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Unveiling the 12 semi-finalists of the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia

Author: DBS
Published Date: 5 March 2014

This article was originally posted here.

September 2013 marked the launch of the inaugural DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia, a regional competition for early-stage social enterprises in Asia.

We had over 400 submissions representing more than 20 countries across Asia; all competing to win up to SGD 30,000 in seed-funding. Our judges have selected the 12 more promising projects to advance further into the competition as semi-finalists.

As semi-finalists, the teams will be flown down to Singapore for a 3-day Social Business Bootcamp in March; where they will learn from some of the greatest leaders and practitioners in the social impact and start-up space in Asia. They will also work closely with our mentors to refine their ventures to be able to create a bigger impact.

So without further ado… here are our top 12 semi-finalists (in no particular order):

1) Bodhi Health Education (India) aims to improve healthcare in India and developing countries by boosting knowledge of healthcare workers. The team has developed quality medical training solutions for health workers, using affordable android tablets.

2) Brün – Every Pregnancy Monitored (India) is developing a tool for electronic foetal monitoring. This is able to monitor critical parameters during pregnancy, including the foetal heart rate, uterine contractions, maternal blood pressure and maternal heart rate.

3) Damascus Fortune Technologies (India) is a nanotech start-up that has a patented technology that transforms harmful carbon emissions into usable carbon nano-materials, which have widespread applications. This eco-friendly technology is making carbon sequestering profitable, while also reducing carbon emissions.

4) Interclo Designs Survival Plus Clothing (Singapore) has created a clothing-aid product for survivors of natural disasters, called the ‘Survival Plus’ jacket. This is a single, multi-functional item that serves as a jacket, blanket, shawl, mat and sleeping bag. It can be air dropped to any location within 24-48 hours.

5) Kitabisa (Indonesia) is the first local online crowd-funding collaboration platform in Indonesia for social causes. It aims to bring together people with ideas and people who have resources. in Bahasa Indonesia)

6) Let’s be Well-Red (India) aims to combat iron-deficiency anaemia in India by raising awareness about this prevalent nutritional disorder and manufacturing/ selling its GudNeSs nutritional bar. GudNeSs is an easy-to-eat, palatable and affordable nutritional supplement that provides sufficient iron for a person’s daily requirement.

7) Local Alike (Thailand) is a community-based tourism booking platform that connects hosts from Thai communities to global travellers. This social venture aims to preserve local cultures, while also providing economic opportunities for local people, by supporting local homestays, local tour guides and unique local activities.

8) Maya Universe Academy (Nepal)Maya Universe Academy is a network of schools which provides free education to all its students in rural Nepal. Instead of paying money to the school, the parents give their time which the school uses to sustain itself.

9) Science of Life Studies 24/7 (Cambodia) provides high quality and holistic education programmes for disadvantaged and at-risk youths from poor communities across Cambodia, Timor Leste, Malaysia and Laos. Education is provided in areas of English, Computer skills, ICT, accountancy and character/ leadership skills.

10) TinkerTank (India) is a social enterprise that designs and disseminates need-based, appropriate, low-cost tools and machines, to achieve menial tasks easily, efficiently and more productively. This aims to reduce the drudgery of intense manual-labour, which is often faced by poor women workers engaged in cottage-based industries in India and to increase their livelihood opportunities.

11) Water for All (India) is providing affordable clay-based water filters that are both electricity and maintenance free.

12) Zaya Learning Labs (India) offers a network of low-cost schools empowered by a blended learning model that delivers a high-quality learning experience to underprivileged children across the developing world.

Congratulations teams! We look forward to seeing you in Singapore this March. For all the other participants – a big thank you for your hard-work, passion and commitment to make this world a better place. We wish you all the best in your endeavors, and hope that you will apply again for the next round.