Top Three Malaysian Startups Emerged as Regional Finalists in Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge

Local innovators succeeded in tackling waste management through
digital technology

KUALA LUMPUR–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Three Malaysian startups were announced as regional finalists in the Alipay-NUS
Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge
(The Challenge) today thanks
to their innovative waste management solutions.


The finalists, BlueBee Technologies, FatHopes Energy, and Grub
Cycle
were selected for their ability to leverage digital technology
to create environmentally sustainable solutions that drive positive
impact and improve lives.

Launched in November 2018, The Challenge, jointly organised by the
world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform, Alipay and the
entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, NUS
Enterprise
, aims to identify and support the growth of startups in
Southeast Asia that are using digital technology to build an inclusive
society.

During the preliminary rounds, contestants from each country
demonstrated how they used digital technology to solve challenges across
a wide range of sectors. These include financial services, agriculture,
health & wellness, education & training, food & beverage, energy &
environment, logistics & transportation, and communications.

The regional finalists will each receive a cash prize of S$10,000
(approx. RM30,000) to support their future growth. They will also
proceed to compete in the grand finale in April where they will face off
against other finalists from Singapore and Indonesia for the grand prize
of S$50,000 (approx. RM151,000).

The Malaysia finalists were selected for the following projects:

BlueBee Technologies develops ERTH,
an E-waste Recycling digital platform that offers competitive prices to
buy end-of-life personal electronics such as PCs, laptops and
smartphones from consumers in Malaysia for recycling. According to a 2019
United Nations Report
, each year, approximately 50 million tons of
e-waste are discarded, the weight of which is more than all commercial
airliners ever made combined. Only 20% of the e-waste is formally
recycled. The United Nations University predicts e-waste could nearly
triple to 120 million tons by 2050 if nothing changes.

FatHopes
Energy
deploys Internet of Things (IoT) devices to automate waste
cooking oil collection, and efficiently communicate to collection fleets
for pickups and delivery to refineries for production into biofuel,
which car owners can buy at a competitive price. Working with
restaurants and F&B outlets, FatHopes ensures all the used cooking oil
collected is solely used for the purpose of sustainable biofuel
production. Every year, Malaysians consume hundreds of millions litres
of cooking oil, and if not disposed properly, they will clog up the
drains and pollute the water.

Grub
Cycle
develops digital platforms that help supermarkets, farms
and restaurants reduce food wastage. On the platforms, users can find
surplus food from supermarkets and farms at a discounted price. They can
also find deals on the overproduced food from the restaurants. Not only
does this help reduce food wastage, but also provides a solution for
people in need to reduce the burden of increasing cost of living. So far
Grub Cycle has reduced 7,000 kilograms of food wastage, which translates
into RM 45,000 worth of savings for its users.

Speaking of the challenge, Geoff Jiang, Vice President, General Manager
of Technology and Business Innovation Group at Ant Financial said,
“Since its inception, the Challenge has received several hundred
applications from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, and we are pleased
to see so many teams utilising digital technology in innovative ways to
solve some of the biggest societal problems in Southeast Asia. ”

He further added, “We firmly believe that technology should be used to
improve lives and look forward to supporting the future growth of these
teams so that more people across Southeast Asia can benefit from their
innovations.”

Finalists will also be eligible to join the 10×1000 Tech for Inclusion
programme, jointly set up by International Financial Corporation
(“IFC”), a member of the World Bank Group, and Alipay. The comprehensive
training programme will support the cultivation of 1,000 technology
experts in emerging markets from both public and private sectors over
the next 10 years.

“Digital technologies have had a profound impact on the global economic
landscape. They are spawning new firms and sectors and transforming
business models in traditional industries. To ride on the wave of this
digital transformation and make sure there are inclusive opportunities
to all participants, we need a supportive environment for local
innovations to flourish in Southeast Asia. This is why we are bringing
together partners from across the region to identify and support the
growth of local innovation,” said Professor Wong Poh Kam, Senior
Director, NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, a division of NUS Enterprise.

In addition to receiving financial rewards to further their businesses’
social impact, the finalists will also receive mentorship and incubation
support from NUS Enterprise for a period of three months. They will also
enjoy access to its BLOCK71, an ecosystem builder and global connector
community with co-working spaces in Singapore, Bandung, Jakarta,
Yogyakarta, Suzhou and San Francisco.

###

About Alipay

Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s leading
payment and lifestyle platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently
serves over 1 billion users with its local e-wallets partners. Over the
years, Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler.
Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility
bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management
products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments,
Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside
of China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers over 50 markets
across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 35
markets. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and
payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese
travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from
Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies.

About National University of Singapore (NUS)

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship
university, which offers a global approach to education, research and
entrepreneurship, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. We
have 17 faculties across three campuses in Singapore, as well as 12 NUS
Overseas Colleges across the world. Close to 40,000 students from 100
countries enrich our vibrant and diverse campus community.

Our multidisciplinary and real-world approach to education, research and
entrepreneurship enables us to work closely with industry, governments
and academia to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and
the world. Researchers in our faculties, 29 university-level research
institutes, research centres of excellence and corporate labs focus on
themes that include energy, environmental and urban sustainability;
treatment and prevention of diseases common among Asians; active ageing;
advanced materials; as well as risk management and resilience of
financial systems. Our latest research focus is on the use of data
science, operations research and cybersecurity to support Singapore’s
Smart Nation initiative.

For more information on NUS, please visit www.nus.edu.sg.

About NUS Enterprise

NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of
Singapore (NUS), plays a pivotal role in advancing innovation and
entrepreneurship at NUS and beyond. It actively promotes
entrepreneurship and cultivates global mind-sets and talents through the
synergies of experiential entrepreneurial education, active industry
partnerships, holistic entrepreneurship support and catalytic
entrepreneurship outreach. Its initiatives and global connections
support a range of entrepreneurial journeys and foster ecosystem
building in new markets. These initiatives augment and complement the
University’s academic programmes and act as a unique bridge to industry
well beyond Singapore’s shores. For more information, please visit www.enterprise.nus.edu.sg

Contacts

Media Enquires
NUS Enterprise
Carol Lo
+65 6516
1003
carol.lo@nus.edu.sg

Archetype
Henry
Khoo / Jonathan Yap
+603 2282 2152
MalaysiaAlipay@archetype.co