Queen's University Of Canada Wins The Grand Prize Of $100,000 At The 9th Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition
Singapore, 14 September 2017 (Thursday) — The 9th Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition, organised by Singapore Management University’s (SMU) Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE), drew to a close today with an Awards Presentation Ceremony held at the Fairmont Hotel. Over 300 guests attended the event, including SMU President Professor Arnoud De Meyer; Michael Seibel, Chief Executive Officer of Y Combinator, a leading start-up incubator and accelerator in USA; as well as SMU faculty, staff and partners of the competition.
The biennial competition, named after Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, was launched in March 2017 with a “Smart City” theme, calling for innovative proposals that address the opportunities and challenges a smart city faces.
This year, the competition attracted a record of 550 submissions from over 300 universities in 68 countries, surpassing the last edition of 184 entries from 140 universities. This year’s competition also saw a record number of organisations, judges and mentors supporting the event.
36 teams were shortlisted based on merit to participate as finalists in an all-expenses paid trip to Singapore during the competition week of 11 September. The finalists include teams from various leading universities in Asia, Europe and the US. A highlight of the competition was the week-long programme with experienced mentors and industry partners, which allowed the finalists to gain an insight into Singapore’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
SMU President Professor Arnoud De Meyer said, “The response to the competition this year has exceeded our expectations. In the last edition, there was greater participation from the emerging Asian economies; this year, many more entries were received from beyond this region. The enthusiastic response by so many universities from all over the world showed that the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition has gained traction with and has earned a sound reputation among the Institutes of Higher Learning far beyond this region. It also shows that the theme of this year’s competition has particular resonance with tertiary students across the globe.
“Going forward, IIE is in discussion with strategic partners to launch regional finals at major startup and innovation hubs of the world such as China to expand the reach of the competition,” he added.
The 36 teams had presented their business plans in the Category Finals yesterday, and the top six teams (i.e. two each from the Health, Services and Living categories) competed in the grand finals held earlier this afternoon.
Team SpectraPlasmonics from Queen's University of Canada emerged as winners and took home the grand prize of S$100,000 after beating five other finalists to the top prize. The team had impressed the judges with their cost-effective solution that aids ultrasensitive chemical detection in areas of food and water contamination, and provides defence against illegal drugs and terrorism agents.
Winners of the other prizes can be found in Annex B.
The finalists were evaluated on Innovativeness and Impact of Business Idea, Commercial Feasibility, and Capability to Execute.
The panel of judges for the Grand Finals were Michael Seibel, CEO of Y Combinator; Shirley Wong, Managing Partner of TNF Ventures; Professor Lui Pao Chuen, Advisor of National Research Foundation Singapore; David Su, Founding Managing Partner of Matrix Partners China; Paul Santos, Managing Partner of Wavemaker Partners; Chong Chiet Ping, Managing Partner of Green Meadows Accelerator; and Robert Chew, Chairman, Information Systems and Technology Sub-Committee of Alexandra Health System.
Earlier this morning, a fireside chat was organised by IIE featuring David Su, Founding Managing Partner of Matrix Partners China, and Michael Seibel, CEO of Y Combinator, who discussed about startups and venture capital. The session was moderated by Paul Santos, Managing Partner of Wavemaker Partners. A number of startup founders who are interested in joining Y-Combinator will be pitching their business ideas at the “1-1 Office Hours with Michael Seibel” tomorrow morning,
For more information about the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition, please visit http://smu.edu.sg/lky.
Featured photo: Team SpectraPlasmonics from Queen's University of Canada was the big winner at the 9th Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition. With them on stage were Mr Hau Koh Foo (extreme left), Director of Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at SMU; Mr Adrian Chan (2nd from left), Senior Partner at Lee & Lee; SMU President Professor Arnoud De Meyer (5thfrom left); Mr Paul Santos (3rd from right), Managing Partner at Wavemaker Partners; Ms Shirley Wong (2nd from right), Managing Partner of TNF Ventures; Professor Gerard George (extreme right), Dean of Lee Kong Chian School of Business, SMU.