Isaac Timothy T - Product Manager & Resident Contributing Writer
Sometimes writer, sometimes programmer, full time behind-the-scenes guy, Isaac is responsible for keeping SGE running and ensuring the success of SGE's projects. While not working on SGE, he is running his own start-up. He plays football and is eagerly awaiting the day he can support Singapore at the World Cup.
The writer's posts
One of the key drivers of Singapore’s hospitality industry is the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) business. SGpad, an iPad rental service, is looking to ride on the growth in the MICE industry with Micepad, an app that enhances the conference experience for attendees.
With Micepad, an event organiser can easily customise and deploy a complete event engagement app by choosing the required modules and uploading content. One of the things I frequently do at events is to google further information about the speakers. Micepad eliminates the constraints of print and enables event organisers to provide more information to their attendees.
Another great feature of Micepad is the ability to distribute relevant documents to attendees. No longer will there be a need to remember that SlideShare link or hunt for a copy of the presentation on the Internet.
Micepad also doubles up as an audience engagement tool and comes with inbuilt discussion boards and live poll feedback features.
Kevin, one of the founders of Micepad, shared with me that the service has been adopted by leading financial institutions and software consultancies such as Standard Chartered Bank, SAP and Wipro to name a few (the other clients have their names withheld by NDAs). The team has implemented Micepad in Singapore and Hong Kong over the past few months and they plan to expand to other markets like Malaysia, Hong Kong and New York with the help of newly acquired channel partners over the next few months.
Having thrown away countless of paper collected at events, I can see the usefulness of an application like Micepad both to attendees and event organisers.
One of the key challenges of apps like Micepad is deciding whether they are meant to complement or substitute the traditional print materials used at events. If it is the former, then cost and functions will be important in adoption; if it is the latter, then availability for a wide range of devices is key (currently the full version of Micepad is available only for the iPad).
The first leg of SGE’s trip to the Bay Area saw us spend three great days at Launch Festival.
Three quick things I learned at Launch. Read more
At SXSW 2013, there were three Asian countries with their own pavilions.
Some thoughts about the pavilions at SXSW
1. When exhibiting in the USA and the primary language for your country is not English (like Japan and Korea), it really helps that a member of your team has studied, lived or worked in the USA. The most engaging booths from Korea and Japan had representatives who had spent significant time living in the USA; these representatives excelled in communicating with the attendees.
2. Having said that, do not hire local folks just for the event to pitch your company. While talking to exhibitors, it was immediately obvious to me which booths had just hired folks for SXSW. Usually, these representatives of the company had no passion and knowledge when talking about the company and the company’s product.
3. It was easy to know which booths were part of the Korean and Japan contingent; for Singapore not so much. Maybe there really is such a thing as Cultural Technology. Read more
Imgembed (pronounced ‘image-embed’), which has big ambitions to change the way stock photography is paid for and used online, has launched at SXSW 2013. According to Alex Goh, founder of Imgembed, the platform will soon have about 200,000 images and 60,000 image creators from 190 countries from The Creative Finder.
Previously, Imgembed’s image embedding technology — which allows professionals to protect their images online and track where the images are being used — was available only to the community of The Creative Finder, a site where ‘finders’ meet creatives for networking, collaboration and inspiration. Imgembed and The Creative Finder are started by the same Singapore-based team. Read more
The Blackberry z10. Photo: Enrique Dans
The BlackBerry 10 was recently launched with over 70,000 apps in the BlackBerry World storefront, a number that BlackBerry is claiming means BlackBerry 10 has more apps than any other smartphone platform on its debut.
Whenever a new platform has been launched, developers and companies have to make a decision about whether to develop for the platform.
Three key questions need to be answered:
1. Is the BlackBerry 10 platform (and the phones running it) going to gain significant market share?
2. What is the cost for developing for the BlackBerry 10 platform?
3. Are folks going to download or even pay for my app? Read more
As an application developer, whether you have decided to invest time and effort on the BlackBerry 10 operating system or still considering, these are the key information you need to know (and maybe it will convince you the BlackBerry 10 is worth your attention).
1. Built for BlackBerry program
The Built for BlackBerry program subjects your application to additional testing and evaluation beyond the standard BlackBerry App World (now BlackBerry World) Vetting criteria.
One key benefit of getting Built for BlackBerry approval is that applications will appear in BlackBerry App World (now BlackBerry World) with the Built for BlackBerry logo, increasing their visibility to users and signifying a higher level of quality.
Another key benefit is eligibility for the 10k Developer Commitment.
2. 10k Developer Commitment
The 10k Developer Commitment is RIM’s display of confidence in the ecosystem to benefit application developers. If an application has attained Built for BlackBerry status, RIM will, under certain conditions, pay the developer the difference between the application’s earnings and $10,000 USD.
- Vendors must read and agree to the 10k Developer Commitment Terms and Conditions.
- Vendors are invited to submit multiple apps for the Built for BlackBerry designation but there is a limit of one (1) payout per Vendor.
- Apps must remain available for sale on BlackBerry App World with the Built for BlackBerry.
- For vendors with multiple Built for BlackBerry apps, the app that becomes eligible for the 10k Developer Commitment is the one that earns $1,000 USD first.
- Apps must have at least 100 unique downloads over the 12 month period.
- The 10k Developer Commitment is a limited-funds offer and will continue only until the $10 million fund pool is exhausted. Funds will be distributed in order of priority based on the date upon which they reached $1,000 USD in earnings.
- Apps funded by RIM are not eligible for the 10k Developer Commitment.
The very important fine print:
- A maximum of USD10,000,000will be distributed under this Offer. Limit one (1) payout per Vendor. Twelve month period to be determined by RIM.
- “Earns” refers to the amount that consumers pay for both paid downloads and in-app payments using BlackBerry Payment Service less any refunds and less applicable taxes included in the amount consumers pay, multiplied by the proportion of sales owing to the Vendor as defined by the Vendor Agreement. “Earns” does not include any advertising revenue.
- Any Apps submitted for BlackBerry App World Approval after January 11th 2013 may not be approved in time to meet the Built for BlackBerry Submission Deadline. In such a case, RIM will not be responsible if a Participant is not eligible to participate in the Offer.
If in any doubt, see the Terms and Conditions for complete details.
Remember, your application needs to be approved for the BlackBerry App World (now BlackBerry World) before submission for the Built for BlackBerry program and the 10k Developer Commitment.
3. BlackBerry Got Game Port-a-Thon live events.
BlackBerry is making a strong push to get the most number of applications for a first generation OS into the BlackBerry App World (now BlackBerry World) storefront before the global launch of BlackBerry 10 on 30th January 2013.
A key part of that push are events like the Got Game Port-a-thons.
These are the reasons why you should take part:
Get onsite rewards when you port and build on BlackBerry 10:
• Successfully port a game app onsite, and receive a BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet
(limit to one per vendor ID)
• Top Arcade, Puzzle and Action games ported onsite receive one BlackBerry® DevAlpha™ device each
Get rewards with submission of App World approved game apps:
• Get a game app approved on App World, and receive USD$100 for every eligible app for up to 20 apps
• Be the first ten for your city to get at least 5 and up to 10 game apps approved on App World, and receive a BlackBerry 10 Developer Alpha device
• Be the first for your city to get >10 game apps approved on App World, and get a paid trip to BlackBerry Jam Europe on top of the above rewards!
Get featured on BlackBerry App World:
• All successfully ported and approved games will get one (1) week of App World Marketing across APAC, Middle East and Africa, where applicable.
• All vendors who submit more than 5 games will get an exclusive marketing feature where games would be showcased under a partner branded or co branded banner on App World for 1 week across APAC, Middle East and Africa, where applicable.
Refer to the event’s page for further details.
Got Game Port-a-thons will be held on the following dates:
5 Dec – Sydney, Australia
6 Dec – Singapore
10 Dec – Bandung, Indonesia
12 Dec – Hyderabad, India
14 Dec – Mumbai, India
22 Dec – Hong Kong
BlackBerry 10 is set to be launched globally on 30th January 2013.
These are the other key dates for application developers:
December 11th 2012 – BlackBerry 10 Gold SDK launch which will allow final testing to ensure your application will run on the commercial release of BlackBerry 10 smartphone OS.
January 11th 2013 – Deadline for submission for BlackBerry App World (now BlackBerry World) approval.
January 21st 2012 – Deadline for submission to the Built for BlackBerry Program and eligibility for the 10k Developer Commitment. Also deadline for submission to BlackBerry App World (now BlackBerry World) to have your application available at launch.
Two weeks ago Minister-of-State Teo Ser Luck, Chairman of ACE, officially launched ASK ACE, an online mentoring platform that SGE built and is managing in partnership with ACE.
ASK ACE is a way for start-ups and the general public to get advice from ACE Mentors. Read more
At last Thursday’s Creative Mixer, the fourth in what has been an outstanding series of events for creatives, entrepreneurs and hackers, seven speakers shared about their work and its relevancy to the future. Themes that emerged include how we might be underestimating or overestimating the impact of current and changing technologies on our reality and that of others.
Nikki Shaw, a senior water engineer from Arup, shared with us how sanitation is one of the biggest issues we have to face in the future. A simple flush and all our shit disappears — that’s something we take for granted. The ubiquitous flush toilet that most of us in the developed and developing world are so complacent about is an old technology and an inefficient one that results in water wastage and damage to the environment.
Not only that, there is an estimated 2.5 billion people in the world who do not have the ‘proper’ sanitation most of us in Singapore take for granted. This is an important issue because safe and sustainable sanitation is paramount to our well being and survival. Read more
Product innovation is one of the main issues on which investors are focusing when deciding whether to finance a project, says Jimmy Jia, Associate at Mercatus Capital, a Singapore based business incubator. A profitable idea needs to be scalable. The size of the markets to be captured by the idea is also among the important issues taken into account by investors.
Defensibility of a business – such as intellectual property, copyrights, trademarks are also taken into consideration when they evaluate a business idea at Marcus Capital, shares Mr. Jia.
From the investors` point of view, the experience and execution capability of the team is also essential. If the team is young and it is looking for funding for the first time, then strong enthusiasm and realistic expectations are a must, too.
Young entrepreneurs who look for funding must be prepared to answer the question, why customers would buy the product? A structured and reasonable answer is halfway to success to get funding, as it demonstrates a well-defined market and clear strategy, reveals Mr. Jia.
Earlier this year Mr. Jia was invited to speak at the Generating Ideas event in Jakarta, which is one of the promotional events of the Asia-wide Pitch It! competition for young creative entrepreneurs. He had the chance to interact with some bright and talented young entrepreneurs and noticed a common mistake made by them: underestimating the importance of a clearly defined target client, and as a result creating a one-size-fits-all product. The problem with this approach is that the entrepreneur starts focusing on too many targets and loses focus of the core business, according to Mr. Jia.
Other factors taken into consideration during the investment pitch are: understanding the competition globally; having realistic expectations about how fast the company can succeed, and how much the company is worth.
Getting funding for a start-up business is not an easy process, though there are some key steps which investors follow when deciding whether to incubate it. Mr. Jia shared some insights on this topic:
- Understanding the real picture of the business, identifying the market potential, competition and the product value proposition;
- Building the core strength of the business and putting up the right corporate structure, business model, revenue mode and promotional plans;
- Breaking down the tasks to the operations level, tying up the action plan with resources and people involved;
- Preparing a financial plan for budgeting and fundraising.
Pitching for funding is a complex process that requires good planning, clear and realistic vision about the execution process of the business idea. However this cannot be achieved if the entrepreneur is not passionate. Investors are looking for people with sparkle in their eyes who are ambitious and driven. Thus, the first successful step to find funding is to believe strongly in the idea that you want to sell, says Mr. Jia.
Jimmy Jia is an Associate at Mercatus Capital. As a generalist, he is actively involved in various sectors with keen interest in Healthcare, Interactive Digital Media, and Creative Products. He is also part of the mentorship team under the Spring Incubator program. Prior to Mercatus, he worked at Dulwich College Management International as a finance analyst in Shanghai where he focused on new business development and financing. Jimmy graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a B.B.A in Finance, Investment and Banking. He is a Singapore Government Scholar and fluent both in Mandarin and English.
Written by Sandra Peev
About Pitch It!:
It is a platform to uncover the best idea(s) in Asia’s creative industry for funding. Pitch It! looks for ideas or concepts which have yet to be realised/concept stage/in prototype or early development stage, and have the potential to be further developed.
About Asia on the Edge:
Asia on the Edge is a regional platform aggregating creative entrepreneurs and arts practitioners with the aim of incubating new ideas and trends of Asia and Asian origins. AOTE 2012 will gather 300 creative entrepreneurs from Singapore and Asia for a 3-day conference in Singapore from 7th to 9th September.
Sandra Peev – Guest Contributor
Sandra is a marketing specialist with experience in starting up business in Europe. She was part of a start up team for a management consulting company in Europe, where she gained a first-hand experience on building a business from scratch. Before moving to Singapore at the beginning of 2012, Sandra also worked as a Project Manager at one of the leading and fastest growing communication agencies in Central and Eastern Europe. She is a passionate traveler and relishes exploring exotic destinations. Sandra is a travel correspondent for the US based Reach the World Foundation and blogger for INSEAD Business School.