First MIT-inspired SUTD S$10K Business Innovation Competition

25 Apr 2016

Team ReHub, the winners of the SUTD S$10K Business Innovation Competition receiving their prize money from the event keynote speaker, Dr Jeffrey Chi (left), Vice Chairman of Vickers Venture Partners. Team ReHub, which consists of SUTD researchers (from left to right), David Collins, Jan Rod, Denise Tan and Attila Victor Achenbach. (Image courtesy of SUTD PhotogCircle)

Singapore, 21 April 2016 –Yesterday marked the finale of the student-organised inaugural SUTD 10K Business Innovation Competition. The SUTD 10K, modelled after the enormously successful MIT 100K Entrepreneurship Competition, provides a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs and inventors to develop investor-ready business plans and provides them with resources including training, seed funding, and mentorship to create a new class of technology businesses.

Over a one-month period which began in March, 11 finalists in the competition were matched with experienced external mentors to further improve their business models. They then presented their plans at the competition finale, which took place on 20 April at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

Team ReHub beat eight other teams to win the S$10,000 grand prize. Team ReHub is using games to improve patient rehabilitation by developing hardware to encourage patients to continue practicing their physiotherapy exercises at home while keeping the physiotherapists and physicians in the loop during the rehabilitation process.

“The SUTD 10k was a great experience that focussed our thinking about what it takes to get a business off the ground, and the prize money and exposure is a great springboard for developing our product. Everyone, including students, researchers and academics, should consider putting their ideas to the test in the SUTD 10k,” said David Collins, a postdoctoral research fellow at SUTD and member of the winning team, Team ReHub.
“The quality of the pitches was great with several hard science companies based off of solving personal problems faced. Team ReHub solves a real problem out there in the market; however, the issue with most startups is how they will be able to go to market smoothly. Startups are not easy, and their path will never be smooth but I will be rooting for them,” said Jeff Paine, General Partner at Golden Gate Ventures and one of the judges of the competition. More information on all the judges can be found in Annex A.

“After competing in the MIT $100k Entrepreneurship Competition last year I found the programme to be inspiring for students to form teams around a core mission and to understand the principles and challenges of starting a company with a large global impact. Our goal for this new competition is to connect interested external mentors with high-potential teams and allow students and researchers to learn through doing and commercialise their innovations,” said Susan Conover, a Dual Masters student from SUTD, and co-founder and director of the competition.

Going forward, the 10K organising committee plans to raise S$100,000 from external investors to run the competition over the next three years.

Annex A 

Jeff Paine, Golden Gate Ventures
Jeff Paine is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He is a General Partner at Golden Gate Ventures and a director of The Founder Institute. Since 2010, the Founder Institute in Singapore has graduated over 60 companies. He is also a director at Battle Ventures, a venture advisory firm.
Bernard Leong, SingPost
Bernard Leong is the Head of Digital Services at SingPost where he works on the digital strategy (web, mobile, innovation, social media & digital marketing) across the group. He is also currently an angel investor within the Southeast Asia entrepreneurial ecosystem and founder of a media project called Analyse Asia. He is a mentor to JFDI.Asia and an entrepreneur-in-residence for INSEAD Business School since January 2011 where he advises MBA students on product development, connecting to the local startup & venture community.
Kristin L Wood, SUTD
Kristin L Wood is Head of Pillar of Engineering Product Development and Co-Director of the SUTD-MIT International Design Centre (IDC). He has received numerous national and international awards in engineering education, teaching and design research.
Vivian Weng, Frog Design
Vivian Weng is an Associate Strategy Director in frog's Singapore studio. Working closely with frog's creative and technology teams, she tackles strategic issues related to the design process and frames opportunities into broader business context.
Alex Crompton, Entrepreneur First
Alex Crompton is the programme director of the Singapore branch of Entrepreneur First, a UK-based startup that puts together aspiring entrepreneurs tget them to work on translating their ideas into startups.