Press Releases

Techcracker debuts to warm reception in Singapore

07 October 2014

NUS played host to eight founders of innovative startups and over 600 guests in the inaugural roadshow on disruptive technologies

Singapore, 7 October 2014 – The inaugural Techcracker Singapore was held to great success at the National University of Singapore (NUS) University Cultural Centre today. Jointly organised by the Li Ka Shing Foundation, Horizons Ventures, NUS Enterprise and Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd, the event had attracted over 600 participants including students, industry leaders as well as representatives from corporations and start-ups in Singapore.

The half-day roadshow featured inspiring presentations by eight founders from seven technology start-ups around the world, into which Horizons Ventures have invested. The presentations all captured the sense that in a technological revolution, the global economy and relationship between entities and people are changing; and while the idea of change is daunting to most, the ones who embrace it can liberate infinite possibilities.

Impossible Food highlighted how it develops transformative new technologies to produce plant-based foods that outperform existing meat and dairy products in taste and nutrition at a lower cost and with a much lower impact on the global environment.

Modern Meadow shared how it applies the latest advances in tissue engineering to develop cultured leather and meat products that require no animal slaughter and much lower land, water, energy and chemicals input. Muse also delighted the crowd with how it uses brain-sensing technology to create meaningful products and experiences that let people understand and improve how the mind works.

Participants were also treated to a peek into the future through Meta’s 3D stereoscopic display that merges the physical and holographic worlds, as well as Roli’s Seaboard, a keyboard that melds digital music and natural intuition in a seamless way. Teralytics shared their vision for how big data can solve the world’s toughest complex problems, while MeMed demonstrated how technology can prevent the misuses of antibiotics.

Techcracker Singapore at NUS is the event’s first showing outside China. First launched in May 2014, Techcracker seeks to encourage and empower people to explore creative solutions to tackle existing problems and build a more sustainable and responsible future through adoption of disruptive technologies.

Techcracker is the brainchild of prominent business leader, investor and philanthropist Dr Li Ka-shing. Dr Li said, “The heart and soul of innovation is more than knowing how to build a ship. We must be inspired to yearn for the sea.” In a continuing effort to inspire the youth, the Li Ka Shing Foundation also invited student representatives from the Hong Kong University, Chinese University, University of Science and Technology, and Polytechnic University to participate in Techcracker Singapore.

NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, “We are honoured and privileged to be presenting Techcracker Singapore together with the Li Ka Shing Foundation, Horizons Ventures and Vertex Venture. The spirit of inquiry, innovation and entrepreneurship is an integral part of the NUS culture. Innovation-driven initiatives such as Techcracker are outstanding platforms that inspire our students and encourage them to be creative and bold in trying new approaches and concepts. They empower our students to create positive change for Singapore and the wider society.”

Group President and Chief Executive Officer of Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd, Mr Chua Kee Lock said, “At Vertex, we believe our collective future will be impacted by potential champions with disruptive technologies or business models. Over the past 26 years, we have supported promising businesses from around the world in their next phase of growth to help build them into prospective global champions. We are therefore pleased to partner the Li Ka Shing Foundation, Horizons Ventures and NUS Enterprise in bringing the inaugural Techcracker event to Singapore and we hope that the event will serve as a springboard for our next-gen business leaders.”

The event also included private networking sessions and discussions among the investors, industry and start-ups in the afternoon. A select group of NUS students also had the opportunity to participate in a workshop with the founders for insights into the challenges and inspiration for their innovations and businesses.

The Li Ka Shing Foundation envisions Techcracker to reach out to cities across Asia, and eventually the global community, as a catalyst to achieve greater social positives through technology and innovation. Techcracker will be heading to Shanghai on 9 Oct 2014.

For media enquiries, please contact:

NG Tse Wei
Senior Manager, Media Relations
Office of Corporate Relations
National University of Singapore
DID: (65) 6601 3135
LAI Mei Ling
Assistant Manager, Media Relations
Horizons Digital Group
DID: (852) 2186 3837
Sherry TAN
Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd
DID: 6828 8028

About National University of Singapore (NUS)

A leading global university centred in Asia, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education and research, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.

NUS has 16 faculties and schools across three campuses. Its transformative education includes a broad-based curriculum underscored by multi-disciplinary courses and cross-faculty enrichment. Over 37,000 students from 100 countries enrich the community with their diverse social and cultural perspectives.

NUS has three Research Centres of Excellence (RCE) and 24 university-level research institutes and centres. It is also a partner in Singapore’s fifth RCE. NUS shares a close affiliation with 16 national-level research institutes and centres. Research activities are strategic and robust, and NUS is well-known for its research strengths in engineering, life sciences and biomedicine, social sciences and natural sciences. It also strives to create a supportive and innovative environment to promote creative enterprise within its community.

For more information, please visit

About NUS Enterprise

NUS Enterprise was established to provide an enterprise dimension to NUS teaching and research involving the University’s students, staff and alumni. It nurtures talents with entrepreneurial and global mind-sets, and promotes the spirit of innovation and enterprise through a wide variety of programmes and activities. These fall under four focus areas: Entrepreneurial Education, Active Industry Partnership, Holistic Entrepreneurship Support and being Asia’s Thought Leader for Innovation & Enterprise.

About Li Ka Shing Foundation

His early life struggles taught Mr Li the necessity of quality education and healthcare for families and society as a whole to thrive—two critical areas that became the focus of his charitable work and, eventually, the Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF). As his business blossomed, Mr Li began to make strategic contributions to education and medical care projects in Hong Kong and mainland China. To expand the influence and reach of his philanthropy, he formed his namesake foundation in 1980. Mr Li considers the Foundation to be his “third son” and has pledged one-third of his assets to it.

To date, the Li Ka Shing Foundation has undertaken a great number of projects: from the building of hospital wings and a University, through to a crowd-sourced community initiative, a nationwide hospice programme and the creation of a vital distance-learning platform for rural communities. The scope of our work is always instructed by our three guiding objectives:

1. Nurture a culture of giving.
2. Support education reform initiatives that encourage long-term thinking, empowerment, creativity, open-mindedness, and constructive engagement.
3. Help advance medical research and services.

A multitude of worthy potential investments come before the Foundation, which is why we’ve developed a rigorous process to ensure every project will be one to drive positive and sustainable change. To date, LKSF has granted over HK$15 billion (US$1.93 billion) to these investments, in addition to Mr. Li’s contributions made through the Cheung Kong Group. With every dollar donated, we are one step closer to creating a cycle of charity and a better world for all.

About Horizons Ventures

We are…
a Hong Kong team of international DNA. We search the world for influencers and game changers- our hope is to witness and partake in the changing world of technology.

We look for…
all kinds of disruptive technology and innovative solutions that solves the hard problems.

We aspire to…
Redefine, reinvent, reimagine, recontextualize the world we live in, and positively impact our social economy and generation.

About Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd

Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd (Vertex Group) is a wholly-owned venture capital subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, investing in early stage and emerging companies in Asia and the US.  Since 1988, Vertex Group has been investing in passionate entrepreneurs to build great companies and helping  them realise the intrinsic values of their companies through listings on capital markets in the US, Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and through acquisitions by industry leaders.  Some of our recent exits include 91Wireless and IGG.  Our current portfolio include Reebonz, GrabTaxi, Meilele, Loho, Yatra, FirstCry, GreenDust, BreadTrip, Yaochufa, Sensimed, Clearbridge Biomedics and others.  Vertex Group is based in Singapore with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Bangalore and Redwood City, California.