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IMDA Spark ignites dConstruct's international recognition
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IMDA Spark ignites dConstruct's international recognition

Beating 120 contenders from around the world and bagging D.Day X Global League’s prestigious Global Award is no stroll in the tech park, but that's precisely what dConstruct Robotics accomplished in February 2023. Backed by South Korea’s Banks Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs, D.Day X Global League is a competition designed for international startups aiming to enter the Korean market and for Korean companies to expand globally. d.ASH Pack, the winning entry from dConstruct, is a mobile mapping device that uses advanced Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping solutions to enable autonomous robots to navigate safely and accurately.

For deep tech startup dConstruct, this global win opened doors to international growth opportunities and access to investments and a global network. The company attributes their success to IMDA Spark, a programme dedicated to nurturing early-stage, high-potential tech startups.

Jiayi Chong
dConstruct Robotics' Chief Technology Officer Jiayi Chong at 2023's D.Day X Global League in Seoul. (Photo courtesy of D.CAMP)

As dConstruct’s Chief Technology Officer, Jiayi Chong, pointed out, “IMDA Spark introduced us to not just local, but regional and international opportunities, and one of them was D.CAMP in South Korea. It was actually through IMDA that we got involved in the competition. Without IMDA, that would not have happened.” D.CAMP is the organiser of D.Day X Global League.

Cracking the startup code in Singapore, IMDA Spark strategically tackles challenges faced by local Infocomm and Media (ICM) startups in the digital economy. Through strong industry support, this collaborative effort boosts growth, expands market opportunities, and develops a vibrant ICM community. Enrolled companies enjoy a host of benefits, including assistance with talent recruitment and access to a dynamic ecosystem comprising community events, masterclasses, and a network of industry mentors and peers.

These resources not only bolster participants’ growth trajectory but also enhance their problem-solving skills. Each of the hand-picked IMDA Spark companies have full access to the programme’s extensive network, as well as a team of venture capitalists and business gurus. This in turn empowers IMDA Spark startups to create meaningful partnerships, both at home and abroad.

The spark that fuelled international success

Going beyond local boundaries and tapping into regional and international markets were central to dConstruct's motivation for joining IMDA Spark. As the winner of the D.Day X Global League global award, dConstruct was given office space inside D.Camp’s startup centers in Seoul. This puts them in the heart of Korea’s startup ecosystem, providing access to one of the world’s leading economies and a global powerhouse in tech and media.

Beyond garnering global exposure and acclaim, the win also sparked heightened interest and inquiries from regional companies, broadening dConstruct's reach. “We have had a lot of regional companies wanting to engage with our line of products; this is a big deal for us in this stage of our startup,” said Jiayi.

An illustration of a man holding a sparkler running towards a trophy with South Korea's map and a globe with pin drops.
Spark companies get access to many community events and wide networks to build their capabilities.

The d.ASH Platform – dConstruct’s autonomous robotics solution – is a powerful tool that alleviates many challenges faced by the construction industry today. In fact, it has proven to be a game-changer at Singapore’s Punggol Digital District. The d.ASH Pack’s many innovative features provided intelligent construction workflow management in constructing the 50-hectare smart and sustainable mixed-use district.

By pushing boundaries in the last-mile delivery industry, optimising logistics, and enhancing customer satisfaction, dConstruct is poised for a future at the forefront of robotics innovation, thanks to the instrumental support of the IMDA Spark programme.

Three SIT students in a science lab analyse a laptop screen showcasing dConstruct Robotics' technology.
dConstruct collaborate with SIT for research and projects.

Partnerships that kindle the flame of innovation

Looking ahead, dConstruct plans to expand its presence into Southeast Asia, South Korea, and Japan. While actively expanding its reach, dConstruct remains dedicated to fostering impactful collaborations with institutes of higher learning. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between robotics education and real-world applications. With the goal of changing the world one robot at a time, dConstruct has formed a strategic alliance with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Singapore’s first university of Applied Learning. Since 2021, dConstruct has worked with SIT to deploy smart robots on its campuses to create digital maps for solutions, such as digital twin applications and sustainability management.

The collaboration is a win-win. SIT students dive into learning by using dConstruct's proprietary software programming tool and agile mobile robots, while dConstruct gets to test and improve their innovations. This leads to real life impact, particularly in improving autonomous robotics and application systems for delivery of goods and services, as well as enhancing smart campus management systems.

Sharing his thoughts on the collaboration, Professor Steven Wong, Director of Centre for Digital Enablement (CoDE) at SIT, said, "Our first project with dConstruct focused on autonomous scanning, providing our students with exposure to next-generation robotics and real-world problem-solving. This was part of the Integrative Team Project in our curriculum.” He also mentioned SIT's exploration for students to work at dConstruct for their Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP), SIT’s signature work attachment programme that spans eight to 12 months. As partners and neighbours within the Punggol Digital District, Prof Steven looks forward to more collaboration opportunities with dConstruct. He emphasised, “We hope to see more new applications and new implementation of robotics into areas that people might not have thought of today.”

By combining their expertise, SIT and dConstruct aim to make robots smarter and more accessible, and to prepare the next generation of professionals for the evolving landscape of technology.

The next chapter

Reflecting on the transformative impact that IMDA Spark had on dConstruct’s journey, Jiayi underscores that while the programme provides a vital framework, the responsibility lies with tech startups to leverage the opportunities and showcase their capabilities. On an encouraging note, he added, “For deep tech companies like ours, and any venture with a strong foundation looking to scale up and explore diverse markets, I would definitely recommend the IMDA Spark programme.”

Embark on your own journey with IMDA Spark and let your ideas flourish with the right support.


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