Impact Hub Singapore partners Google for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs and start-up companies in Singapore or planning to setup in Singapore, this would be of great news and of great interest to you. Impact Hub Singapore, the largest co-working and entrepreneur building community, recently announced its partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs, becoming the company’s first tech hub partner in Southeast Asia.

I visited Impact Hub Singapore once, when I attended Huawei Founders Friday, listening to Scott Bales a leading digital and innovation executive sharing on driving innovation. It was a great sharing session, knowledge and tips shared would be applicable for me as I embarked on my photography business and the challenges that I am facing!

Collaboration, partnerships and networking with different professionals and expertise from different industries, helping each other to grow and succeed, this is the modern era that we are living in and how we should and must do business, growth, change, innovation and development in the new IoT/digital/social media era ahead.

Let me share more key information and details with my readers here from the press release information:

Impact Hub Singapore is home to a vibrant entrepreneurial community with a strong track record in supporting companies as they build and scale their businesses. Member startups have raised more than $180 million USD ($250 million SGD) since Impact Hub Singapore opened it’s doors. Impact Hub Singapore comprises more than 650 entrepreneurs, professionals and freelancers, and has partnerships with 50 corporate, university and government-linked organisations. The five year-old Impact Hub is home to Singapore’s largest community of creatives, entrepreneurs, and technologists. Impact Hub Singapore takes a holistic approach to encouraging startups by providing everything from co-working space to resources and tools early stage businesses need to grow.

As members of the Google for Entrepreneurs network, Impact Hub Singapore and the greater Singapore startup community will have access to new resources including training and mentorship opportunities and access to Google programs and products including:

  • Google for Entrepreneurs global programs: Hubbers can now apply to the incredible programs Google runs for entrepreneurs, including Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange, a series of week-long, vertically-specific global immersion programs aimed at helping startups gain access into new markets and insights, and Google Demo Day an event that brings together a diverse group of startups from around the world to showcase their technology and meet top investors and mentors in Silicon Valley.
  • A global network: Hubbers will join 50 other organizations with a global footprint in more than 135 countries, including six Campuses, which are Google-owned and operated spaces for entrepreneurs. Impact Hub members are now connected to the Google for Entrepreneurs Passport program, which allows members to access more than 20 Google partner spaces the world over, from Seoul to San Francisco.
  • Google resources: Relevant startups will be eligible for Google product offers and have access to local and international mentorship from Google advisors.

In addition to all of these great offerings from Google for Entrepreneurs, Impact Hub Singapore, inspired by Google’s Campus’, will also start providing more opportunities for collaboration:

  • 30 new coworking seats: From August onwards, Impact Hub Singapore will open 30 free coworking seats per day in the coworking area be even more inclusive and welcoming to the tech-curious as well as to current and aspiring entrepreneurs.

* Information courtesy of Redhill Communications and Impact Hub Singapore *

Touche – World’s 1st Biometric Loyalty & Payment Solution

Imagine one day in the very near future, you are out dining with your friends, having a great time at the restaurant, awesome food, drinks and company. At the end of dinner gathering, you called for the bill.

The staff at the restaurant asked “Would you like to pay for the bill just by the touche of your fingers?”. You replied, “Yes, sure!” The staff brings out a small tablet device, showing you the total bill to confirm that it is verified and correct before you place your fingers to process the payment. The next moment, you received an email informing you of your confirmed bill payment at the restaurant.

Is this possible? Yes, it is now possible, a fintech product made in Singapore, making her debut and official appearance recently and I had the opportunity to view it for the first time and had a short hands on experience on the process and payment, from a customer perspective.

Let me introduce Touche, the world’s full fledged biometric loyalty and payment solution platform –

“ … Touché is proud to present the world’s first biometric loyalty and payment platform, which is activated by just your fingers. In Singapore, within a span of three months, 150 restaurants, 15 local hotels and 5 private social clubs have shown interest in implementing this solution. The homegrown company aims to foray into Japan, with a market size in excess of US$200 million.

“Touché is a world first. It is not a better mousetrap, but a brand-new idea,” says Sahba Saint-Claire, CEO of Touché. “At its core, it aims to make people’s lives easier by removing the need to carry things such as credit cards, loyalty and membership cards, vouchers, coupons, etc. while ensuring they get all the benefits to which they are entitled. You register on Touché once at anywhere that offers the service and you can use it globally.” … “ 

(Via Press Release information)

I would like to share some of my personal views from both sides, an end user/customer and a business perspective

For end user/customer

This Touche biometric loyalty and payment platform is probably going towards a boom and rise in convenient, fast cashless and card-less payment system in the near future. With the proposed integration of loyalty rewards program in the near future, the customer payment and rewards experience would be enhanced in this area in the future (in my personal humble opinion).

Security and privacy are definitely concerns by the end users/customers when using the Touche platform. I had these questions at the back of my mind too when I attended their presentation. From their presentation, I am satisfied and glad to hear from them on the aspects of security and privacy procedures in place for the Touche platform.

For a business entity

I worked in the retail and hospitality industries previously, therefore, I had the experiences of the payment system commonly used, the machines for the electronic funds payment e.g. NETS, VISA, MasterCard, Diners, AMEX, JCB. I understood and knew about the costs involved in those machines.

While I do not have the costs and numbers from the business operation side of the Touche system, my personal view is that adopting the Touche platform device is definitely a worthy consideration, not just in terms of cost savings, there would be time savings (e.g. from the service staff printing out the bill, brining it to you, take your credit card, process the payment and back to you for your signature) and administrative time (change the roll of paper, change the ink cartridge)

The integration of this fintech with the entity’s own loyalty/reward system might be a good stepping stone for growing customer relationship management system, rewards and loyalty points system.

If you are in the hotel, hospitality, food and beverage industries, take a look at the Touche platform, have a chat with them.

The following information below were provided via the press release information, that explained my thoughts on Touche –

Efficient Loyalty and Payment through A Simple Device, Made in Singapore

Made in Singapore, the hardware of Touché is an elegant rectangular device that is certified and capable of multiple payment options including a magnetic stripe reader, chip reader, and 2.2-inch (diagonal measurement) biometric sensor with the highest resolution in the market to detect two fingers for efficient payments. Most customers will choose to pay with just two fingers after a simple registration, but they may also choose to pay with their physical credit cards. The device works over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.

Convenience is key

You will no longer need to carry anything around when shopping — this includes your cards, phones, vouchers or wallets! Look forward to fast transactions, as there is no need to look for your payment or loyalty cards, count dollar notes or wait for paper receipts and signatures to be processed. Imagine checking your bill on the device, placing your fingers on the Touché device and you’re out of the restaurant in just a few minutes. You will then receive an email detailing your experience. No more paper!

Security is at the core of Touché

The company’s brainchild scans any two of your fingers to extract around 40 to 45 specific points of each fingerprint. It does not store images of your fingerprints. The information is encrypted on a cloud system. It is virtually impossible to create a replica of your fingerprints with this information. The anti-spoofing and live detection technology at Touché also ensures that the fingerprints are real. Credit card information is tokenised, and the card details are not stored in the database. No information is stored on the device, and it communicates with the server using the highest encryption levels to protect our users’ privacy.

With one simple registration, users can use the system globally

The first time you visit a merchant, you can pay with your credit card and use Touché’s solution to link the card to your fingers. You then update your particulars online, and even add your profile picture! For subsequent visits to any merchant that uses Touché, there is no need for further registration, and you can even choose between multiple credit cards in your Touché wallet to make payment.

Smart shopping and increased savings with Touché

The Touché wallet offers you more than just payment methods. Wherever you go, your favourite offers, loyalty programmes, vouchers, coupons and memberships follow. Access to your shopping or dining experiences and expenditure history is readily available via the Touché journal. Touché ensures that your entitlements are applied automatically at every interaction. You will also be notified of the loyalty benefits or credit card promotional offers at one glance, making it easier for you to choose your preferred payment method for greater savings.

Supercharging businesses with a gentle touch

For businesses, this platform is time saving and efficient. It adapts to existing technology and process environments, so integration is a cinch. It can be utilised to create long-term relationships with their customers. They can tailor loyalty programmes and create unique offers for different customers. Businesses can also curate data about their customers, and the insights can be used to create moments that wow at every turn.

(Press Release Information)

Personally, in my personal humble opinion, I believe this Touche platform has a huge growth and expansion potential in the whole world. If the opportunity arises in the future, I hope that I can write and share more on both sides of the story, customer/end user and business.

I would like to thank Touche and Brand Cellar for the invitation to Touche launch event in Singapore.

* Photos and information courtesy of Touche and Brand Cellar *

Echelon Asia Summit 2016

Echelon Asia Summit took place on 15th and 16 June 2016 at the Singapore Expo, I was invited by my friends from the public relations agency, SPRG, to attend the two days summit and I was glad that I attended this event. This post comes a bit late and I apologise for the delay in sharing my thoughts and feelings from attending Echelon Asia Summit 2016.

Echelon Asia Summit 2016 is a two-day summit that brings over 5,000 top-tier digital professionals and entrepreneurs, to create and expand their opportunities in the various fields such as technology, business and investments across Asia.

It was an eye-opener for me to know more about start ups from various industries and not just technology start ups. Although I am a photographer, I am also interested in financial industry, technology, small medium enterprise (SME), fin-tech, just to name a few of them. Having attended Canon EXPO 2016 Shanghai, learning and understanding how a world famous brand brings their products and services across the world, I am able to learn and understand from the other end of the spectrum, the start ups and SME on how they plan to grow their business and growth. I visited Echelon Asia Summit 2016 as an attendee, my first time visiting an event of this nature.

The list of exhibitors present at Echelon Asia Summit 2016 were interesting and diverse, it’s not just technology start ups. There were a number of key speeches and sharing on the Future Stage, Build/Reach Stage, Create Stage and Community Lounge. The topics and agenda that I want to listen and relate a lot to were at the Future Stage. Over the two days, I had learned some great insights and knowledge from the sharing by the panel of speakers in their respective industry. Although I wasn’t able to visit all the exhibitors present there, I saw a few exhibitors that caught my attention –

FOMO Photo Booth by FOMO Digital Pte Ltd

Being a photographer myself, I can’t do and cover everything at major events if they are big scale and the requirements include photo booth. FOMO Photo Booth caught my attention and if the opportunity to collaborate together arises, I would have a chat with them!

Cafebond

A coffee lover myself, I saw their booth and went up to know more about their coffee business. They are bringing in Melbourne’s best coffee to Singapore and you can order coffee online and ship it over to your place. This is something that I would check out one day!

TripInsiders

This is something that suits me perfectly what I love to do, travel and photography. You can become an Insider to bring travelers from all around the world in your city and you can get paid too for your time! Becoming an Insider might just be the job that slots in between my photography assignments and marketing work for Wills & Wills.

Grab showcasing Grab For Work

Grab has a pretty big booth at Echelon Asia Summit 2016, you will see definitely see them when you are inside the Singapore Expo Hall. I read about their story and origins before on how they were founded, grown and transformed over time. I had a good chat with one of their guys there during Echelon Asia Summit 2016, Grab For Work is a great initiative for companies that have staff that are on the move and have to claim transport allowances. If I am currently working in a job that needs to do transport claims, I would use Grab For Work.

During the two days of Echelon Asia Summit 2016, the start ups are not just confined to technology industry, they have expanded into other industries such as F&B, travel, photography and financial. It was a great pleasure, a wonderful learning experience for me to attend Echelon Asia Summit 2016, there is always something new to learn from people from all walks of life and industries.

Thank you e27 and SPRG for the invitation to Echelon Asia Summit 2016!