11th October 2016 marked the third annual Republic Polytechnic (RP) Pitch Day. Kenneth Ong, senior manager of Enterprise Services Centre in RP, indicated strong interest in participation this year. “We have a total of 12 teams, compared to just eight last year, and from a pretty well diversified background, ranging from existing to part-time diploma students, and even alumnis who have returned to pitch their start-up ideas.”
RP has constantly given support for students with business ideas in mind and help them realise feasible business plans through mentoring. Held in their new building, RP’s Innovation Centre, there is now a conducive environment (Business Incubation meeting room) for both aspiring entrepreneurs and investors alike. RP’s Pitch Day is one of the many examples in Singapore’s entrepreneurship initiatives to provide opportunities for students to validate and polish their business ideas as they receive valuable feedbacks from the panel.
Non-business students were given a chance to pitch their ideas, thereby allowing them to gain experience and further encouraging them to pursue entrepreneurship in future. We’ve seen the likes of aerospace engineering background entrepreneurs pitching for social enterprise projects, and mobile developers venturing into the transportation industry by value adding to urban mobility. This form of cross industry participation allows healthy development of the region’s start-up ecosystem.
The event started of leisurely with project groups sharing their ideas and concepts to the panel of experienced investors to gain constructive feedback. From concept and ideas to prototypes and existing business operations, the list of interesting ideas slowly surfaced towards the end of the event.
In Singapore’s urban environment, the time spent during your last mile to and from home usually takes the same amount of time travelling the distance. So one of the ideas that came up during the pitch was from Telepod, a start-up aiming to reduce the travel time for residents, by providing an alternative mode of public transportation. Another interesting idea from BevEat, a social enterprise, which aims to improve seamless stored value payment methods to the F&B industry, enhancing the dining experience in food court and hawker centre.
What would be a pitch day be without important experienced industry experts who could give advice to the entrepreneurs. Apart from having a chance to network with the potential investors from names such as Kyosei Ventures, BWG Consulting, Appleseed, Spaze Ventures, Providence Capital, Quest Ventures, Tri5 Ventures, the entrepreneurs brought back with them valuable ideas and strategies that would be able to further improve their business.
The RP Pitch Day was a fruitful event as there were new and interesting ideas pitched and validated. Would definitely be interesting to see how the start-up ecosystem in RP grows and through its event, perhaps encourage more students to pursue their passion and leading to an eventual series funding.