On Nov. 16, Alipay, the mobile and online payment platform Ant Financial, teamed up with NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, to launch a new initiative aimed to support digital technology innovation throughout Southeast Asia.
The Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge aims to support the growth of tech start-ups in Southeast Asia. Their areas of focus include, but are not limited to, enabling low-income groups to gain access to better education, supporting elderly individuals leverage digital technologies to enhance their lifestyle, even helping people with disabilities through upskilling and reskilling initiatives.
“It is exciting for us to be involved with teams creating lasting impact for their communities and addressing real world problems, such as aging, poverty and lack of access to development opportunities,” said Geoff Jiang, Vice President and General Manager of the Technology and Business Innovation Group at Ant Financial.
“The Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge brings together entrepreneurs, technologists, innovators, educators, investors, mentors and change-makers who are all passionate about building a more inclusive society. It is through such collaborative efforts that we can maximise the benefits of digital technologies, and create a better world for everyone,” said NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye.
The inaugural Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge will take place in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The first round of judging will determine the top three winners within each country, who will each receive a cash prize of SGD $10,000. The nine finalists will compete for the top cash prize of SGD $50,000 in the grand finale, that is going to be held in Singapore in March 2019.
The winning teams will also receive support to accelerate their growth through networks, mentorship and partnership opportunities with Ant Financial, NUS and other partners in the ecosystem. Top teams will also receive three-month incubation support by NUS Enterprise, as well as access to its BLOCK71 community and co-working space in Singapore, Bandung, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Suzhou and San Francisco.