Be aware of scammers impersonating as IMDA officers and report any suspicious calls to the police. Please note that IMDA officers will never call you nor request for your personal information. For scam-related advice, please call the Anti-Scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to

IMDA Partners Stellar Lifestyle and JR East to Launch Bilateral Retail Innovation Programme with Japan

Infocomm Media Development Authority, Singapore University of Technology and Design and JR East Business Development (Southeast Asia) among new partners in collaboration to support innovative start-ups in addressing retail and transit challenges.


Stellar Lifestyle, the business arm of SMRT, today announced the launch of the second run of its innovation programme to identify start-ups that can address challenges faced by retailers and transit operators.

Since its launch in 2022, Stellar Lifestyle’s innovation programme has been expanded to include as new partners the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). JR East Business Development SEA (SEABD), the Southeast Asia Business Development entity of JR East, has also joined this collaboration with a view of seeking companies that can scale from Singapore into Japan, and vice versa.

Current partners Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and NUS Enterprise remain committed to supporting the programme this year.

The programme will look for innovative and creative start-ups that can help address challenges such as how train stations can become more vibrant spaces for commuters and communities, how retail and commuter data can enhance the transit experience, and technological solutions to make retailers and merchants more operationally efficient.

One challenge highlight – to encourage more online-to-in-store shopping experiences, is supported by the Singapore Retailers Association, as a sector-wide challenge.

This year’s innovation challenges by Stellar Lifestyle were developed through IMDA’s Open Innovation Platform (OIP). Leveraging IMDA’s network of industry consultants, Stellar Lifestyle was able to diagnose business challenges faced by the retail and transit industries, define the challenge statements and crowd-source for innovative solutions from IMDA’s network of more than 12,000 tech solvers from start-ups, technology providers and research institutes.

With the success of our first-year innovation programme, we are excited to join hands with IMDA, SEABD and our many close and committed partners in the second run of this programme. We would like to discover more compelling, innovative start-ups, capable of improving our commuters’ lives or improving our retail and transit operations. Through this, we continue to catalyse the build-up of a vibrant eco-system of SMEs in Singapore. This aligns with our Company’s Doing Right, Doing Good and Doing Well thrust.

Mr Tony Heng

President of Stellar Lifestyle

Up to S$420,000 worth of funding and resources have been set aside to support start-ups in building their proto-types and MVPs (minimum viable products), with more options for additional funding and investments of validated start-ups available subsequently.

Shortlisted start-ups are eligible to receive funding of up to $70,000 each to be used either for building their prototype or for customising an existing minimum viable product (MVP) to meet the challenge’s requirements. Additional funding is also available from other Stellar Lifestyle’s partners depending on whether the solution meets their own internal criteria.

We are excited to work with Stellar Lifestyle, which shares similar challenges in transit retail operations. To achieve our goal of transforming stations into integrated lifestyle hubs, we aspire to connect with inspiring start-ups in the journey to enhance the in-station experience. This is in-line with the cross- border objective of SEABD by bridging Singapore and Japan markets with our innovation platform One&Co that provides a networking hub for potential companies.

Mr Toshio Omiyama

Managing Director of SEABD

IMDA is delighted to support the launch of this bilateral Retail Innovation Programme with Japan through our collaboration with Stellar Lifestyle and JR East. With technology already embedded in numerous areas of our lives including our daily commute, there are many more opportunities for it to play a more pivotal role in transforming the retail and transit spaces within the train stations. Powered by IMDA’s OIP, we look forward to enabling the development of more inventive retail and transit tech solutions through strategic partnerships of corporates and start-ups both in Singapore and Japan.

Mr Justin Ang

Assistant Chief Executive of Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development (IMDA)

Stellar Lifestyle’s innovation programme was launched in 2022, in collaboration with Enterprise Singapore and NUS Enterprise, aimed at discovering solutions that solve critical issues faced by retail merchants within transit properties as well as challenges faced by Stellar Lifestyle. 15 start-ups were selected, with two start-ups finally short-listed for potential commercial deployment and scaling. Details of the two start-ups from the 2022 programme can be found in Appendix B.

Visit for more information.

Appendix A

Quote Sheet

“SUTD is excited to partner Stellar Lifestyle to support the participating start-ups in addressing transit retail challenges in this innovative programme. With SUTD's design innovation expertise and vibrant start-up ecosystem, we are well-positioned to support participating start-ups in their development of technology driven products, services, and solutions for commercialisation,” said Professor Chong Tow Chong, President of SUTD.

“NUS is pleased to continue working with Stellar Lifestyle on the second run of their innovation programme. Since the programme’s inaugural run, the partnership has provided invaluable opportunities for high-potential start-ups from our entrepreneurial ecosystem at NUS Enterprise, to bring their innovative technologies and solutions to the real world. These start-ups have worked closely with retailers to refine their solutions to meet identified business needs. Of these, two start-ups were shortlisted for potential commercial deployment and scaling-up. We look forward to participating in this year's programme which will enable more start-ups to bring their novel solutions beyond the Singapore market and into Japan”, said Mr Brian Koh, Director of Ecosystem Builder – Business Development, NUS Enterprise.

Appendix B

In Stellar Lifestyle’s first innovation programme in 2022, these start-ups developed innovative solutions and technologies that benefited Stellar Lifestyle’s retail tenants and SMRT’s Engineering team.

Waffle Technologies

Waffle Technologies is a loyalty-based point-of-sale (POS) system that focuses on building relationships between offline businesses and their customers. By understanding customers’ purchasing behaviour, Waffle Technologies equips businesses to own their customer lifecycle and turn that data into real dollars.

Over 50 retail tenants within the Stellar Lifestyle retail network have embraced the digitalisation journey by adapting Waffle Technologies’ loyalty-based POS. Generating better customer experience and spending more time to create more value for their customers.

Teredo Analytics

Teredo Analytics is a deep tech engineering company co-founded by former academic researchers from NUS’ Acoustic Research Laboratory (ARL) which specializes in acoustics, Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The company is comprised of multi-disciplinary team members who have developed and deployed acoustic monitoring solutions for water pipeline network leak detection.

Teredo Analytics’ lift motor condition monitoring system serves to inform SMRT Engineering team of impending lift breakdown through its daily operating acoustic signature. The near goal is to expand the use case of this technology to monitor other operational systems.


Issued by the Infocomm Media Development Authority

About Stellar Lifestyle

Stellar Lifestyle, a business arm of SMRT Corporation Limited, has expertise in property and retail management, media, and digital advertising solutions. We create vibrant transit destinations and lifestyle experiences to make our everyday touchpoints better. Our growing portfolio includes mall management and outdoor media & digital engagement platforms. We are also the largest managing agent of retail and advertising spaces in Singapore’s rail network. Visit for more information.

About Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.

For more news and information, visit or follow IMDA on LinkedIn (@IMDA), Facebook (@IMDAsg) and Instagram (@IMDAsg).

For media clarifications, please contact:

SMRT Corporate Communications
(Communications and Marketing)
DID: (65) 9822 0902

(Ms) Elsa Kimy Yue
(Communications Division)
DID: (65) 8338 8942

Explore more