Business Insights: Start-Ups

Start-ups shaping the innovation scene in Singapore

“There is an undeniable gap between the priorities of the MNCs and the innovators who try to commercialize new technologies. Large companies are more concerned with efficient and profitable businesses, which leaves the tech developers with no receptacles in industry to deploy innovation of longer-term value. This is where HAF defines its role in the specialty chemicals: we build technology linking the industry needs with the science.”

Francis Tan, Executive Director, Hafnium Hafaway (HAF)

“Fermatics was started at the end of 2019 as a co-venture between Hafnium Venture Capital and A*ccelerate, Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR) commercialization arm. We are developing a technology platform to add new high-value molecules in different specialty markets. Our core technology is based on the strain engineering of the bacterium E.coli, via a new and superior biosynthesis pathway, the DXP pathway, to produce carotenoids and apocarotenoids.”

Stefan Bahnmueller, CEO, Fermatics

“Our journey started with a question of digitalizing chemical companies in answer to the inefficiencies and lack of transparency found in this sector, and we focused on the oleochemical and surfactants space. The newest frontier for us is the digitization of traditional industries: We started the SOS (SourceSage Online Store) to offer entrepreneurs a platform to start, grow, and scale their businesses online.”

Jian Min Sim, CEO and co-founder, SOURCESAGE

“All the traditional limitations for humans are reduced with the robot replacement, making operations much safer. Demand for underwater works greatly outweighs supply: there are only 92 certified divers in Singapore, and yet we have 1,000 vessels coming to our port daily. Also, Singapore’s reduced visibility in shallow waters and its high currents pose much challenge to divers. From a cost perspective, an autonomous vehicle relies on much lesser support equipment and hence can reduce the deployment ship’s costs by almost 50%.”

Grace Chia, Co-founder, BeeX Autonomous Systems