Fueling an ecosystem of startups in Asia Pacific

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The Asia Pacific region is one of the fastest-growing technology geographies in the world. The region boasts 38 unicorns and $91b+ in investments. Singapore is ranked #7 globally in terms of startup ecosystems, while India’s developer population stands at 3 million, with a growth rate of 8% per year. This region of startups holds a portion of the future of our global technology, and we are excited to be a part of it.

We thought the best way to show our commitment to the growth of the Asia Pacific startup culture was to provide access to our technology to companies from across the region. In February we launched the IBM Watson New Venture Challenge that provided 25 handpicked finalists with access to the full suite of Watson services, along with mentorship from executives. We received an overwhelming number of entries from 11 countries and multiple industries. Over the next six weeks the finalists built their own cognitive applications and business models.

The six-week building period concluded with a pitch competition held on Thursday, March 10th at the co-working space, BASH. After six weeks the finalists pitched their live product and business model to an all-star panel of executives and influencers, with the 12 winners receiving access to the Watson APIs, along with the opportunity to enter IIPL’s TAG.PASS program. Both of these programs will help accelerate the winners along their journey as they build and commercialize Watson applications.

In order to shed light on some of the applications developed, here are the top 3 companies, along with a list of the 9 runner-ups:

     1. Raydar (Singapore) Logo1_Raydar

Raydar is a search engine for stock photos that helps designers and marketers find the right stock photos faster. Working with Watson’s Alchemy Language and Concept Insights API, Raydar can derive insights from content and translate them into keywords, improving search results for our users and saving them precious time.


     2. Snapask (Singapore) snapask logo

Snapask is the tutor in your pocket, providing on-demand homework help to students in Asia since 2014. The mobile app makes use of Watson’s Concept Insights and Dialog APIs to analyze in-app behavior between their 50,000+ students and 3,000 tutors. The resulting insights allow Snapask to predict students’ academic needs and to offer personalized academic content.


   3. Silverlake (Malaysia) Logo3_Silverlake

Silverlake MyNet enables businesses to leverage collective intelligence and customer-centric solutions to transform their businesses, customer experiences and engagement. The application created is called WALIC ~ A Lifestyle Concierge powered by Watson, that understands and learns users preferences & patterns through unstructured data for timely personalized contextual recommendations and experience.


The 9 runner-ups in alphabetical order

  1. Cogniant
  2. Embodied Sensing
  3. Konversations
  4. LocoBuzz
  5. mClinica
  6. Mobi-Cart
  7. StockFlock
  8. Swizzle
  9. Zumata

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