South-east Asia's Rise to run AI accelerator programme from Singapore

South-east Asia's Rise to run AI accelerator programme from Singapore

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3 -min read
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REGIONAL corporate accelerator Rise will be helping Singaporean startups enter Thailand’s innovation ecosystem and collaborate with local partners to develop solutions that target market needs, under a partnership with Enterprise Singapore.

Rise will aid the startups by connecting them with its network of over 200 corporate and governmental agencies worldwide, to launch them into a wider international arena. The collaboration seeks to boost and transform South-east Asia into a global hub of innovation and startup ecosystem. It also marks Rise's expansion into Singapore. 

The accelerator is supported by the Singapore agency's Startup SG programme, itself an accelerator which provides guidance through resource provision and mentorship to startups based in Singapore. 

The lack of product-market fit, and not the lack of great ideas, causes many startups to fail, said Jonathan Lim, director for global innovation network at Enterprise Singapore. 

"Against this backdrop, Enterprise Singapore is happy to partner with Rise in its inaugural AI (artificial intelligence) programme to enable startups to work closely with regional corporates to co-develop solutions targeted at resolving specific pain points and problem statements. Innovation does not occur in isolation and we need various ecosystem players such as Rise to connect people and ideas to foster collaboration," Mr Lim added. 

The first official partnership between Rise and Enterprise Singapore is RISE.AI, a corporate AI accelerator that will see 30 AI startups from all over the world come to the region. In this programme, startups will work intensively with top regional corporates for nine weeks. Participating startups can choose to work in either Singapore or Thailand. 

For the Singapore leg of this initiative, lasting three months from July 26 to September, 10 startups will fly to Singapore to work on the pilot programme. 

Startups can join RISE.AI for free, while corporates that join will pay a membership fee. Although details of the fee were undisclosed, Dr Parchariyanon said the amount depends on the level of commitment the corporate promises the startups.  

After the nine-week programme, startups that spin off the accelerator will become Rise alumni, where they can still access support from Rise and Enterprise Singapore, including networking opportunities, mentoring, fundraising and business matching. 

Chief executive officer and founder of Rise, Kid Parchariyanon, said: “We’re very excited about this partnership, as it will help us to achieve Rise’s goal for 1 per cent GDP (gross domestic product) increase for South-east Asia."

He explained: "The partnership will not only fuel our international growth into Singapore, but also unite South-east Asia as the fastest Internet economy by attracting the best talents to come back and help push forward our region together."

Rise is in the midst of setting up its office in Singapore, which will be ready in time for the launch of the accelerator next week. 

Rise is keen to explore future opportunities with Enterprise Singapore in sectors such as healthcare and energy. Dr Parchariyanon told The Business Times that Rise is working with the agency on a healthcare initiative focusing on biotech solutions for the region that is set to launch next year.