How three local tech startups address real-world business problems and win MNC customers

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“We spent a lot of time trying to figure out P&G’s perspective on ‘what they are actually trying to solve’ rather than ‘what they want done’,” said Mr Gabriel Yee, founder and managing director of MyrLabs.

“From there, we figured out that their real need is not just asset tracking, but for a solution that has potential to be used across multiple applications beyond asset tracking and for a partner who can and is willing to co-create solutions to suit their needs,” he added.

Winning the challenge on the OIP meant that MyrLabs overcame two of its biggest challenges: getting access to companies that understood its capabilities and attracting funds to overcome the R&D cost barrier.

It also resulted in valuable business insights.

“Through the OIP experience, we learnt that large corporations operate at a different scale and the impact of lower prices on realising actual value is quite insignificant,” said Mr Yee.

“Another challenge that we learnt was how organised large corporations are,” he added. “There are standards for cybersecurity, reliability, product safety, sourcing, and these influence their decision making and considerations.”

Like Zuno, TransferFi and MyrLabs, numerous Singapore start-ups, SMEs and solution providers have used their expertise and innovation to solve problems for a wide range of companies in different sectors through the OIP’s structured process.

“Through these few years of partnership with IMDA’s OIP, we are able to reach out to startups focusing in the Advanced Manufacturing Domain to co-build, co-develop and co-deliver Proof-Of-Concepts to our members,” said Mr Andy Lee, ARTC’s Director (New Business and Digital). “The collaboration will continue to attract, incubate and scale startups, and allow us to deepen the foundation for startups in this domain.”

Since 2018, the OIP has hosted more than 250 problem statements with more than $8.5 million of prize money. It has also grown its community to more than 11,000 solution providers. 

“The OIP team and the problem owners were very proactive in scheduling discussion sessions to ensure we were all on the same page regarding the challenge brief and the requirements,” said Zuno’s Mr Nair.

“Once we had a definitive idea on what the requirements were, we were able to iteratively develop the platform,” he noted.

Start-ups, SMEs and technology providers can submit their proposals for the OIP’s latest set of challenges, which is open until 28 January 2022. Companies can also pose their business challenges and crowdsource for innovative solutions from more than 11, 000 innovative solvers on the OIP.

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