February kicks off with a bang of innovative spirit in Singapore with a lively gathering organized by IMD’s Global Alumni Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE). The ACE initiative was formed two years ago to connect entrepreneurs and start-ups to investors who want to support, engage with, or become mentors to the budding companies. ACE operates in collaboration with local IMD alumni clubs and holds regular events globally to nurture the start-up ecosystem as well as create a learning platform on how to invest. Their mission is to promote the development and consolidation of new business ventures to make entrepreneurship accessible to alumni and to foster an ecosystem aimed at facilitating the mentoring and funding of business projects as an engine for innovation and growth. The ACE business model is; knowledge sharing with the next business generation and enabling corporates to better access innovation and learn to collaborate with start-ups staying in-line with IMD’s calling of fostering ‘continued learning’ within the alumni community.

The mission to strengthen IMD’s alumni with the knowledge to help them stay innovative and create a community focused on entrepreneurship has proven to be a success. The interest of this ever-growing community has spurred IMD to develop a new program exclusively for alumni – the SUN, or Start-Up Nation. It is designed to help alumni better understand the entrepreneurial phenomenon, identify its key ingredients, and engage in a solid dialogue about which aspects you could deploy in your organization to drive disruptive innovation.

At the Singapore event, the start-ups were brought in by BANSEA, the Business Angel Network South East Asia offering the opportunity to seven start-ups to live pitch their business model

7 minutes for 7 pitches

The start-ups brought in by BANSEA had a timer of exactly seven minutes to convince the audience why they should invest in their Asia- focused business enterprise.

Accu Healthcare is addressing counterfeit drugs and the medicine market through technology; counterfeit is a heavily debated issue worldwide causing deaths, health risks and huge economic losses. Ohana, a Vietnamesestart-up is finding modern-day solutions for student housing that are cost friendly without traditional landlord housing regulations that are often too much of a financial burden to bear for students. Idem Labs offers new solutions to the hospitality industry with b2b enterprise software that helps hotels to improve their value chain systems in a sustainable fashion. As a one-stop shop, they are already being tried and tested with a global hotel chain today. sQoolinked is a new mobile app powered by AI analytics developed by two young Berkeley university graduates to connect parents and students to universities. Their goal is to simplify application processes to universities or anyone seeking to study abroad; addressing a large affluent market of Asians that are now increasingly sending their kids abroad to school. Morpheus Labs offers blockchain as a service platform for other enterprises that don’t possess the technological know-how or time and resources to decode the mystery of blockchain. They target enterprises having difficulties selecting which blockchain technology to use. Bodhic Inc is a tech solution interface for improving the contacts in your phonebook where you can earn coins by introducing and tagging contacts with a 10% commission. The New Luncher appeals to modern-day health-conscious parents. This online and offline serviceprovides healthy food solutions forchildren at school with organic home-made style cooking from their kitchen delivered to school lunch tables.

After 7 minutes of pitching, the founders were then grilled by the alumni probing into their business models to find any weak spots but mainly gauge their feasibility to see how they can engage or invest in their new and growing businesses. Certainly, more partnership deals were struck over a glass of wine and canapes shared during the friendly network evening session that followed.

Find out more about IMD’s Alumni Community.