asia.
Singapore’s aging population presents many opportunities for the community to provide innovative solutions to active aging, aged care, and caregiving in both Singapore and globally, which ultimately speak to the country’s Smart Nation ambitions, said Dr. Balakrishnan, also the Minister in Charge of Smart Nation.
The number of seniors aged sixty five years and above will almost triple from 365,000 in 2010 to over nine hundred thousand in 2030, The Business Times has learned.
The second program, known as NEAT IP (NUS Easy Access to Technologies for Industry Partners), aims to connect startups to technologies – which they often find difficult to access – to enhance their business and productivity.
Since 2015, several startups have benefited from NEAT IP, among them Sypher Labs, which had licensed a geotracking technology from NUS and developed it into a new service to help fleet operators manage their fleets.
Dr. Balakrishnan was speaking at InnovFest UnBound 2015, a two day innovation festival presented by NUS Enterprise and AcreWhite.