Fintech: Start-ups Chosen for DBS Pre-Accelerator Challenge

Neal Cross, DBS’ Chief Innovation Officer

Neal Cross, DBS’ Chief Innovation Officer

Following an intense three months of training and experimentation, nine start-ups have been selected from Singapore's largest bank DBS’s HotSpot Bootcamp.

Now in its second year, DBS HotSpot 2016 attracted over 250 applications from diverse sectors, including finance and digital technology, food and beverage and travel. 

Out of these, 29 teams were chosen for the DBS HotSpot Bootcamp before nine were eventually picked for the final segment of the programme.

Giving a Boost

As part of the Pre-Accelerator, the nine teams will receive a S$25,000 entrepreneur award, which does not require the teams to give up any equity. This will give them a boost as they continue to focus on product development and sales strategies.

They will also receive legal advice and training on skills such as marketing and pitch presentations as they work towards securing funding from the investment community.

Breaking Out

In addition to those from the start-up community, the programme this year welcomed social entrepreneurs and aspiring innovators from within DBS itself, as the bank encourages its own staff with innovative ideas to take part.

«Hotspot showed me how truly important it is to change, and change fast until the customer falls in love with us, the support I got from both the local start-up community and DBS was immense» said Jeffery Sung, co-founder of and a Senior Vice President at DBS. 

Innovative and Viable

Also among the final nine to make it through was «Seedly» a Singapore fintech start-up that is building a simplified personal finance platform to help millennials manage their budgets and expenses automatically.

«Over the past few months, the mentors in HotSpot had only good things to say about all the start-ups they worked with. But these nine teams really stood out against their peers and had progressed tremendously during Bootcamp. While we would have loved to work with more of the start-ups, competition was tough and we had to be selective of who we could fund for the Pre-Accelerator. It was not an easy decision,» said Neal Cross, DBS’ Chief Innovation Officer.

Culmination in November

The teams were chosen based on the clarity of their ideas and concepts, how innovative their idea was and the viability of their business solution. They were selected by DBS executives and partners.

DBS HotSpot 2016 Pre-Accelerator will begin in August and culminate in November on Demo Day where the final nine teams will pitch their businesses to a live audience of corporate executives, angel and venture capital investors and accelerators from the region.


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