INTERNATIONAL startup pitching competition Slingshot 2020 has returned for the fourth year with its first full virtual challenge, said organiser Enterprise Singapore (ESG) on Monday.
The competition gives entrepreneurs an international platform on which to make themselves known to corporates, industry veterans and investors, ESG said.
More than S$800,000 in prizes are up for grabs this year for startups to develop and commercialise their ideas.
This includes the grand prize of a S$200,000 Startup SG grant and S$10,000 in cash by L'Oréal, as well as S$50,000 Startup SG grants for the top two winners from each of the five sector tracks, ESG said.
The five sector tracks are:
♦ Healthtech, biotech and medtech;
♦ Foodtech and agritech;
♦ Manufacturing, logistics and transportation;
♦ Urban solutions, sustainability and energy; and
♦ Digital solutions, consumer products and services.
Startup SG is an initiative under ESG created to showcase Singapore's startup ecosystem both locally and overseas.
A key highlight of Slingshot 2020 is the new Covid-19 track, in which startups can submit solutions "aimed at helping businesses and the larger community rebound in the post-Covid world", ESG said.
The winner of this track will receive S$60,000 in prizes from Startup SG and L'Oréal.
Jonathan Lim, director of global innovation network at Enterprise Singapore, said: "The current Covid-19 situation offers many challenges across various sectors. The new Covid-19 track provides an opportunity for start-ups to address these challenges and change the way we operate in the new normal. As a fully virtual competition, we are making it even easier for startups to participate in this competition."
Another new element this year is the corporate innovation platform, ESG said.
From the entries received, the top 500 start-ups will get an opportunity to connect with innovation players. They will also stand a chance to win grants from StartupSG and embark on co-innovation projects with these corporates in Singapore, ESG said.
The finals of Slingshot 2020 will take place virtually as part of the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (Switch) from Nov 9 to 13. The Slingshot top 100 global startups will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges comprising corporates, tech giants and investors, ESG said.
Last year, Slingshot 2019 attracted more than 2,400 completed applications from more than 120 countries.
The competition is now open and will close on Aug 24. Interested parties may apply by submitting an application form found on https://slingshot.agorize.com.