Singapore, May 28, 2019 – Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) has teamed up with Alibaba Cloud – the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group – to organise the Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Demo Day 2019 to find the next big idea that can solve societal problems leveraging on technology.
Five promising student start-ups of the Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Entrepreneurship Programme  will pitch to a panel of established investors on May 28, 2019. One of them is Good For Food, a start-up which uses data analytics and business intelligence to reduce food waste and environmental footprint. Founder Rayner Loi, a full-time Year 4 Finance student at SUSS, has already garnered a $750,000 seed round and will receive his 40-credit unit Minor in Entrepreneurship at the event. This is the second time SUSS is organising the pitch.
The event will also feature other start-ups namely:
• Livestock Rewards: A livestock investment company allowing users to purchase livestock from small farmers directly as an investment or charity. Founder Feroz Kuthubdeen has secured $100,000 in investment.
• My Adviser: Uses Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology to assist Financial Advisers stay connected to their customers such as sending automated birthday greetings, streamlining processes such as email access rates and improving overall profitability.
• Speac.co: Uses A.I-powered Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to understand conversations made from telephone calls, automate search and provide effective analytics.
• Groopbuy (no website yet): Helps low-income consumers consolidate their orders and deliveries to purchase daily consumables at wholesale prices, using Whatsapp – the most common platform of the target market. Yuan Yi Ho, founder of Groopbuy, has been awarded with the Singapore Valley Award and spent 3 months interning at Kingnet, a Chinese gaming start-up. Burning with start-up fever, Yuan Yi launched several initiatives upon his return to Singapore – one of which is Groopbuy. In less than a month, Yuan Yi fulfilled 60 orders to low-income families near his residential district and received only positive feedback. Groopbuy acts as the “middlemen” between the low-income consumers, mainly living in rental flats, and the wholesalers of daily necessities. The profit margin for Groopbuy is low and it’s a win-win for suppliers because the new marketing idea increases their reach and sales. As for the low-income families, they are able to get their essential items at a lower price than buying from supermarkets and their orders are sent by the distributors to the void decks of their housing estates.
Successful pitches will see students receive funding for their businesses and a 40-credit unit Minor in Entrepreneurship from SUSS. The University is the only Institute of Higher Learning in Singapore that awards students with academic credits for securing investors’ funding. The best team will win tickets to Alibaba Cloud’s Hangzhou Yunqi Conference, where they can meet the top minds in the data technology world and learn about the latest trends in frontier technologies, including Cloud Computing, Big Data and AI. The Conference will be held in September 2019.
Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of SUSS, said: “SUSS is proud to present this new batch of entrepreneurs from our Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Entrepreneurship Programme. This group is a tangible outcome of the University’s emphasis on experiential and applied learning. This Programme enables the students to gain access to over 500 SUSS modular courses and obtain valuable mentorship from industry leaders. They can apply immediately the hands-on knowledge they picked up from their mentors. We look forward to helping more aspiring business owners and working with our partners to grow this entrepreneurship ecosystem in Singapore. Our aspiration is that as we grow more entrepreneurs, they in turn will grow more jobs for our people.”
Rayner Loi, Founder of Good For Food said: “I am very thankful to SUSS for the support they have given me. The Entrepreneurship programme gives me the opportunity to pursue my passion in building my start-up, as well as obtaining a degree at the same time.”
14:00-15:00 Registration & Networking: Meet the start-ups at their booth
15:00-15:10 Welcome Speeches by SUSS & Alibaba Cloud
15:10-16:00 Panel Discussion with Investors “How can impact-driven businesses become more fundable?” hosted by Bryan Long, Entrepreneur-in-Residence of SUSS and Founder of Unaverage
16:00-17:30 Start-up Pitches
17:30-18:00 Winner Announcements & Certificate Ceremony
18:00 End of Event
This is a complimentary event and interested parties can sign up here.
 Background Information
Launched in July 2017, the programme is accredited by SUSS and run in partnership with Alibaba’s cloud computing arm, Alibaba Cloud. With access to industry leaders and mentors, the programme draws and supports aspiring student entrepreneurs to take their business to the next stage of growth.
A total of 52 teams comprising 111 people applied, but only 30 teams of 60 participants were selected for four intakes. Out of the shortlisted 30 teams, 11 teams raised funding comprising more than $4.9 million and created 63 employment opportunities. Apart from SUSS students, the programme is open to tertiary students aged 18 and above, and anyone who fulfils academic criteria, such as having two GCE A-level passes or 5 GCE O Levels and an interview.
There is no course fee and participants only have to pay an application fee of $64.20 (inclusive of GST). Successful candidates have access to mentorship by Alibaba Cloud, C-level industry experts and advisers.
Under the programme, the aspirants also get free access to Alibaba Cloud services, including data analytics and Web-hosting services, and can choose from more than 500 SUSS modules, such as Blockchain Technology and Smart Contract Finance and social media marketing.
Upon successful completion of the programme, participants who are SUSS students will be awarded a Minor in Entrepreneurship worth 40 credit units. Non-SUSS participants will graduate with a certificate and have their credit units recognised should they enrol in an SUSS degree programme subsequently.
For more information on Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Certificate/Minor in Entrepreneurship: https://www.suss.edu.sg/courses/detail/gsp401
2018 Past Winners:
Kenneth Yap, a full-time Finance student from SUSS and founder of HeyCoins is no stranger to the pitching stage since his big win at the Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Entrepreneurship Minor/Certificate Pitch to Investors event held in 2018. As winners, his team was awarded a generous USD$50,000 worth of Alibaba Cloud credits, 3 exclusive VIP round trip tickets sponsored by Scoot to see Jack Ma at the Alibaba Cloud conference in Hangzhou, China and secured direct entry to the inaugural Alibaba ASEAN-Chongqing Create@Alibaba Cloud Start-up Contest (CACSC) 2018. Kenneth received his 40 credit unit Minor in Entrepreneurship and was able to graduate with a Bachelor degree AND a successful business from university. Heycoins has also secured grants worth USD1 million from DBS and the Hong Kong Government. Kenneth is one of the many young entrepreneurial talents in SUSS that has had both his personal ambition and business grow tremendously through the programme.
Another notable individual from the programme is Amanda Ho, a part-time Supply Chain student and co-founder/CMO of CombineSell. Amanda has also been able to embrace the best of both worlds because of SUSS’s flexible work structure. Recently converting her enrolment in SUSS from full-time to part-time, she is now able to focus her energy on her entrepreneurial ambitions while pursuing a higher education that complements her E-commerce industry. With her start-up securing more than $500,000 in funding, she passed the 40-credit unit Minor in Entrepreneurship and is a step closer to fulfilling her graduation requirements. The exposure she has received from this programme has ignited her entrepreneurial spirit, which was recognised when she was awarded the National Youth Entrepreneurship Award (Silver) in 2018.
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Singapore University of Social Sciences
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About the Singapore University of Social Sciences
SUSS is a university with a rich heritage in providing lifelong, learner-centric and industry-relevant education. Our mission is to champion lifelong education to develop future thinkers and leaders to their fullest potential through our 3H’s education philosophy – ‘Head’ for professional competency with applied knowledge, ‘Heart’ for social awareness of the needs of the society, and ‘Habit’ for passion towards lifelong learning.
We offer more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programmes, available in full- and part-time study modes which are flexible, modular and multi-faceted in learning experience to cater to both fresh school leavers and adult learners. We also launched a broad range of continuing education and training modular courses for the professional skills and knowledge upgrading of our workforce.
Our programmes and courses are made available through our five schools:
- School of Business,
- School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences,
- School of Law,
- School of Science and Technology, and
- S R Nathan School of Human Development.
To date, over 30,000 graduates have chosen SUSS as their university of choice. Each year, about 15,000 students are pursuing their full- and part-time studies with us.
For more information on SUSS, please visit www.suss.edu.sg