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Richard Branson judge Singaporeans at Talent Unleashed Awards 2014

Branson and Wozniak to judge Singapore-based entrepreneurs

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Five Singapore-based IT entrepreneurs, start-up founders and professionals have been named as the South East Asia regional finalists for a global tech innovation awards.

The Talent Unleashed Awards 2014 – a technology-based awards programme developed by Talent International – has chosen the winners in five award categories, which were judged locally by Patrick Grove, CEO and founder of Catcha Group, and Joel Neoh Head of Asia Pacific at Groupon.

These winners will now be judged by the global judges – Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

The prize? A five-day business mentoring workshop at the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship in South Africa during Global Entrepreneurs Week in November.

Branson said the awards are an important part of making positive changes within innovative communities around the world.

“Cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Auckland, Sydney, and Melbourne are alive with these brilliant technological minds and we need to encourage them to stand-up and be recognised,” he said. “Through the right people focusing on the right things, we can, in time, get on top of most of the world’s problems. And that’s what a number of us are trying to do.”

Wozniak also praised the start-up scene in Singapore, saying that diversification is necessary to foster innovation in the tech industry.

“When we think of great start ups and where they began you can’t help but look towards the United States and Silicon Valley… but more and
more we’re seeing interesting start ups flourish outside of Silicon Valley in places such as the UK and India but also in Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, Finland, and Brazil to name just some,” he said.

The regional winners:

Yong Yee Chong
Digital Content Award for Ubuntu

Ubuntu seeks to empower the homeless equipping them with life skills so that they can earn a living and improve their livelihood.

Kristofer Rogers, CEO of Simply Giving
The Community Impact Award

This is an online portal providing non-profits and their supporters with powerful fundraising and donation tools for online giving via mobile or social networks.

Mia Hiang Goh
Rising Star Award for Product Leading

The Rising Star Award is for entrants under the age of 25. Rainmaker Labs specialises in custom mobile and web applications, CRM loyalty software and beacon developments for iOS, Android and all major platforms.

Jamey Merkel, CEO and Co Founder of Kluje
Best Start Up Award

Kluje provides homeowners with a reliable and easy way to search for contractors for their home improvement projects, maintenance and odd jobs.

Grace Clapham
Inspirational Leadership Award

Clapham is the creator of The Secret (W) Business, a network for women entrepreneurs across South East Asia, Creative Mornings, a free monthly breakfast lecture series for creative entrepreneurs and She Says Singapore, for women in marketing.

Image: Shutterstock

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