innovfest unbound wraps up amidst enhanced hopes 

Singapore, 7 June 2018 innovfest unbound, Southeast Asia’s largest, most exciting and award-winning innovation festival, wrapped up the fourth edition of its annual two-day event at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore yesterday.

The event, jointly organised by Unbound and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, and in partnership with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), played host to 13,487 attendees from over 100 countries.

innovfest unbound saw an increased number of foreign and local dignitaries at the event, including  Singapore’s  Minister for Communications and Information, Mr S Iswaran, who kicked off the opening ceremony.

Progressive and pro-innovation regulations are crucial for Singapore to achieve its goal of being a leading digital economy that continually reinvents itself. As part of this effort, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) launched three important initiatives – an Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data, a five-year Research Programme on the Governance of AI and Data Use to be led by the Singapore Management University, and a Discussion Paper on AI and Personal Data that will provide a common language for public and private sector deployment of AI.

Mr Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA said, “Establishing a trusted ecosystem for innovation is an important part of our effort to grow the digital economy and to anchor Singapore as a tech hub for the region. It is with this objective that we are launching the initiatives around the ethical use and governance of Artificial Intelligence and data. Given the significant interest in the use of AI and data by the industry, it is timely for us to proactively engage various stakeholders on these issues. These initiatives complement IMDA’s existing industry and talent development programmes to foster a thriving ecosystem in the development and use of frontier technologies.”

The festival raised the bar for innovation by bringing together industry leaders from fintech, adtech, medtech, proptech, e-commerce and more, for two days of panel sessions and keynote speeches. Attendees geared to hear inspiring insights from over 300 names from top brands, including Air Asia’s Tony Fernandes, Facebook’s Stefanos Loukako, ONE Championship’s Chatri Sityodtong, Go-Jek’s Piotr Jakubowski, Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova and SGInnovate’s Steve Leonard.

The various content streams identified and deep-dived into the latest disruptive trends that will support the transition into a digital economy, and explored ways in which governments, corporates and investors can help create a supportive environment for this transformation. At their keynote session, Southeast Asia’s Grab Inc. announced the launch of Grab Ventures o grow the region’s next generation of technology leaders, and promote innovation and digitisation in the region.

Albert Ovidi, COO, JLL APAC said, “Our Proptech Unleashed forum at innovfest unbound was the ideal opportunity to bring together start-ups, investors and corporates to exchange ideas about innovation in the real estate industry. We were thrilled to be able to share with delegates that we have launched JLL Spark’s new Global Venture Fund that aims to surface exciting new products and services in the proptech space.”

innovfest unbound continues to bridge the gap between brands and start-ups, and serve as a springboard for the region’s entrepreneurs in more ways than one. Unbound50 ASEAN, powered by Accenture, which was launched at this year’s festival, gave the region’s 50 most inspiring tech startups exposure to visiting investors and corporate representatives.

The road closure along Ann Siang Hill was an exciting first for Unbound, as they brought delegates a value-added experience at innovfest unbound’s legendary after-party, the Urban Experience. Live music and street performances lightened the mood while attendees partook in networking opportunities through the night.