BIG data - recently spotlighted as the next frontier for innovation and productivity in Singapore - may soon be in for a timely boost, following yesterday's launch of BigPack, a first-of-its-kind consortium that seeks to nurture and inspire more big data start-ups and solutions here.
Helmed by seed-stage start-up incubator Red Dot Ventures, BigPack is supported by both public and private sector partners: StarHub, private education institution Lithan Hall Academy, big data start-up GNosis Analytics, as well as Exploit Technologies (ETPL), the technology transfer arm of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).
"Consortium partners, each bringing unique expertise to the table, will collaborate to create an all-round mini ecosystem that will drive co-innovations, technology transfers, and go-to-market strategies for big data start-ups," Leslie Loh, founder of Red Dot Ventures, told The Business Times.
Currently, many of these start-ups face challenges in accessing big data technologies, technical expertise, talent, funding or go-to-markets.
But BigPack can plug this gap, and provide start-ups with seamless, through-train support to take their product from conception to reality, said Mr Loh.
Four start-ups - three already backed by Red Dot Ventures - have signed up with BigPack.
They include Quantum Inventions (QI), a real-time transport and logistics data firm; The Stakeholder Company, which provides software that helps companies manage complex stakeholder relationships; and aSpecial Media, a real-time consumer analytics company in Asia.
The fourth is aspiring entrepreneur Jacqueline Niu, who plans to leverage her 20 years of banking expertise to create big data solutions for the banking industry.
"With BigPack involving value-added partners like StarHub, companies like QI which deal in vertical industry domains get dual value - curated access to data we need for analysis, and go-to-market channel partnerships, thereby achieving faster commercialisation for the technology we develop," said Saurav Bhattacharyya, chief executive officer (CEO) of QI.
Added aSpecial Media's CEO, Christopher Yeo: "As BigPack's ecosystem grows to include more partners and start-ups, the oasis of big data expertise, technology and framework will level up the capabilities of all big data start-ups in Singapore and even Asia."
And this will accelerate the adoption of big data solutions here, leading to increased competitiveness of local enterprises, said Philip Lim, CEO of ETPL.
Mr Loh, urging more incubators to come on board and "do another BigPack", said they could explore other up-and-coming sectors such as wearable technology and interactive learning.
"Increasingly, incubators need to be more specialised and do more than just give out money. With institutional knowledge, they can create other mini, private ecosystems that will positively impact Singapore's competitiveness in the long term. BigPack is just the beginning," he said.