Spirit Of Collaboration Key To Innovation: Heng Swee Keat

Media: The Straits Times

Partnerships between different organisations present new possibilities, says minister

 

Marissa Lee

 

The spirit of collaboration is critical to innovation because new possibilties are opened up when different organisations partner up, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

 

Mr Heng, speaking at a technology event yesterday, said: "Start-ups are among the common sources of innovation.

 

"(However) innovation does not take place in isolation, in any one start-up or company alone, but as a product of a lively ecosystem of entrepreneurs, funders, mentors, corporates, educational institutions, and other supporting actors and organisations."

 

He made his remarks to about 250 participants at Startup Weekend Singapore (SWSG) Mega, a three-day hackathon that is held at NUS University Town and in partnership with sovereign wealth fund GIC.

 

Although GIC invests outside of Singapore as a rule and not in local companies, it embraces innovation and enterprise, it said.

 

In recent years, companies and tech-driven investors have started backing hackathons, which typically involve groups of people working together to solve - or hack - a problem, and build the seeds of a start-up.

 

Participants at SWSG from all walks of life spent yesterday pitching ideas for problems they intend to work on and then forming teams around the most promising notions that they will spend the rest of the weekend building, with guidance from local mentors.

 

Mr Heng noted that online marketplace Carousell, cashback reward company ShopBack and online tour operator Flocations are just some of the companies that got their start, in one form or another, at Startup Weekend Singapore. Carousell emerged from SWSG 2012.

 

Mr Heng appealed to participants: "Commit yourself to the outcome of creating new value. Dedicate yourself to the process of experimenting, failing, learning and doing; and pursue your ideas with a mindset of partnership and collaboration with others."

 

Mr Heng also reiterated that through Startup SG, the Government provides funding and support to entrepreneurs at different stages of their journey and on different fronts.

 

These included mentorship, grant support, co-investment to catalyse private equity and support to incubators and accelerators.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.
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Last Updated on September 12, 2017
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