NUS GRIP Run 4 Lift-Off Day – A Virtual Fiesta!
18 December 2020 – While 2020 has undoubtedly been a challenging year, it has opened up endless possibilities for the future of start-ups in a brand new economic climate – of new innovations and of meeting new needs.
“It also heightened the critical and urgent need to move technology to the battle front against COVID-19, from online transactions, digitalization, viral screening, vaccines or robotics.” – Prof Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation & Enterprise)
It has been an unprecedented year for GRIP as well, with our flagship programme taking on a hybrid format to avoid physical gatherings (until the situation had eased up), and we launched GRIP MAKE (Market Analysis, Knowledge Experimentation), a new initiative to help support young graduates in this extraordinary circumstances.
Through the adversity, our young entrepreneurs have pressed on to navigate though the first three months of intensive “Venture Hothousing”, where they developed and fine tune their research-based innovations into scalable and investible deep tech start-ups.
On Wednesday, 18 teams presented to a live audience of over 400 investors and VCs, corporates, government and institutions from 18 different countries, at our first ever Virtual Lift-Off Day, designed to enhance interpersonal interactions between the participants. Each team did a 1-minute pitch presentation, and were given a booth to showcase their solutions, with Live Chat and 1-to-1 meetings to interact with the attendees.
Ms. Irene Cheong, Director of the NUS Industry Liaison Office, hosted the opening event, where she shared with the audience a new programme by AM.NUS to support deep tech prototyping using 3D printers, and a new video series called 8 For 8, to cast the spotlight on the amazing people in the GRIP community.
We were graced by the presence of NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye, Provost Professor Ho Teck Hua and NUS Deputy President (Innovation & Enterprise) Prof Freddy Boey.
During the opening speech, Prof Freddy Boey spoke about how innovation through technology has become the world’s topmost priority. He shared about how the team is now working on a start-up CEO list, and also his plans to expand the Minimum Viable Product Studio initiative, both of which will serve to provide greater support to future GRIP teams. He also revealed the University’s plans to accelerate innovations in food technology, including a new 9000 sq. meter building, next to Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, focusing on research and innovation in food science and technology.
Watch the teams’ 1-minute pitches
As of today, 80 teams have graduated from the NUS GRIP programme, to go on to further develop their innovations, scale their businesses and unlock greater potential of the technologies. Our Run 4 start-ups will be further incubated by the University to solidify their footing in the market in the next nine months. We are excited to see how these teams will grow!
NUS GRIP Run 4 Teams
Click on each team to watch their 8-minute video and to find out more!
Wastewater treatment is crucial in modern society, treating wastewater into harmless effluent. However, most wastewater treatment plants are not optimized and face energy wastage and compliance issues.
AIWater utilizes both the power of AI and traditional process models to improve and optimize wastewater treatment plants. Our proprietary solution will optimize aeration of wastewater treatment plants, predict treatment performance and provide an advisory role to the operators. AIWater PROTM will lower operating expenses, improve the aeration efficiency and reduce events of non-compliance. With these improvements, we aim to propel wastewater treatment towards sustainability.
AProxy delivers lab quality immunoassay with the speed and simplicity suitable for point-of-care test. Our first product, SimpleProxTM, can detect SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody level, which indicates protective immunity, within 30 minutes in a single step. With this patented solution, there is no need to trade-off test accuracy for speed.
AProxy is steadily expanding the panel of validated disease targets based on our SimpleProxTM platform technology, as we work towards a world where everyone can have a quick and actionable answer on their health status.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) in motorcycling/sports are caused by the rotational acceleration experienced by rider’s/athlete’s head and brain upon an oblique impact. Recent research studies have concluded that conventional helmets with EPS liners are ineffective in reducing the rotational acceleration in the event of an accident. Auxetica’s Brain Protection System (BPS) enhances the protective performance of a helmet by replacing the conventional EPS liner with a collapsible cellular liner. This liner’s underlying meta-material architecture is specifically engineered for protection against both direct and oblique impacts, thereby greatly reducing the risk of sustaining TBIs during an accident.
Currently an engineer in fast-paced electronics sector takes twice the amount of time to procure parts at three times more expensive than production price. Axelr8, an AI enabled e-Sourcing platform where engineers, designers and procurement professionals can deconstruct a product into 3 tier Bill of Material (BOM), create BOM from design schematics, find, search and compare parts across distributors within electronics and semiconductor industries. Axelr8 Platform can interact with suppliers instantaneously to request quotes. Furthermore, Axelr8 Platform provides the best suppliers based on given criteria.
The vision of the company is to revolutionize the kitchen experience with cutting-edge technology. For a start, we aim to reduce manual labour used during the cooking process and our initial focus is on a key and important ingredient in our diet – eggs. Our product, EGGOL, is a fully automated, multi-recipe egg cooking machine, which works similarly as an automatic coffee machine. Customers get their favourite egg dish at the press of a button.
FACIFI is an AI-powered synthetic media technology that gives content producers complete photorealistic control of character faces in videos and graphic animations. We can make any actor look and behave like anyone else, complete with natural facial expressions and mannerisms.
The FACIFI Facial re-Enactment as a Service (FEasS) platform aims to drive automation in computer-generated imagery (CGI) and 3D animation. These processes are currently highly manual and heavily dependent on rare specialist skills. FACIFI will shorten post-production times by over 60% and require less than half the skilled manpower. We aim to democratise the business of creative animation.
Granular food producers face significant production wastage and product return from customer due to inadequate quality control. Current methods are either manual or require expensive testing instruments with different tests requiring different devices.
GranuSmartTM provides an easy-to-use solution capable of performing multiple tests simultaneously, thus enabling fast, cost effective and accurate testing to be carried out. Our solution is built on deep learning and uses data analytics to revolutionise granular food quality control.
Effective and safe pre-treatment of residual biomass from various sources is a global problem. Current processes are environmentally harmful, costly and energy intensive. They are also not effective for lignin-rich biomasses to look for valorisation opportunities downstream.
Green-COP’s technology utilises its patented and efficient catalytic process to break down cell walls, and release fully soluble lignin from residual biomass. These soluble lignin and clean sugar generated can be converted to value-added bio-chemicals and bio-fuel.
Hiomi is a digital safety startup that aims to keep children safer online. Our technology helps protect young children from cyberbullying, game addiction, online grooming & sexual content and other online dangers that they are ill-equipped to handle. Hiomi uses AI to analyse activity in mobile apps such as Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp and TikTok for potential safety concerns, so busy parents can have a peace of mind. Hiomi goes beyond the traditional parental control app approach of limiting time and restricting app and website access. By analysing underlying activities and providing specific advice to parents, Hiomi works with parents to keep children safer online.
Safety is a high priority in high-risk environments such as construction sites. Globally, one in every four workers suffers a major injury in construction sites, due to safety violations. In Singapore, 17 workers died in the year 2019 due to work hazards. Invigilo Technologies aims to enhance safety by utilizing video analytics and IoT technologies. Invigilo SafekeyTM can be easily deployed to construction sites to provides real-time alerts whenever a safety violation is detected.
The rural market is a USD 1 trillion market in India. Advertisers use urban marketing methods to reach out to the villagers, which don’t work because rural villagers think and behave differently from urban customers. Typical advertising signages in urban settings are created to get the attention of busy urban consumers. However, villagers are communal, not in a rush and prefer face-to-face selling so they can get to ask questions. The rural market need a rural solution that works for them. QTV is our product for interactive live selling over our QTVs, powered with edge AI, a first of its kind in the rural market.
Reachbots Automation provides the industry’s highest payload, modular mobile robotic solutions for constrained environments and mission critical tasks at half the cost and double the efficiency. Accessing complex confined spaces or heights by workers to perform operations are Risky, Inefficient and Costly. MagReacher’s modularity allows multi-functional use, and its patent-pending magnetic wheel system enables transition between horizontal, vertical and overhead surfaces within the complex ferromagnetic environment, allowing workers to control it from a safe location. MagReacher can be deployed across industries ranging from Environmental Cleaning, Offshore and Marine, Petrochemical to Construction.
SCPscan is a diagnostic software tool for commercial air-conditioning systems. It uses a proprietary electrical signal processing algorithm that is able to detect faults up to 75% earlier than conventional methods, potentially saving up to 30% of power consumption by air-conditioning systems. SCPscan is also able to accurately pinpoint and recommend an optimised maintenance schedule that will help users keep their expensive air conditioning system in optimal condition, increasing device lifespan and overall operational performance of the system.
SINGNOVEL ChemTech provides value-adding and sustainable solutions for petrochemical processes. It develops active, selective and stable catalysts for petrochemical products using olefins as feedstocks. SINGNOVEL’s first catalyst is a Platinium-based Propane Dehydrogenation (PDH) catalyst known as “Singdro-1”, which can be directly used in UOP Oleflex PDH-designed plants without any modification. Moreover, Singdro-1 catalyst is superior to UOP’s Oleflex catalyst, capable of delivering 8% higher propylene yield (arising mainly from 3% higher selectivity and 5% higher conversion) over the same catalyst lifetime of 3 to 4 years. This can help a 500kta-PDH-plant increase their margins by about US$10 million per annum. With this remarkable performance, SINGNOVEL has gained great attention from potential customers globally.
Billions of tons of solvents are used in industries to extract vegetable oils, pigments, flavours and fragrances, and to synthesise medicines and chemicals. Separations of the solvents from the final products contribute to 70% of the capital investment and 50% of the energy cost.
Solv8 offers a sustainable membrane filtration technology to separate and recover high-purity solvents without the usage of heat, which significantly reduces the energy costs and carbon emissions. The non-thermal filtration technology also reduces solvent losses, product denaturation and decomposition, and potential safety hazards at high temperature.
HoloSight by Tanngent is a smart holographic platform that allows brands to engage prospective customers using interactive 3-dimensional product displays. Featuring integrated sensors and an AI-powered content management system, HoloSight provides brand owners with granular localised customer analytics which enables the effective delivery of targeted product promotions to physical shoppers in real-time.
With HoloSight, retailers can easily display a full range of products not just within their own stores, but also at public hotspots like malls, airports, and subway stations. This will enable brands to synchronise their physical and digital marketing campaigns, deepen their customer engagement and eventually generate more sales.
WiSe is a wireless sensing platform technology and solutions provider. Our vision is to render wireless sensing (WiSe) capability to every surgical implant – to make every implant WiSe. WiSe comprises of implantable, passive WiSe tags attached at surgical site, and handheld WiSe reader to power and communicate with the WiSe tags. Our flagship product, WiSeCue, monitors the surgical site for anastomotic integrity after colorectal surgery. In the event of a sudden anastomotic leakage, WiSeCue will alert on-time, to enable early medical intervention, even before the symptoms appear. WiSe is a scalable, platform technology to monitor adverse events happening at deep, invisible sites and can be extended to other medical and non-medical applications.
Xavoury Foods aims to serve as a platform with its patented foodtech solution to transform underutilised meat by-product in the global multi-billion meat industry into savoury food products with customised flavour and taste. We will be licensing our solution to meat manufacturers, our key customers, who are looking for new sources of revenue of their processing meat by-products. Our proprietary technology allows us to leverage on a multitude of meat, such as chicken, fish, mutton and beef.Our end-products will be including but not limiting to concentrated soup stock, cooking sauces and taste enhancers.