Technology developments are taking leaps and bounds faster than ever before, as CommunicAsia 2008, a technology exhibition that ended last week in Singapore, showcased. Founded by alumni of the National University of Singapore (NUS), Communic Asia 2008 saw veterans line up alongside start-up companies to display technologies and woo serious investors.
To support start-ups, NUS has an NUS Enterprise Centre that helps entrepreneurs right through idea conceptualisation, training, funding, patenting and licensing the idea -- and even provide space within the university campus to set up office.
Several new ideas are doing the rounds here. A software that allows 5 to 12 year old kids publish their own e-books, and an application that allows a user to track which mobile number is being used in his lost mobile handset are popular innovations. "An idea is successful if it helps a user save money or reduce time for getting something done and a lot of applications showcased here serve these needs," said Yishai Khan from Giza Venture Capital, Singapore.
"A great idea does not work without market need and that is the reason why a lot of technology start-ups fail."
KooBits (www.koobits.com), the e-book application portal promoted by Personal e-Motion Pte Ltd, enables primary school kids to create animated and interactive digital e-books and even share them online with other users.
The company has received funding from the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore in this regard. Users can also buy and install the Koobits software (priced at about SGD 96 or Rs 2,800 approximately). The company has already tied up with about 70 schools in Singapore and plans to find partners in India next year.
Another handy application which users can download on to their handsets free is Wave Secure. Also by registering at www.tencube.com users can create a backup of their important data and track whenever a new SIM card is inserted into his handset.
The application is a product of ten Cube, a company that has been recognised amongst the top 100 hottest innovations companies in Asia by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. Singapore Police Force is apparently one of the customers of the company, which is also in talks with Indian operators and handset manufacturers for integrating the application.
"Not all of the start-ups at NUS are successful. Our strength lies in licensing our technologies to bigger firms," said Rahul V Gopalkrishnan, Senior Manager at the Industry Liasion Office at the NUS.