A quadripartite partnership to start an open and collaborative ecosystem for startups in food innovation was forged on Friday, 26 October 2018. Aptly named FEED 9 Billion (F9B) to reflect its ambition to play a part in feeding the global population sustainably, the ecosystem aims to encourage innovations that will help address some of the challenges faced throughout the entire chain of the food industry.
The world population is expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, according to a report by the United Nations. The same report sounds a dire warning that the current methods of producing, distributing and consuming food will not be sustainable nor effective to feed everyone in the future and that the threat of a food shortage is imminent. At the same time, growing prevalence of health issues such as diabetes and obesity across the world pose a challenge for healthier food options.
With a growing food and beverage industry that contributes an estimated S$14.4 billion to GDP and employs close to 300,000 people, not including the food manufacturing sector that’s worth S$4.3 billion in 2017, Singapore has immense potential to be a leading food and nutrition hub in Asia. This is supported by positive factors such as its high standards of safety and quality, strong government support for innovation, high adoption rate of technology and a thriving entrepreneurial environment. Startups, unlike large corporations, possess the agility and speed to lead innovation in the food industry.
Under the partnership, SIM Platform E, Temasek Polytechnic, Innovate 360 and FocusTech Ventures will facilitate startups’ access to shared resources and networks. Each party will bring its unique expertise to the ecosystem: SIM Platform E’s knowledge and skills to develop founders; Temasek Polytechnic’s food science expertise and resources; and Innovate 360’s ideation and incubation. Both Innovate 360 and FocusTech Venture, in their capacity as Accredited Mentor Partners appointed under Startup SG, will provide funding support. To expand the ecosystem to cover more areas in the food chain, the partnership has plans to welcome more organisations which can bring different value to the ecosystem.
Representing the commitment to create opportunities for food innovations are: (left to right) Mr Wong Kee Meng, Head of Education, Platform E; Mr John Cheng, Director, Business Development, Cheng Yew Heng Candy Factory; Dr Goh Lay Beng, Deputy Director, Skills & Enterprise Development, Temasek Polytechnic; Dr Virginia Cha, Professor-In-Residence, Platform E; Mr Ronald Tan, Executive Director, Singapore Institute of Management; Mr Kelvin Ong, Founder and CEO, FocusTech Ventures; and Mr Samuel Ang, Director, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Temasek Polytechnic.
Mr Wong Kee Meng, Head of Education at SIM Platform E, said: “I hope that F9B will catch on to become a movement and model for open innovation, where organisations, entrepreneurs and who see beyond business profits and can come together and be integral to bringing about change that can positively impact the 9 billion people who will be soon be sharing this planet".
Kick-starting F9B is the Food Entrepreneurship, Exploration & Design (FEED) Camp, an ideation bootcamp that will be held from 8-10 November at Temasek Polytechnic. It will bring together aspiring entrepreneurs, food innovators, scientists and representatives from food-centric organsations to brainstorm innovative solutions that could disrupt the industry in the areas of food science and production, agriculture technology, food delivery, grocery shopping, and food waste management. During the bootcamp, participants will form teams to compete for the top three prizes of more than $100,000 with their ideas.
As a follow through to the FEED Camp, aspiring entrepreneurs will be able to join Platform E’s Food Innovation Programme next year to further their ideation process, fine-tune and test their ideas, and take them to the market through the necessary training and support provided by Platform E.
Click to listen to Platform E’s Professor-In-Residence Dr Virginia Cha’s radio interview on food innovations.
About Platform E:
Platform E is more than an entrepreneurship programme, or an incubator or accelerator. It is Singapore’s most comprehensive entrepreneurship ecosystem that grows both the idea and the entrepreneur to produce resilient entrepreneurial leaders with viable business plans. Its unique entrepreneurship programmes combine rigorous knowledge with practicum taught and facilitated by practising entrepreneurs and investors. The programmes take place in Platform E’s 25,000 square feet and 220-desk co-working space which is designed to immerse aspiring entrepreneurs in an environment where they can engage with like-minded people to germinate and cross-pollinate ideas, and test and arrive at solutions that will lead to business propositions. Visit: https://platforme.asia/
About Temasek Polytechnic (TP)
Established in 1990, TP is one of the leading institutions of higher learning in Singapore. Currently it offers 37 full-time diploma courses in the areas of applied science, business, design, engineering, humanities & social sciences and informatics & IT. It also offers over 30 part-time courses, up to the advanced diploma level. TP students undergo a holistic learning system that combines hands-on experience, character education and relevant life skills, in an enriching learning environment.
The Polytechnic has also infused global realities into its programmes and developed a mindset on campus that embraces socio-cultural diversity. These ensure that TP graduates are ready for work or further studies, and to contribute meaningfully to the community. For more information, please visit www.tp.edu.sg.
About FocusTech Ventures
FocusTech Ventures (FTV) is a Singapore-based private investment firm with deep roots in precision engineering. The company is led by entrepreneurs with over 30 years of manufacturing experience and previous ventures that generated $300M in equity value, employing over 3000 employees across Southeast Asia & China. FTV is an Accredited Mentor Partner under Enterprise Singapore’s Startup SG Founder scheme and one of National Research Foundation’s Central Gap Fund Technical Advisors.
Innovate 360 Incubator is Singapore's 1st food incubator with food manufacturing facilities. It is a recognized incubator and accredited mentor partner supported by Enterprise Singapore under Startup SG. Its goal is in helping startup companies push beyond the boundaries to innovate and create a sustainable food solution for the world. Powered by Cheng Yew Heng Candy Factory, it is able to leverage on its distribution networks and experience in manufacturing, trading and logistics of more than 71 years. Its new integrated building will be completed in February 2019 provides the physical space for the ecosystem of food innovation with its co-working space, shared facilities and food licensed premises. Innovate 360 helps companies commercialize their concepts and succeed in business.