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.