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World’s Top Founders, Investors and Corporate Bigwigs Congregate in Singapore to Tackle Global Challenges

20 April 2015 - Founders Forum Smart Nation Singapore, held in Asia for the first time, kicked off with a bang tonight, with some 200 top founders, investors and corporate bigwigs from the US, Europe and across Asia gathering here to explore how they can use Singapore as their best gateway to tackle the world’s toughest urban challenges.

Singapore, 20 April 2015 | For Immediate Release

Entrenching Singapore's position as Asia's tech innovation hub

Founders Forum Smart Nation Singapore, held in Asia for the first time, kicked off with a bang tonight, with some 200 top founders, investors and corporate bigwigs from the US, Europe and across Asia gathering here to explore how they can use Singapore as their best gateway to tackle the world’s toughest urban challenges. This is brought about by the collaboration between London-based Founders Forum and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the technology arm of the Singapore Government.

Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman of IDA, said: "We are excited that these 'leaders in tech' from across the globe are joining us to discuss some of the world's most critical challenges that Singapore as a Smart Nation is tackling. Singapore has world-ranked universities; multibillion annual R&D investments; a fast-growing community of tech start-ups, and large pools of investment capital. Combining these assets together with the commitment of government and the private sector, we believe Singapore is a great place for tech companies to build solutions that serve the global markets."

Over the next day, these top tech entrepreneurs, investors and innovators, including Walter de Brouwer, Founder & CEO of Scanadu, Michael Lynch, Founder of Invoke Capital, Jeffrey Rayport, Faculty Member in the Entrepreneurship Unit at Harvard Business School, Mika Salmi, Board Director of CreativeLive, Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, will engage in open debate, brainstorming, discussion and problem solving on global megatrends such as urban density and ageing population that Singapore as a Smart Nation is taking lead in tackling. They will also discuss the impact of these trends on the healthcare system, transport networks and ability to use resources such as energy, food and water sustainably.

Brent Hoberman CBE, Co-Founder and Chairman of Founders Forum, said "We're delighted to be working alongside IDA to bring some of the world's leading tech entrepreneurs to Singapore this week. We hope this will contribute to Singapore's mission to become a Smart Nation, and help inspire new ideas to some of the worldwide challenges that we will be putting to our guests to brainstorm and discuss over the course of Founders Forum Smart Nation Singapore. Singapore is a pivotal start-up hub for entrepreneurs from Europe and the US who are expanding into Asia, and we hope this is a great opportunity for these top founders to discover new business opportunities."

Some of the exciting line-ups for Founders Forum Smart Nation Singapore include interactive panel discussions on the future of connectivity, mobility, healthcare, finance, jobs in smart cities, and pitching sessions by some of the up-and-coming most disruptive founders from Singapore and across the world.

Azmat Yusuf, Founder and CEO of London-based transport app, Citymapper, who has just launched a Singapore version of the app last week, said: "We're excited to have launched in Singapore, our first Asian city, and have tailored the app to the local context. We've been able to do this thanks to the availability of quality open transport data sets, including real-time, which work with our algorithms and applications. Mobility is one of the big global challenges that Singapore is tackling, and I'm excited to be part of this discussion."

Following the success of the Founders Forum Smart Nation Singapore, in a bid to further strengthen Singapore’s tech entrepreneurial ecosystem, IDA’s investment subsidiary, Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL), is also working with UK-based Entrepreneur First to explore expanding its technical founder focused programme to Singapore.

Entrepreneur First runs a unique model of start-up creation by recruiting talented computer scientists, engineers and hackers before they even have a company, to give them time and space to experiment with new ideas and teams. Over the last two years, they have supported 60 founders in Europe working in fields as diverse as drones, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, Bitcoin and marketplaces, to build 20 tech companies that are now valued at over $100million, having raised more than $20million of external funding.

With its strong track record and investment in exclusively technical founders, Entrepreneur First can play an integral role in supporting young talented individuals at the pre-team, pre-ideation stage to build breakthrough technology companies. It will help from building the team and refining the idea through to growing their user base and raising seed investment.


About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The mission of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is to develop information technology and telecommunications within Singapore with a view to serve citizens of all ages and companies of all sizes. IDA does this by actively supporting the growth of innovative technology companies and start-ups in Singapore, working with leading global IT companies as well as developing excellent information technology and telecommunications infrastructure, policies and capabilities for Singapore. For more news and information, visit or follow us on Twitter @IDAsg.

About Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd

Managing more than US$200 million, Infocomm Investments builds and invests in startup companies in Singapore and globally. We accelerate the development of these young companies in their formative phase, and invest further as they move towards growth and expansion. Partnering leading startup accelerators globally, we scale up accelerator programmes in Singapore to build a strong pipeline of high quality startups ready to go for global expansion. Our interests: Technology, Software, Internet and everything in between. For more news and information, visit or follow @iipl.

About Founders Forum

Founders Forum is a private network of the leading digital and technology entrepreneurs. Founded by Brent Hoberman and Jonnie Goodwin in 2006, Founders Forum is Europe's leading tech gathering and has been hosting events in London for the last nine years. Over the years, it has expanded to include events in the US, Brazil, India and Turkey. Their private network brings together over 3,000 of the world's best, brightest and most inspirational digital entrepreneurs.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Teresa Tan (Ms)
Manager, Corporate and Marketing Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 9661 4836