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The next wave of innovation for startups

Swish | 2 May, 2023

The much-anticipated *SCAPE Creative Fellowship Demo Day kicked off on a high with an engaging conversation among three industry experts on how the next wave of innovation for startups will be focused around the themes of AI, Web3 and sustainability.

With the rapid advancements in generative AI and blockchain technology, the discussion provided valuable insights into the current state of these technologies, and their potential to revolutionise existing industries.

As you read on, you'll discover the key takeaways from this enlightening conversation, learn about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and gain an understanding of how these cutting-edge technologies are shaping the landscape of innovation.

Generative AI’s positive impact on public healthcare training

Kicking off an insightful session, moderator Terence Lee, Editor in Chief of Tech In Asia, engaged Alvinder Singh, Founder and CEO of VisionarySchoolmen, in a discussion on generative AI's impact on public healthcare training and course development.

According to Alvinder Singh, public healthcare institutions like SingHealth are no stranger to AI, having used natural language processing models to automate customer-service workflows for the past five to six years. Applying generative AI to content creation, public health organisations are also now able to generate 3-4 courses worth of content daily, illustrating generative AI's rapid growth. Traditional departments focused on creating courses are also being replaced by smaller units which develop materials to train and test staff on new capabilities. Still, job displacement is not a concern, as domain experts are needed to ensure content accuracy and relevance.

With AI moving from more restrictive domains like predictive analysis to a broader domain within the field of content creation, Singh cautions that generative AI brings along potential risks, such as more convincing scam callers. Despite this, generative AI has demonstrated the ability to cut costs on more laborious workflows, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious start-ups.

Embracing digital collectibles for fan engagement

The conversation also pivoted to the topic of blockchain technology, specifically on embracing Web3 elements to expand the creative horizons of the entertainment industry.

For Darren Ho (Head of Digital and Web3 at mm2Asia Pte Ltd), the complex landscape of decentralised IP rights and compliance hasn't deterred his company from embracing new concepts like digital ownership. More positively, digital collectibles now enable fan engagement at various levels, from casual supporters to superfans and investors. To illustrate this, Darren cites their recent experiment in releasing 8,888 digital collectibles to “Ah Girls go army” moviegoers, allowing fans to redeem an NFT by scanning a QR code attached to the movie ticket. Taking digital collectibles a step further, mm2Asia will also be experimenting with dynamic NFTs for loyalty programs, rewarding loyal fans with exclusive perks from their existing point-of-sale systems.

Additionally, Darren also shared some lessons he picked up from his time dabbling with web3-based engagement strategies, highlighting that new ideas often start off as simpler concepts that expand over time. For start-ups, it’s hence essential to embrace innovation, apply new concepts, and have the courage to make changes in pursuit of better results. Starting small and overcoming initial compliance challenges can also pave the way for significant growth. However, entrepreneurs must be prepared to put in the necessary work and dedication to bring their ideas to life.

Investing in Sustainability : Challenges, Opportunities

Rounding up the discussion, John Lee (Founder and managing partner of Infracrowd Capital Pte Ltd) provided some exciting developments in the field of sustainability from an investor’s standpoint.

As a relatively new fund focused on investing in sustainable infrastructure development, the fund finds itself having to invest for a longer time horizon due to the time required for new innovations to find their way into existing industrial processes. Luckily, Singapore’s focus on tackling sustainability head-on has also turned the country into a testbed for attracting talent and nurturing a holistic ecosystem. This grants sustainability investors the opportunity to work closely with industrial partners and governments. Family offices, which control 80% of listed businesses, have also shown an increased interest in sustainability investing, with a recent PwC survey revealing that 60% of them are focusing on enhancing their sustainability exposure, making them a prime candidate for sustainability investors to partner with.

Opportunities are aplenty for start-ups, with data centres representing a key opportunity for sustainability innovation in Singapore. As one of the most popular locations for data centres, Singapore faces the challenge of balancing the energy-intensive nature of traditional data centres with its sustainability goals. Innovations aimed at making data centres more energy-efficient hence present a significant opportunity in the sustainability space.

The Takeaway

Overall, the fireside chat at *SCAPE’s Creative Fellowship Demo Day provided invaluable insights into the power of generative AI, blockchain technology, and their potential to drive sustainable innovation across various industries. As these cutting-edge technologies continue to evolve and shape the landscape of innovation, it is crucial for start-ups, investors, and industry leaders to embrace change, adapt, and capitalize on the opportunities that lie ahead. By fostering a culture of innovation, nurturing talent, and fostering strategic partnerships, we can harness the potential of these cutting-edge technologies to create a better, more sustainable future for all.

🎁 We hope you enjoyed this recap! Sign up for our Swish App here to get the full recording to the fireside chat, along with early notifications on our upcoming events featuring other thought-leaders and industry experts.

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