Singapore-based financial blog that aims to educate people on personal finance, investments, retirement and their Central Provident Fund (CPF) matters.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Startupbootcamp FinTech Demo Day: Key Take-aways

As you can see from our financial events calendar, we were invited to the Startupbootcamp FinTech Demo Day on 14 July. This event was held at Gardens By the Bay in the Flower Dome, Flowerfield Hall. It was definitely a fancy affair with good ambience, innovative solutions and great crowd.

The event started with an introduction of how Startupbootcamp has came along with its first expansion into Asia and making it the first few regional FinTech accelerator programme. With its multinational cohort of startups this year, the performance of the previous cohort did not fail to impress either! 8 of the 11 startups successfully raised seed fundings and all are still surviving. To add spice to the boring and usual presentation style, Startupbootcamp began the show by having a 1-minute pitch from prominent mentors and all the 10 selected startups. After which, we were told to select 5 of our own favourite startups. Here comes something different.

It was termed as "Silent Disco". When we first enter, we were given a red radio set each. Each startup was assigned to a specific radio channel, of which we can tune in to listen to a longer and more detailed insight. We would go to the assigned booth, sit in and listen. This is certainly a way more active and interactive method to sit in so many presentations. Accompanied by healthy pitch timeslots and a well-placed break, the entire 2 hours did not feel lengthy at all. However, there was a drawback. The "silent disco" was not too silent as some presenters were so loud that they could be heard across the booth, even though we were plugged into the radio sets.

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More of the startups introduced in this bootcamp offered solutions and services in India. Some of which includes connaizen and Supertext. As the regulatory environment is different, India presents a different types of opportunities. Something more relevant to local context would definitely be BanhJi.

BanhJi is an accounting solution for SMEs which do not wish to pay for expensive softwares but still wish to exploit the advantages of technology. The founder of BanhJi, Sim Chankiriroth, explained that the most important reason why SMEs was due to costs and he hopes to remove this gap via BanhJi. While it is similar to all accounting softwares in the market, it is based on a freemium model where some modules are free-for-all and advanced modules need to be paid. Furthermore, it bridges SMEs and banks together to allow companies to obtain loans and financing more easily. This is done by providing the financial institutions the transactional and accounting data derived from the entries made from the company. Instead of just relying on credit score and perceived financial strength from basic financial reports, financial institutions can get a more detailed and clearer view of the company. BanhJi is going to be launched in Cambodia first in September with plans of expansion to Singapore soon. We will certainly look froward to it!

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All in all, the event has been a great one and we certainly enjoyed it. It is definitely heartening as all innovations come together to solving problems in the community and we hope that there can be more of such events to promote entrepreneurship where more locals can take charge and make improvements to our existing environment.

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