SINGAPORE – 7 November, 2018: Singapore’s most innovative infocomm media (ICM) companies - an important engine of growth and driver of digitalisation across the economy - were recognised at the inaugural Singapore Digital (SG:D) Techblazer Awards, jointly organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and SGTech. To further support the growth of promising and innovative startups, Minister for Communications and Information, Mr. S. Iswaran, also announced the launch of IMDA’s new programme, SG:D Spark at the Awards ceremony. As part of the initiative, IMDA will assist to address key growth challenges in hiring and building of customer reference and use cases as well as partner leading industry players to build capabilities.
This year’s Awards saw a record-breaking number of 331 applications. Eight companies emerged as winners in three categories – Most Impactful, Most Promising and Best Adoption, and received their awards from Minister at the gala dinner on 7 November 2018.
“In an expanding digital landscape, the winners have demonstrated that Singapore organisations are on the right track towards digital transformation. They have proven they have the capabilities and innovation that can transform current solutions and create new business models, resulting in enhanced customer experiences and greater value creation in the industries they serve.” said Ms Shirley Wong, SGTech’s Co-Chair of SG:D Techblazer Awards Organising Committee.
Said Mr William Liu, Chairman and Managing Partner of Stream Global, and SG:D Techblazer judge, "The quality of participants has gone up this year. We are seeing companies with good value proposition and ideas that are scalable. Today, if you are unable to scale, you will not be able to compete. We also saw a good spread across various sectors, from medtech to education to media and security, as well as adoption of new technologies from AI to machine learning. I see a lot of passion from the entrepreneurs who are committed to their beliefs and willing to do the R&D. This is an encouraging sign that our entrepreneurs and industry are maturing.”
The SG:D Techblazer Awards is a merger of the National Infocomm Awards (NIA) and the SiTF Awards. It will serve as a national-level endorsement for Singapore-based companies that have exemplified the spirit of innovation in technology development or adoption.
The key growth challenges for most startups1 lie in their ability to access talent, funding, experienced mentors and building initial business traction. SG:D Spark helps promising B2B and B2C Singapore-based ICM startups build their business and compete through Government support and industry tools.
Through the programme, startups will be able to access and leverage existing TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) manpower programmes to support and scale their businesses. These companies will also enjoy priority processing in relevant Government funding schemes. Furthermore, qualified SG:D Spark enterprise product startups will be able to gain increased access to Government technology projects through a more streamlined process, to help them build up their customer track record.
Through the programme, promising ICM companies will also gain access to networking opportunities and pro-bono expert advice from a community of leading venture capitalists in Singapore, global consultancy and legal firms, reputable integrated communications and product design firms, tech giants and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs)
IMDA will be partnering SGTech and seven venture capitalists to identify promising ICM companies to nurture under the programme. The thirteen industry partners and IHLs will support the companies with specialised expertise and assist their growth journey in the areas of fund raising, deal structuring, risk management, corporate governance and processes, product and brand development, go-to-market strategies as well as talent acquisition.
Said IMDA Chief Executive, Mr Tan Kiat How, “Through the SG:D Techblazer Awards and the SG:D Spark programme, we hope to grow our pool of digital champions to create a more vibrant and collaborative tech ecosystem in Singapore. Digital transformation is a national priority and we will continue to co-create new, exciting possibilities with the industry.”
Annex A: Write-ups of SG:D Techblazer Award Winners
Annex B: Details on Award Categories & Judging Criteria for SG:D Techblazer Awards
Annex C: Quotes from SG:D Spark community partners
Annex D: Factsheet on SG:D Spark
ISSUED BY THE INFOCOMM MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY