Intensive training for start-ups in Infiniti Lab
Launch of accelerator programme in Singapore to develop smart mobility solutions
Luxury motor company Infiniti Motor and venture capital firm Nest have launched an accelerator programme in Singapore to develop smart mobility solutions.
The eight-week programme, called Infiniti Lab, will provide seven high-potential start-ups from all over the world with intensive training, and focus on smart mobility and connected technology.
The start-ups - including local carpooling service Ryde - will also receive mentorship from Nest, automotive and connectivity experts from Infiniti and Nissan's Silicon Valley-based research team.
They will present their business ideas to a panel of investors at the end of the programme on June 8.
This is the first Infiniti Lab to be launched in South-east Asia, with two editions already launched in Hong Kong.
This comes just after the Government announced in the Budget that $600 million will be allocated to a new International Partnership Fund, which will co-invest with Singapore-based firms to help them scale up and internationalise.
At the programme launch yesterday, Infiniti Motor's general manager for global business transformation and brand, Mr Dane Fishernoted that accelerator programmes are beneficial to start-ups and large corporate firms.
"Start-ups allow us to see into the future, and some of them develop the best technology, but some of them have trouble communicating and pitching their product.
"This is where corporate firms can come in and lend that expertise and network, and at the same time, they can learn from and be motivated by these start-ups," he told The New Paper.
Hopefully, there are more such programmes to help Singaporeans create more value and improve good ideas here.Ryde chief executive Terence Zou
He said Singapore's urban mobility scene could be improved with smart technology, noting there are many niche areas still untapped.
For example, there are very few mobility services catering to the premium, high net-worth community, which is growing here, he said.
He also said that Singapore was chosen for its close distance to many growing cities in Asia.
This was what prompted Malaysian driving telematics and data analytics firm Katasana, which has about 3,500 users, to join the programme, said its founder and managing director Syed Ahmad Fuqaha Sd Agil.
He hopes to use the programme to develop more ideas and networks to upscale his company, and Singapore as a launching pad to branch out to more countries.
Ryde chief executive Terence Zou said the programme can lead to collaborations between start-ups, such as data sharing.
Ryde has about 100,000 users - including 30,000 drivers - a 10-fold increase since December 2015.
"With this programme, we hope to scale up even further. Hopefully, there are more such programmes to help Singaporeans create more value and improve good ideas here," said Mr Zou.