DeepTech x FinTech

Deep tech startups refers to startups that develop their own advanced tech. To illustrate, a startup that uses wordpress to offer an Airbnb for pets might not be considered deep tech; whereas a startup that transforms a phone into an ultrasonic whistle that can summon, command or repel pets based on deep research into the effects of ultrasound could be classified as deep tech. Slingshot 2019, a deep tech startup rumble, is on tomorrow @ SG; open to the public, register here as a trade visitor. Sample startups:

  • PolyBee With the decline of bee populations (attributed variously to pesticides, RF, fungi), pollination (which plants and food supplies depend on) could be at risk. How about using a bee-like drone to carry out pollination? It will be a challenge because the drone will need to be small, autonomous, agile, long hauling, predator and weather resistant, perceptive enough to spot pollen sources and destinations, and delicate enough to swipe and apply pollen. Real bees probably can't be replaced but bee drones might be useful for farms that do manual pollination
  • ProovStation Vehicle repairs and servicing are a below-the-radar, multi-billion dollar mobility inefficiency, and opportunity, For example, if a car's aircon is not functioning, it might simply be due to insufficient radiator coolant (the aircon is cut off to reduce the heat load). The solution is simply to top up the coolant (usually water will do). A dodgy workshop might instead insist the coil or compressor needs replacing to a tune of 2,000 bucks or more (plenty of stories like this in auto forums). One solution is to separate diagnosis and repair of vehicles, and one way to do a thorough diagnosis is to 3D scan the vehicle (x-ray, gamma etc). ProovStation is working on 3D vehicle scanning.
  • InnerBottle Imagine a bottle of shampoo The bottle serves two functions: a container to hold the shampoo, and a dispenser to be squeezed (or pumped) to dispense the shampoo. After the shampoo is used up, the bottle is discarded. What if the two functions can be separated? The shampoo is sold as a bag to be inserted into the dispenser (more convenient than poured refills). When the bag is empty, only this is discarded while the dispenser is reused. Separating container and dispenser could have many other applications. The deep tech is in the bag material. bottle design and filling machines: InnerBottle has filed for 17 patents.

SlingShot is a co-current event of SFFxSWITCH, which will be showcasing 50+ fintech startups including hack-accelerator graduates and awards finalists. Picks:

  • B2P Enterprise payments require the matching of purchase orders (what was ordered), goods received notes (what was delivered) and invoices (what is billed). Each of these documents can be from different entities. To match them in finality and to prevent back- tracking and back-editing, the documents are recorded in a blockchain. B2P draws on SCB, Accenture and Corda.
  • i2i PH has an astonishing 450+ rural banks spread across its many islands. i2i, a UnionBank initiative, proposes to offer a fiat-backed token for wholesale (ie. bank-to-bank, not consumer-to-consumer) interbank funds transfer (the rural banks are too small to be connected to PhilPass or SWIFT). Powered by Kaleido, Quorum and Consensys, the objective is to sustain the rural banks which are an essential part of rural communities (eg. rural folks very much prefer to deal with human bank officers).
  • ZigWay In developing MM, only 20% of the adult population is banked, 40% is informally banked (eg. via microfinance institutions) and 40% is unbanked. The unbanked has limited access to mobile phones and the internet and no credit history. But there is demand for nano-financing to tide over the vicissitudes of earning hand-to-mouth and being unbanked. ZigWay proposes to provide nano-financing by getting women, who are embedded in the community and have knowledge of people and community, to be agents.

Ecosystem Builders

Asia Rocks
Asia Rocks (13 Nov 2019 @ TW, also) brings together ecosystem builders to help startups enter Asian markets. Participating builders include:

Ecosystem Builder
'Ecosystem Builder' is still a nascent term which came into use a couple of years back (based on a rough etymological check). Here's how it can be viewed as a progression:

  • Individual Most of employees and small business owners fall into this category. Focus is directed at assigned or self-managed work.
  • Connector Still an individual, a connector has good social and networking skills and can connect individuals for business, social or hobbies.
  • Group These are groups of ten to fifty in size. A group can be a small business, an old-school tribe or clan, or a hobbyist group which goes hiking together every weekend.
  • Community With the advent of the internet and social media, groups can grow to hundreds, even thousands in size. The members are acquainted online and are likely not to have met each other face-to-face. The community may hold meets, eats, drinks, events, or it might direct its energy to causes.
  • Ecosystem This is a community of communities. In a modern sense, the term 'ecosystem' refers to a vertical of startups, accelerators, incubators, investors and catalysts (grantors, regulators). More traditionally, it points to an industry eg an automotive ecosystem that encompasses research universities, vocational colleges, movers, factories, showrooms, markets, suppliers and retailers (eg charging stations). An even more traditional ecosystem is a nation. It is non-trivial to start, build and maintain an ecosystem.

Pick of Events (W3-Nov-2019)

Link Economics Talks @ KL 1 2 New
Link Startup Meets @ KL 1 2 3 4
Link Sustainable Summit @ KL tix
Link Go Commerce @ KL 1 2 also
Link Manufacturing Conf @ PG also

Arts & Misc
Link Predicting The Future @ KL also
Link Energy Trilemma @ KL tix
Link Blockchain Games @ KL info
Link Augmented Reality @ PG 1 2 3
Link AgriTech Summit @ KL tix

Around The Region
Link Z-Combinator @ JKT 1 2
Link Fintech Kucha @ SG
Link SG-DE AI @ SG
Link Blockchain Getty @ BKK 1 2
Link 5G Accelerator @ BKK tix

Selenium Molybdenum

For this post, 'Food' refers to the food ecosystem, while 'Foodie' is the yummy stuff. The post title refers to a light-hearted proposal to boost the nutritional value of soy sauce by adding trace elements. The post image is of Caskai Cascara, a carbonated drink made from coffee cherries, not beans. More details below.

For people looking to further food solutions, there's a food hackathon happening 28th Nov 2019 @ KL with mentors and judges from Tealive (boba), SupplyBunny (wholesale), CFF (agritech), Boost (ewallet), ShopLine (ecommerce), GrubCycle (upcycling), Pona (home cooking) and others. On a related note, some food teasers:

  • Reserve: While some governments do hold food reserves, it will be useful if households store some themselves. Commonly, this might be instant ramen and canned food but these can be costly, have limited shelf lives, and are prone to be nicked for snacks. Can you design a food reserve that is inexpensive, nutritious, has long shelf live, easy to cook or can be eaten straight like with biscuits, and is not prone to be nicked? (Maybe insect protein, you wouldn't want to snack on this, but at a pinch, you might eat it.)
  • Elements Industrial farming (including hydroponic ones) might be stripping minerals and trace elements (eg. selenium, molybdenum, boron) from food. Thus, the lettuce might look deliciously lettuce, but it might not be the whole, wholesome lettuce. Can the lack of minerals in food be readily identified by consumers? Can you make a product that puts back essential minerals into food, perhaps a selenium, molybdenum and boron laced soy sauce? (Not a serious proposal, the easiest, present solution is simply to have a balanced, diverse diet.)
  • Chemicals As more people eat out or have food delivered, have you ever wondered if the greens that are served were rinsed or washed before being cooked? If they are not washed, are contaminants (eg pesticides) present? How can consumers tell if food is free from contaminants, whether fresh or cooked? (Solutions may range from food testing to supply chain tracking).

If you like to take your food solution to a global stage, check out Rockefeller Foundation's Food Futures 2050 challenge (closing 5 Dec 2019, entry). Or, for food accelerators, in SG, have a look at Innovate360, sample portfolio: Sinfoo (alcoholic tofu), AIFS (crickets), Hoow (hitech icecream); in HK, visit Brinc, sample portfolio: Caskai (coffee cherry drink), Phuture (Impossible's porcine challenger) Grounded (milk from coconuts, not coconut milk); in BKK, Space-F, recently started, no portfolio yet.

Foodie [layman's view]
Traditional street food is on the decline in the east. The first setback was the phasing out of street vendors, the second is the gentrification of venues and syndication of food, and the third will be the retirement of the last of the traditional street food purveyors [1]. Some examples of old-school, street food:

  • Wonton Mee: Traditionally, the star of the show was the noodle, not the wonton. It is said the old-fashioned, lightly sauced, al dente version has not been seen for many years. The dish is now defined by toppings and sauces.
  • Roti Canai. This inexpensive, pan-fried, flatbread used to be closer to croissants (light, flaky, tasty enough to be eaten on its own) but is now more on the chewy side. We speculate this might be due to lesser trained street cooks and the use of factory-made dough.
  • Nasi Campur This has resisted change the most, but the old recipes require hours of stirring, cooking and reducing, and a whole lot of spices. It is not possible to expect these of modern vendors given street prices have, in general and relatively, not risen much and society offers many more distractions. Happily, customers nowadays are partial to fast-to-cook, fried, spiced items.

Moving on, modern food, with its roots in the fusion of east and west, is delicious too, robust in flavour and is good business. Check out the new wave at Takeaway 2019 happening tomorrow @ KL with panellists from FooFoo (desserts), myBobaLab (boba), Rawsome (veggie), Santan (airline), Dewakan (fusion), DC (french) and Nadodi (indian).

Quadrilingual Ambidextrous

Top Video: Fizah Wizah hilariously tells you in stern English, tonal Mandarin, poetic Malay and tongue-rolling, multi-syllable Tamil to stand behind the yellow line.

Bottom Video: With the piano, the left hand plays the bass and right hand the melody. The left hand is usually an adjunct, a supportive tandem (and sometimes a distraction in complicated pieces). But in rare cases, it can be an empathic foil which sings on its own as what we can discern from this cover of Vast Sky, Boundless Sea by Klafmann.

Community & Alumni Driven

Community Driven
JomLaunch ('let's launch') is a community-driven, coming-out-of-the-lab, startup launch organised by developers for developers and the public, happening Sat, Nov 9th, 2019 @ Cyberjaya [tix]. Pick of debutantes (some sites are WIP):
  • iQMS - Hospital queuing system (website shows live queue)
  • DelyvaX - Build your own delivery service using a courier management system
  • Mesolitica - Malay natural language processing as a service (eg wassap speak)
  • cHeart - Medical records system that runs on Hyperledger Fabric
  • WeNiaga - Wholesale ecommerce stock management system
  • DiAudit - Fire and safety audit system
  • ThrowKeys - Door locking app (developer's website)
  • Eeceipt - Replace paper receipts with electronic receipts
  • RaudhahPay - Payment gateway for SME: fast billing, easy payment
  • MakanBurger - When your burger joint goes viral and orders flood in
  • WinApp - Integrated biz-focused challenger to Whatsapp+Instagram+Libra

Alumni Driven
The Asia Technology Entrepreneurship Conference, a not-for-profit tech conference organized by the alumni associations of Harvard, Columbia, MIT and Stanford, is happening Sat, Nov 9th, 2019 @ HK at the new 'creative vertical city' K11 Atelier. Conference topics: Fintech Apps - HKEX, AI in Practice - WeBank, Global Mobile Payments - Airwallex, Industrial Robots - Cogobuy. Pitching startups include:
  • Xmachines - Modular robot (swappable tractor, sensors, cameras, arms, grips)
  • Liquefy - Liquefy illiquid assets via tokenisation
  • MadGaze - Smart eyewear for facial recognition, bar code scanning, AR
  • Heista - Robotic kitchen with modules for ordering, precooking, cooking
  • PositiveEnergy - Crowd funding for green projects

Pick of Events (W2-Nov-2019)

Link Make It Big in ID @ KL
Link GitHub Engineers @ KL also
Link Langkawi Social @ LW tix
Link AI Projects On Offer @ KL info
Link Market Access Day @ KL 1 2

Arts & Misc
Link Panggung Puisi @ KL all
Link Dikir Barat Rap @ SG all
Link Event Pricing @ KL also
Link Founders Embrace @ KL 1 2
Link Design Meetup @ KL 1 2

Around The Region
Link Financial Innovation @ HK
Link Fintech Week @ HK
Link Fintech Festival @ SG also
Link Fintech Lab Crawl @ SG
Link Food Accelerator @ JKT also

SoftBank Dyson

Softbank has hit the doldrums lately with travails at WeWork and lacklustre listings of Uber, Guardant and Slack (though it gained an upside with Ping An). Here's a sample of the rest of its Vision Fund portfolio:
  • Light - Because Lidar is short-sighted and radar is blurry-sighted
  • Fungible - Because SSD is 100x faster, network 1000x but CPU is just 2x faster
  • EnergyVault - Store energy as gravity potential (lifting up blocks of concrete)
  • BrainOS - Operating system for robots (no need to reinvent robot intelligence)
  • SpatialOS - Focus on game & players, we take care of the servers, networks
  • Zymergen - Use machine learning and genomics to source for new materials
  • Reef - Monetise carparks (fulfilment hub, central kitchen, event venue etc)
  • MapBox - White label Google Maps for developers

The James Dyson Award is noteworthy for its novelty of submissions, focus on youth inventors and project reporting (full listing of short listed projects, science behind each, the people, website and product video). Sample 2019 finalists:
  • AirDisc - All new aircon design that uses 150W instead of 1000W
  • Eve - Personal safety wearable for women (detects struggling etc)
  • Aeroflux - Contactless magnetic brakes: does not require giant magnets
  • VitaCam - Use advanced facial recognition for health diagnosis
  • Floax - Drain cover that lets water in but keeps the mozzies out vid
  • Eddy - Retrofittable laundry machine filter for micro-plastics
  • Maya - Modular vehicle (like how you would assemble a DIY PC) vid
  • Marinatex - Fish scale plastic that is stronger than LDPE (plastic bags)

Together We Progress

For Deepavali 2019, RHB Bank gets our video pick. The setting is the Batu Caves temple complex which features an inner temple which requires a climb of 272 steps to reach. The post title is RHB's corporate logo. Happy Deepavali!

Play Mechanics

The Level Up KL 2019 game festival is happening Nov 6-10 @ KL consisting of a conference [schedule, tix], showcase. awards, masterclasses [tix] and a game jam [tix], The conference ticket is priced at MYR 400 [USD 100] which includes breakfast and lunch over two days, masterclasses MYR 200 each, while the game jam tickets are priced MYR 20 for 2 days.

Conference Topics sample
  • Play Mechanics - Luminous
  • Esports Broadcasting - Egg
  • Indie Soapbox - Toge
  • Power of Design - Riot
  • How To Be Successful - Google
  • Team Owners & Players - GeekFam
  • Investing in Games - Joyme
  • From Sports to Esports - Axle
  • Appeal To The Global Market - Soleil

Pick of Events {W1-Nov-2019)

Link Youth Economy @ KL tix
Link Her Summit @ KL tix alt
Link Startup Lepak @ KL 1 2 3
Link SME Forum @ PG 1 2 also
Link Intro To AgriTech @ CJ tix

Arts & Misc
Link Composers Concert @ KL tix
Link Circular Economy @ KL tix
Link Bike Building @ KL 1 2
Link Marketing to GenZ @ KL tix
Link Marketing Dev Grant @ KL also

Around The Region
Link CoffeePreneur @ JKT also
Link Ocean Layers @ JKT
Link Win Food Delivery @ JKT 1 2
Link Consumer Banking @ HK also
Link CoinMarketCap @ SG tix

Libra Chartered

Libra Association
Amidst heavy fire from regulators and analysts, the Libra Association was formally chartered on October 15th, 2019 (announcement date) at Geneva. Of the original 28 pro-forma members, 7 dropped out and 21 forged on to sign the charter.

Human Capital
Board of directors (L-R pic above): David Marcus (Calibra), Matthew Davie (Kiva), Katie Haun (Andreessen Horowitz), Wences Casares (Xapo) and Patrick Ellis (PayU). Executive team: Betrand Perez (ex-PayPal) as COO, Dante Disparte (ex-Risk Cooperative) as Head of Policy and Comms and Kurt Hemecker (ex-PayPal?) as Head of Business Development.

[This and the next 3 sections are opinions.]  Among the notable 'dropouts' were Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Stripe. This is not unexpected as being payment processors themselves they have elected to deal with Libra at arms length rather than be close associates. [Libra says 1,500 other institutions have applied to join.]. If libra (the digital currency) is to be used mainly within fb properties, there is no compelling need for Visa et al (at the user interface level). But if libra wishes to expand to a wider audience and brick and mortar, partnering with Visa et al makes sense.

Seed Capital
As each Libra member is to contribute USD 10 million, the seed capital is expected to be USD 210 million. With a target of 100 members, the projected total capital raise is USD 1 billion. Shares are to be issued in digital investment tokens (which are distinct from the digital currency).

Use Case
  • Say, at a particular locale, no veggie burgers are available.
  • An entrepreneur grabs the chance to introduce Beyond and Impossible.
  • The finished product is called 'Beyond Impossible Burger' consisting of a full stack burger with a pattie each from Beyond and Impossible.
  • Instead of opening a shop, the entrepreneur sells it online at Instagram.
  • To order, a user surfs the Instagram page, clicks on the image of the burger.
  • Immediately, an e-invoice is presented to the user. (The e-invoice states the order id, item being ordered (the burger and specs), default quantity of one burger, user's default delivery address, mode of delivery, ETA and the price).
  • Just by confirming the e-invoice (click to proceed). the transaction, including payment, is done and the burger is on the way.

  • Speed and convenience are of the essence and the differentiators.
  • The aim is not to turn Instagram into an Amazon but to offer a simple payment method, an accessible value exchange system (P2P is a subset).
  • The use case above is one example of many new uses that could be made possible by a broad, easy-to-use digital currency.

Image Credits
David Marcus: Twitter, Matthew Davie: Sched, Katie Haun: Coindesk, Wences Casares: StrictlyVC, Patrick Ellis: ContactOut.

Founding Libra Members

  • Calibra - A new digital wallet for a new digital currency
  • PayU - Online payment service provider

Venture Capital

  • Farfetch - For the love of fashion
  • Lyft - The whole city in the palm of your hand
  • Spotify - Unlock the potential of human creativity
  • Uber - Setting the world in motion

Social Enterprise


  • Illiad - Telecom active in 35 countries
  • Vodafone - Helping businesses succeed in a digital world

Declined To Continue
  • Booking - Online travel & related services
  • eBay - Stay local, sell global
  • Mastercard - A world beyond cash
  • Mercado Pago - We make it easy to bill and pay
  • PayPal - Access to financial services creates opportunity
  • Stripe - The new standard in online payments
  • Visa - A network that connects the world

Waku Waku Kei Car

Waku Waku [Corrections]
The Tokyo Motor Show 2019 is happening Oct 24 - Nov 4th. The star of the show looks to be kei car maker (kei cars are the smallest possible cars legal in JP) Daihatsu which will be unveiling: [1 2 3]
  • Waku Waku ('excitement') - SUV the size of a kei car
  • Wai Wai ('cute excitement') - MPV the size of a kei car
  • Tsumu Tsumu ('modular') - Pickup the size of a kei car
  • Ico Ico ('iconic') - Autonomous kei car
The post image is of the Tsumu Tsumu which teases an integrated drone.

The Tokyo show features a consumer portion which includes a dedicated track for rides in vehicles being showcased, a future gadget show, a drone race and esports. Similarly, the Intelligent Transportation System World Congress (ITS-WC) happening Oct 21-25 @ SG offers public demos of autonomous vehicles EZ10, MooVita, Autonom and Volo.

Latest Mobility News UAM=Urban Air Mobility

  • Transcend will offer a Manhattan-Boston eVTOL service for USD 283 with a flight time of 36 minutes. The travel distance is approx 200 miles (320 km).
  • The USD 283 price is not much higher than $200 ($150 airline ticket + $50 airport transfer) as the service is point to point - eVTOLs take off and land vertically and do not require an airport, thus flying city centre to city centre.
  • The eVTOL duration of 36 minutes compares favourably in terms of time and convenience to standard flights which may take 3-4 hours: 1 hour to travel to the airport, 1 hour check-in, 1 hour taxing and flight, 1 hour check-out and travel to the destination.

Pick of Events (W5-Oct-2019)

Link E-Nation @ CJ tix
Link Lawtech Summit @ KL tix
Link Technical Trade Barriers @ KL also
Link Nano Quantum Lectures @ KL 1 2
Link Persuasion Excel @ KL

Link Influencer Meetup @ KL also
Link Own Your Book @ KL tix also
Link ZooHackathon @ KK info
Link Monkey Mind @ KL
Link Reindeer Odyssey @ KL tix

Around The Region
Link Life Learning @ SG tix
Link Geek Camp @ SG
Link IoT in Agriculture @ JKT
Link Makers Meetup @ HK tix
Link Vitalik Buterin @ HK

As Long As You Are Happy

In lightly produced yet well put together videos, YouTuber Hanin Dhiya covers Asal Kau Bahagia ('as long as you are happy') garnering close to 50 million views, while the original version by Armada reached 313 million views.

E-Wallet: MYR 450 Million Bounty

Malaysia's Budget 2020 includes an e-wallet incentive of MYR 30 (roughly equivalent to 30 USD/GBP/SGD in local purchasing power) for each citizen (over 18 and earning less than MYR 100K per year or MYR 8.3K per month). Though MYR 30 might not seem like much, the number of eligible recipients is estimated at 15 million, thus the total allocation comes up to MYR 450 million.

MYR 30 Can Buy
  • Food delivery: Meal for two (or gluttony for one)
  • Dine-in: Meal for two at a mall food court
  • E-hailing: Trip from KL to suburb
  • Express Rail: KL to Ipoh (one way) MYR35
  • Beer or Cigs: Two bottles or packets
  • Cinema: Tickets for two
  • Books: 3 books at BigBadWolf surplus store
  • Budget Stores: 5 items at Daiso | 12 items at Ninso
  • Groceries: 10 loaves of bread | 5 cartons of eggs | 30 apples
  • Fast Food: 3 Big Macs | 3 KFC 2-piece | 3 Subway Half-Foot
  • Street Food: 10 roti (flatbread) | 10 nasi lemak (spiced rice) + tea combo

  • The above assumes the MYR 30 is disbursed in one go (from Jan 1st, 2020).
  • If it is disbursed as, say, MYR 10 in 3 tranches, the MYR 30 could stretch further across a broader range of retailers.
  • Versus the MYR 30 spent in one go on KFC or a ride.
  • If cigs and beer are to be excluded, ewallets probably can't enforce this.
  • A household with two adults, one college-aged child and two gramps is eligible for MYR 150 (5 adults x MYR 30) in total incentives.
  • Merchants could be eligible for a MYR 5K matching grant to tool-up to accept epayments.

Data-Driven Food Trucks

Startup Roll Call
  • Traptic - Robot strawberry picker
  • Zume - Data-driven food trucks
  • Domio - Alternative to increasingly squeezy hotel rooms
  • Zego - On-demand, pay-as-you-use insurance for gig workers
  • Arrival - Electric vehicles at the price of legacy cars

Due to their delicate nature, strawberries need to be carefully picked. The robot must identify ripe berries hidden beneath leaf cover and dexterously pluck them without harming the plant or bruising the berries. Zume despatches mobile kitchens to high demand locations to reduce food delivery distances and time.

Pick of Events (W4-Oct-2019)
  • Events listed may fall before, during or after the indicated week
  • Focus is on community and boutique events
  • Conferences, commercial and training events are generally not listed
  • Posts are crafted on the go and are frequently fine-tuned after posting

Link Ecommerce Forum @ KC tix also
Link Business Events Forum @ KL tix
Link Fintech Conference @ KL also
Link Export Day @ KL 1 2 3 4 5
Link IoT and 5G @ CJ tix also and

Arts & Misc
Link Judika Orchestra @ KL vid tix also
Link Digital Sales & Marketing @ KL 1 2
Link Angel Investors @ KL tix also
Link Car Boot in The Park @ KL
Link Tiger Walk @ KL tix

Around The Region
Link What Corp VCs Look For @ JKT tix
Link Gaming Evolution @ BKK tix
Link Biotech Companies @ SG
Link First Round Capital @ HK tix
Link Digital KYC @ HK also


With news of WeWork in a pickle, here's a sample of coworking chains forging on:
  • Convene - Enterprise focus
  • Industrious - Premium WeWork
  • Knotel - For large companies only
  • The Wing - Exclusive, women-only
  • Novel - Half the cost of lease + fittings
  • Serendipity - Hospitality, not coworking
  • Spaces - Quietly, a global chain from Europe
  • Breather - Space to yourself (vs cowork distract)
  • Huckletree - Sector not desks focused (eg fintech)
  • Bee+ - 8 hours work | 8 hours leisure | 8 hours sleep

As compared to WeWork's leasing, Industrious, Convene and Knotel work in partnership (eg. profit sharing) with building owners, Breather is available as a franchise or white label, and Novel owns its buildings, giving it flexibility in fit-outs, facilities and rental it charges. Knotel also offers Geometry, an office furniture subscription service for instant pop-up offices (coworking where you want it, when you want it). [Reading: 1 2 3 4 5]

What about IWG-Regus? We are classifying it as a business services company, not 'coworking' as the term is popularly taken to mean. Regus (4,000 locations vs WeWork's 1,000) is everywhere including remote Balikpapan not far from ID's proposed new capital. The vicinity looks like an ideal coworking location with surveyors, architects, builders and businesses moving in to develop the capital and needing temporary setup space.

Monerium: Europe's Hybrid Digital Currency

On the same day as our posting on Industrial E-Payments, news arrived from Europe of a use-case: the world's first smart contract invoice paid with digital currency:

Monerium is an Icelandic digital currency (specifically e-money, the electronic form of notes and coins eg the balances in cashcards, ewallets and bank accounts) that is licensed by Iceland and usable in the EU (the first such EU digital currency). Characteristics:
  • Fiat Based: Being fiat-based and fiat-like, it works with established protocols with less need for businesses and regulators to grasp exotic, new currencies. Allows the re-use of existing regulations, contracts, and procedures. Initially issued in Icelandic kr√≥na, it is designed to adapt to any national currency.
  • Blockchain Based Though a fiat currency, being blockhain enabled, it provides for smart contracts, bankless operations (the wallet is the bank), tokenisation, auto-reconciliation and cross-border payments. Currently running on Ethereum, it is intended to be operable with Corda, Hyperledger, Liquid, Stellar, Ripple.
  • Fiat Backed Backed by deposits of the currency it is issued in. Being national fiat-centric Monerium could be employed as a central bank digital currency equivalent for countries whose central banks do not wish to build one themselves.

Tradeshift is a Danish-US, multi-award winning, app-driven, e-invoicing platform which encompasses invoicing, payments, working capital and marketplaces. Characteristics:
  • E-invoicing: Purchases and payments on one common platform for buyers and suppliers: no paper, no PDFs.
  • Blockchain: Smart contracts are available. Payment is automatic upon invoicing, no extending of payment duration at the discretion of the buyer. Conversely, suppliers are obligated to deliver on time and on specification. Allows the (pro-forma) invoice to be tokenised and used for financing: banks or factoring firms can be assured invoices are liquid, legit and not re-used for multiple financing.
  • Security: Eliminate or reduce the risk of mis-billing, over or under payment, payment to erroneous parties. Tradeshift also offers virtual credit cards for managing minor and one-off purchases.

Industrial E-Payments

Thus far, e-payments have focused mainly on consumers. The next big step, and much larger in scope, volume and potential, is commercial, trade, finance, manufacturing and industrial e-payments.

Pick of Events (W3-Oct-2019)

Link Industrial E-Payment @ KL also
Link Online Halal Cert @ KL tix also
Link E-Com Risk Mgmt @ KL tix also
Link eBay Automotive @ KL 1 2
Link Cognitive Robots @ KL also
Link Future SME @ KL

Link Art Forum @ KL tix
Link Definers Forum @ KL tix
Link UK-US Network @ KL
Link Dinner Show @ KL 1 2
Link Industrial Design @ KL

Around The Region
Link Sustainable City @ SG also
Link McKinsey Digital @ SG
Link Climate Diplomacy @ JKT
Link Agile Contract & SAFe @ JKT
Link CN-US Tech Decoupling @ HK

Streets of Los Angeles

You might have already come across a viral video of a sans-home musician singing an opera aria in a LA subway station. The singer, Russian emigre Emily Zamourka, was swept away from mainstream life after losing her main instrument of income, her violin. In the video, you can see Ms Zamourka 'carrying her home in two carrier bags', recalling the 1975 hit, Streets of London by Ralph McTell.

Developing Smart Cities

Digital Putrajaya is happening Oct 3-5; Cloud Expo, Oct 9-10; Electronics Fair, Oct 13-16. Complimentary admission. Sample topics:

Digital Putrajaya @ MY tix

Cloud Expo @ SG tix

Electronics Fair @ HK tix
  • V2X for Connected Cars - KeySight
  • Smarter Digital City 3.0 - Google
  • Compute in The Era of 5G - Nvidia
  • Smart City Powered by 5G - Astri
  • Mi's Marketing Strategies - Hisense
  • Cloud-Driven Robots - Wandelbots
  • MiniLED & MicroLED - Solomon
  • Smart Measurement - API
  • Blockchain for Real Estate - Agility
  • Blockchain USIM with 2FA - QLC

Pick of Events (W2+Oct-2019)

  • ISO 37106 is a template for getting to and running a 'sustainable, smart city'. It does not prescribe what to do but sets out a framework which the subject matter can be approached: vision, governance, engagement, procurement, interoperability, reference model etc.
  • The term 'smart city' was initially applied to the use of IT, eg IoT, and data to assist in the running of a city. Its scope has since grown to encompass other desirable attributes for a city like new mobility and sustainability.
  • Alt-examples of smart cities based on outcomes: a) a city where residents walk or cycle as much as they drive or ride b) a city designed people up vs buildings down c) a vibrant, self-sustaining city that is meaningful to all stakeholders d) a laissez-faire, organic, chaotic yet thriving city e) a city where residents can breathe fresh air, enjoy greenery and hear birds sing.

Web 3.0 @ Korea

Blockchain Week
Korea Blockchain Week is happening Sep 30th to Oct 1st, 2019. [Post image: Hashed, an early stage venture fund for blockchain and crypto.]

Events sample

Web 3,0
Two sessions at D.FINE cover Web 3.0 with the co-founders of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood. What is Web 3.0? There is no universal definition but here's what Gavin Wood wrote (roughly reinterpreted): [After the publication of this post, the organisers changed the conference agenda to be more mainstream and sans Web 3.0.]
  • 1.0 - The pristine web. the academic & scientist web, the 'garden of eden'
  • 2.0 - The rowdy web, dodgy ads, seo-content, maximalisation, data collection
  • 3.0 - Find a way back to the 'garden of eden' but how?

Pick of Events (W2-Oct-2019)

Link Smart Ethical Cities @ KL tix
Link Linked Youth Fashion @ KL 1 2 3
Link Women Entrepreneur @ CJ tix also
Link SME IR4 Incentives @ KL tix also
Link Selangor Summit @ KL 1 2 3

Arts & Misc
Link New Village Music Lab @ KL tix
Link Alt Book Fest @ KL tix
Link Urban Forests @ KL also
Link Fun & Funded @ PG tix
Link Fine Art Asia @ HK also

Around The Region
Link Jardine Daimler Hack @ SG
Link Insurance Analytics @ SG
Link Attracting Women @ SG
Link Security SmartCity @ JKT 1 2
Link Cannabis Conference @ BKK