The Korea Herald: Singapore accelerator Tribe showcases startups, including Tada

Published on The Korea Herald, by Song Seung-hyun, Jul 17, 2019

Singapore-based startup accelerator Tribe hosted a demo day at Google Campus in Seoul on July 15 to support the first batch of its blockchain-based startups, which included Tada and Temco from South Korea.

“We help all our startups to be exposed to different local ecosystem and markets,” Tribe managing partner Yi Ming Ng said at a press conference July 16.

Tada is a ride-hailing service operator, and Temco operates a platform for selling and buying used luxury brand goods.

Ng added that the demo day was going on in a few different countries -- Singapore, China and the US -- in addition to Korea. “We call this the ‘Demo Tour,” he said.

Through the tour, the startups have raised 16.8 million Singapore dollars ($12.35 million) and are in talks with more than 20 global companies about potential partnerships.

Ng stressed the importance of blockchain startups being exposed to the global market amid a downturn triggered by a market bubble and rigid regulations.

“Today, a lot of us use Google to search for stuff. But how many understand AI and machine learning algorithm that powers Google? Not many. But no one questions businesses that are done on the internet now,” he said. “(I think) consumers can focus more on the benefits of technology and less about the complexity when they see practical uses of it. If you see blockchain from that lens, I think it could be great.”

Shaun Djie, a co-founder of Digix, one of 10 blockchain startups participating in Tribe’s program, touched upon the merits of Tribe’s program and of doing business in Singapore. “Companies like Temco and Tada, they are all in Singapore, not only because of the Singapore market but also for Southeast Asia,” he said. “New technologies can be applied to not only to 1 or 2 million people. Southeast Asia alone has more than 10 million people across Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.”

Established in 2018, Tribe is the first Singaporean blockchain startup accelerator that is backed by the government. It has partnerships with global companies including IBM, Intel and BMW, which also assist the company’s mentorship program for startups.