funding

The host city of SIGEF 2018 is a reference in MedTech and new technologies as indeed Singapore aims to be at the upfront of a promising market with the right setup to attract both investors and innovators.

(Photo: RENDY ARYANTO/VisualVerve.SG)

Singapore is home to more than 60 MedTech companies which are mainly focused on research to develop new and innovative health care approaches. It is, indeed, a promising market. According to the Singapore Economic Development Board, the Asian medical technology market is expected to be the world’s second-largest by 2020, with a promise of a better life expectancy and quality of life.

In the last few years, the government has made a big effort to build a welcoming infrastructure for these businesses, either by investing in patient care based on a talent pool with big data and analytics skills, or by developing a supportive ecosystem which counts on research institutions, universities and startups, all of which provides the MedTech companies with a rich and fruitful research and development hub.

This ecosystem allows for companies like Tictrac – an app developing company which focuses on tracking health data and giving tips and information to its users -, to come up with solutions for patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases. In a recent interview, Martin Blinder, Tictrac CEO, confided that: “It is for people to find reliable information about the best way to reduce risk and improve their health. After meeting their doctor, people go home with some very high-level information, often go online and end up finding a lot of contradictory information or dangerous fat diets”. The company has a partnership with the Singaporean Ministry of Health, which aims to use more technology to prevent and manage diseases.

The successful combination of a friendly environment for MedTech innovation and public-private partnerships has pushed many companies to be more willing to invest in this market. In the last few years, a number of Singaporean IT businesses have set up MedTech operations in order to profit from the market’s good prospects. The electronic manufacturer Venture Corp is one of them and has been shifting their investment to LifeSciences and Medical Technologies, which now represent 43% of their revenues.

In a speech at a MedTech event last year, the Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran stressed the importance of investing in new health care technologies knowing that populations are getting old and that artificial intelligence is taking over most industries. “We know that the nature of jobs is changing profoundly, as technology and automation play an increasing role in driving innovation and operations,” he said. “We need to transform our societies and economies to become more age-friendly, and turn longevity into a positive force for economic and social development.”

The host city of SIGEF2018 next September is thus the perfect place to bring together innovators and entrepreneurs from all over the world. Organized by Horyou, it will include a special panel on MedTech.

Organized by the United Nations in Geneva, the World Summit of the Information Society discussed the role of technology in building a better future

Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, speaking at WSIS Forum

A big welcome to the future we all want – with more technology, creativity and innovation at the service of a fairer society. That was the message that this year’s 4-day WSIS Forum, whose motto was Leveraging ICTs to Build Information and Knowledge Societies for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, opted to convey to the rest of the world.

Entrepreneurs, government officials, organizations and members of the civil society tackled some of the most important challenges facing the modern world which included those relating to protection of the environment, inclusion of vulnerable social groups, promotion of small businesses and furtherance of artificial intelligence for human rights.

Horyou, the social network for social good, joined two panels, alongside high-level members of international organizations, as well as the private and public sectors. During the High Level Policy Session on Financing for Development and the Role of ICT, Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, spoke about the skills required from social entrepreneurs. «It’s great to see how youth is engaged in social entrepreneurship to make a difference and do good. At Horyou, we believe in technology with a purpose, which requires courage and optimism», he stated.

On the sensitive issue of promoting equality through information and technology, Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the UN, regretted that “as fast as advances are occurring, they are not taking place fast enough in many areas” and called to “bring the whole world online so everyone can benefit from ICTs”.

It was nevertheless underscored that governments are indeed making progress in democratizing access to technology. Case in point, Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Salem, ICT Minister of Saudi Arabia, highlighted that the Kingdom has invested in state-of-the-art technology to equip its public institutions. «In 2018, ICT investment has grown by 6% over 2017 and, by 2020, we will furnish thousands of public institutions with optic fiber”, he stated.

The panel Women in ICT, moderated by Cintia Pino, Horyou’s Head of Marketing and External Relations, female executives from non-profit and private organizations discussed the ways to engage more girls and women in technology. Leading women figures including Sonja Betschart, co-founder of WeRobotics, an organization which uses drones to promote technology in developing countries, and Trisha Shetty, a UN Young Leader who advocates gender equality, showcased their success stories and their activism for social good.

Government officials were an important part of the event, as many high-level conferences were organized to debate policies and share success stories. Dr. Chérif Diallo (ICT), from Senegal, presented his country’s digital strategy for 2025 and Ms. Aurélie Zoumarou (ICT) from Bénin, highlighted the efforts to include more women in technology.

At the closing ceremony, Mr Houlin Zhao, secretary-general of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), declared that «WSIS 2018 has shown how the power of ICT can be leveraged to make progress on a range of important issues, from gender equality to cybersecurity and the Internet of Things». Mr Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Chairman of WSIS 2018, thanked the audience and panelists with words of hope and optimism. «Connectivity and the Internet can play an essential role in the endeavors to achieve inclusion and equality», he affirmed.

Inspired by the ‘invisible beings’ of one of the biggest cities in the world, the photographer Edu Leporo started to depict homeless people and their dogs in São Paulo, Brazil. The photography essays soon became a social project which now, through donations and funding campaigns, provide care for street dogs and their owners. Edu Leporo is our interviewed personality, a member of our platform Horyou and a change maker for good.

Edu Leporo with Angela, Diego and the dog Spike, who live on the streets of São Paulo (Photo: Gu Leporo)

When and why did you start taking pictures?

I started my photographic records of homeless people and their dogs in 2012, in an unpretentious way. Walking through downtown São Paulo, I saw a homeless man sitting with his dog and wondered: what would their reality be like? As a professional photographer, I have always worked in studios and did photographic essays of moms with their pets. But this has awakened an uneasiness in me and pushed me to do something for those who could not have a portrait – that is the people who live on the streets with their companions.

What was your inspiration?

My profession as a photographer of pets and my love for animals made me register the reality of the streets! To record and tell the stories of love, respect and companionship that go unnoticed by the eyes of thousands of people, certainly, inspired me.

In your work, you unite two causes, the animal care and the homeless people. Apart from photography, is there a social project behind these causes?

After I made several records of homeless people with their dogs, I decided to make a photographic exhibition with this material. All on my own. Gradually, I went looking for partners and we also managed to make a book with these records. That was in 2015. Using the images captured on the streets was my choice to shed light on these “invisible” beings. Soon after, in 2016 we started the Social Project for Street People and Their Dogs (in Portuguese, Moradores de Rua e Seus Cães). We started with a few donations, and today we take action every month in the center of São Paulo where we take all the services and donations for dogs, such as: bath, vaccine, vermifuge, beds, guides, collars and food. For the human, toiletries kits, clothes and shoes and we serve a breakfast.

Photo: Edu Leporo

What were the most striking situations you encountered during this project?

On the streets, there are many remarkable and rich stories. But I want to highlight the story of a couple that touched us a lot: Angela and Diego. They have lived for years on the streets with their dogs, Spike and Star. We have recently discovered that she has Leukemia and we feel the need to help her with her treatment. Fortunately, we were able to start a beautiful campaign with support from ZeeDog and raised funds for Angela’s treatment.

What are the next steps?

Our actions consist of 70% donations (individuals and companies) and 30% money, which we use to buy breakfast items, for example. But this cash aid is always lacking. Today, we seek a support / sponsor to meet our needs, ranging from items for breakfast to relief and treatment for some dog. We plan to launch our second book, with photos and street stories, as well as taking the photographic exhibition to all the capitals of Brazil and abroad. Start the project in schools, giving young people the opportunity to engage in the cause. We also want to set up a mobile community laundry, where street people can wash, dry their clothes and their dogs. Our mission is to open our eyes, hearts and minds, feel that we are only in the beginning.

Change Makers is an Horyou initiative which aims to highlight remarkable people & projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals. In this article, we shed a light over #SDG10 – Reduced Inequalities and #SDG15 – Life on Land.

The city of Singapore hosts one of the most important global Fintech events, while giving full support to its startups and community of entrepreneurs.

Singapore

Funding, academic collaboration and public-private partnership. A fine recipe to develop a healthy and successful Fintech ecosystem. More the result of a strategy than coincidence, in the last few years, Singapore has seen its Fintech startup scene boom. The city has indeed done a lot to attract funders, notably via creating related events and supporting regional networking.

Part of this strategy rests on barring privileged silos. Rather than building on competition between large companies and small players, the government has decided to create the conditions for both to innovate and collaborate with each other. In fact, banks and insurance companies are setting up innovation labs and research centers in Singapore for startups to experiment and bring ideas to the market, while getting professional assessment and management consultancy.

According to the Singapore Fintech Map, the city hosts more than 200 Fintech companies, focused on diverse segments including digital banking, blockchain, data management and payment services. The good numbers are also due to the effort universities and research institutes are making to update their curricula by adding more Fintech topics. Startups and young entrepreneurs also can benefit from an annual Fintech Festival, organized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Association of Banks since 2016, and recognized in 2017 as the worlds’ largest Fintech Festival, hosting more than 25,000 participants from 100 countries.

As Mr. Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of MAS, said at the Festival’s opening ceremony last November: “The Fintech Festival is a synergistic platform for the global Fintech community to spark new ideas and gain valuable insights. It is a key thrust of our efforts to establish Singapore as a Smart Financial Centre and a transformational Fintech hub”. While organizing a Fintech Award and a Hackcelerator, the Festival is also a great platform for Fintech companies to attract investors and raise funding for their projects.

Singapore is also known for its Venture Capital (VC) scene, which helps Fintech startups to get funding and managerial support for their projects. While they grow, they can count on public infrastructure such as the LATTICE80, an innovation village in the heart of Singapore financial district which reduces costs for startups and gives them access to data centers and other services.

The host city of SIGEF2018 next September is thus the perfect place to gather innovators, entrepreneurs and social good doers from all over the world. Organized by Horyou, it will include a special panel on Fintech for social good.

Horyou team is at the GES!

The entrepreneurship world is moving fast and social innovation is now a matter of survival for most businesses. The level of personalities attending the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) on its first day in the Indian city of Hyderabad, alongside Ivanka Trump, advisor to the President of the United States, and Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, who took to the stage to address a large number of businesspersons and innovators before the international media, was a strong sign of the importance that social entrepreneurship has now reached economically, as well as politically.

On the 29th of November, today, the summit will hear Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, the social network for social good, who will raise the attendees’ interest in the topic of “Go For It: Tapping Alternative Financing Solutions” and announce the official launching of Spotlight, the first digital currency for impact that supports philanthropy and economic inclusion. «We are very happy to share Spotlight with the world, a digital currency that we put the necessary time and effort to develop and test, and that aims to bring equality and inclusion for millions of people in the next few years », announced Parienti.

Narendra Modi at the GES

«Think how much better the world would be if all of us, men and women, are empowered to dream big, aim high, and work together towards a more just and prosperous future», said Ivanka Trump in her speech on the opening day. Spotlight is perfectly in line with that statement in that it has been developed to financially support organizations, projects and people whose work is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals on empowerment. As economic inclusion is one of GES’s major themes, especially regarding empowerment and opportunities for women, Spotlight is to be showcased as an alternative solution, notably in generating social and gender equality.

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the inviting country, highlighted the importance of private investment on promoting sustainable growth, especially in areas like sanitation, transparent policies and entrepreneurship. “Invest in India, for India and for the world”, he summoned.

GES is on!

We will keep you updated on Horyou’s contribution to the summit on www.horyou.com and our social media channels.

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