Simon Mignolet’s time at Liverpool appears to be nearing its conclusion, with Loris Karius set to start against Porto on […]
Many entrepreneurs and business people say Singapore is one of the best places in the world to do business.
There is no lack of government grants and subsidies, or mentorships and workshops for first-time entrepreneurs who are striking it out on their own or with their partners.
But small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore are getting left out and are getting disrupted by the new kids on the block with their technology-driven solutions and modern business models.
So, this is where The FinLab comes in.
They have announced yesterday (12 February) the launch of the third cycle of its accelerator programme that aims to help SMEs with digital transformation by linking them up with “curated technology solution providers”.
Providing An Access To Tools And Resources For SMEs
The FinLab is a joint venture between United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) and SGInnovate, a government-backed venture catalyst.
Since its inception in 2015, it has conducted two cycles of accelerator programmes that focused on supporting selected FinTech startups to grow the FinTech ecosystem in Singapore.
This time, they decided to focus on SMEs in Singapore because they noticed that they have been slow in keeping up with the times and transforming their businesses digitally.
They found two key barriers for the slow uptake: the lack of interoperability between solutions installed, and the lack of support from the vendors they got these solutions from.
Managing Director of The FinLab, Mr Felix Tan, said, “As these start-ups become more advanced in their business models, there is a need to help them commercialise by connecting them with potential customers who require technology solutions.”
“We’ve also seen that SMEs want to innovate but may not know where and how to start,” he added.
According to The FinLab, SMEs make up 99 per cent of all local enterprises, employ two-thirds of the national workforce, and contribute to nearly half of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Stronger SMEs will make our economy more resilient to cyclical downturns,” Mr Tan stated.
Forming the demand side of things, this cycle for SMEs aims to grow revenues and increase productivity through business model innovation, the use of data analytics, and the adoption of an integrated suite of curated solutions.
At the same time, on the supply side of things, selected solution providers can benefit from the increased adoption of their solutions, co-creating with the selected SMEs to widen their product offerings, and the potential to reach regional SME markets.
Selected SMEs are not limited to tools and resources from curated tech solution providers as The FinLab will support with the implementation of the solutions.
Should these SMEs require more assistance after the accelerator programme, “The FinLab is open to extending their support further,” Mr Tan told me.
If participants have expansion aspirations, this programme enables them to take advantage of UOB’s regional presence and SGInnovate’s global linkages to achieve that.
The Path To Digitalisation
Eight SMEs from specifically the F&B, retail, wholesale trade, and logistics industries will be chosen to participate in this four-months long programme which will begin by end-March.
To qualify, these SMEs should have a turnover of S$10 million to S$25 million, but more importantly, their owners and management team should have a few important qualities.
Mr Tan explained that leaders have to be open-minded to feedback and solutions, be willing to change, and are able to provide resources who can commit to the programme in order to see optimal results.
Tech firms will pitch the solutions to these selected SMEs in the first month.
The FinLab’s guidelines on selecting these solution providers include their interoperability, affordability, the number of SME clients they’ve worked with before, and the functionality and practicality of their solutions to these non-tech savvy business owners.
The remaining three months will be spent on implementing the solutions and preparing for the showcase which is expected to happen in August 2018.
The programme is worth more than $100,000, but The FinLab is working with relevant government agencies to provide grants to help defray the costs of adoption.
Financial costs are a total of $12,000 for each SME for the four months.
The FinLab hope their participants will achieve the ability to start using the tools with minimal external help, see real productivity gains as processes are refined, and see real revenue growth through client understanding and better marketing and sales strategies.
“I strongly believe that once these challenges are overcome…SME owners will become the next generation of ‘SME Champions’ as their businesses capitalise on a digital economy that is set to grow by USD$1 trillion in GDP by 2025 here in ASEAN alone,” Mr Tan said.
Cycle 3 of the FinLab’s accelerator programme is now underway.
Featured Image Credit: UOB Group
The post SMEs Are Our Future, So The FinLab Expands Its Accelerator Programme To Help Them Grow appeared first on Vulcan Post.
This week’s episode is all about the future. Thanks to technology, the highest capacity rocket platform ever, the Falcon Heavy, blasted into space.
Meanwhile, down here on Earth, Uber is working to make urban air travel a thing, and companies are developing products and conducting studies that can detect diabetes, just by wearing the Apple Watch. This is the world we live in.
On this… Read More
The Olympic snowboarder and two-time gold medalist, who is in Pyeongchang, South Korea, for his fourth Winter Games, sat down with PEOPLE this week ahead of his competition. During the chat, he opened up about his connection with Barthel, 34, who is one half of the electro-rock band Phantogram.
“It’s funny: We actually met backstage at SNL,” says White, 31. He was in New York City several years ago apartment-hunting and Barthel, a native of upstate New York, was living in Brooklyn.
White says the two had mutual friends on the sketch series and “and we just bumped backstage and became friends, and then over time it kind of turned into something.”
Later, as White was training before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, their relationship deepened thanks to a “really terrible” home Barthel and her bandmate, Josh Carter, had rented “way out in East L.A.” while they were recording.
The house was listed as having a dog, and Barthel “loves dogs” — but this one turned out to be “like that old angry dog, the don’t-touch-me dog,” White says.
“They didn’t really know the landscape and I was like, ‘I got a house, there’s a house, you got a car, just take it, I’m training for the Olympics, I won’t be home,’ ” White says. “So her and her bandmate and some others came and stayed at my place and that’s kind of how things got going.”
Speaking to Bleacher Report last month, Barthel recalled White at the time as “this wild child, just all over the place — in a good way.”
About five years later, and though they’ve been through the “normal relationship things over the years,” they’re in a good place, White says.
The two share some key interests (like Barthel, White is in a band and like White, Barthel snowboards; the two co-parent dog Leroy) but the differences between them are also valuable.
“We live in two different worlds, so that’s why it’s nice to come together and share stories from the road,” White says. They aren’t cozying up and analyzing his tricks.
“When we’re both home, it’s just like we’re home,” he says.
RELATED VIDEO: Kids Interview the 2018 Winter Olympic Athletes
“You get somebody that understands what it’s like to travel and to have to be on the road. And I thought I traveled a lot — man, musicians, it’s rough,” White says. “And I didn’t really get it until l was in a band myself and we’re on the road and it’s like it’s Groundhog Day.”
“So it gave me a real nice look at the other side of life and how great I got it,” he continues. “I’m like, ‘Yeah I was kicking it in Tokyo for like the whole week and then we decided to go here and ride,’ but it’s nice to not have somebody like, ‘When are you coming home?’ They get it, they understand being on the road.”
Barthel, who lives in the L.A. area with White, will join him in Korea before he competes on the halfpipe next week. Should he advance to the finals in that event, he’ll be snowboarding for gold on Valentine’s Day.
Asked about a possible wedding in the future, White tells PEOPLE they “haven’t gotten that far.”
“It’s tough,” he says. “It’s like you put your life on hold for the Olympics. … This is the goal at hand and we’re here, finally, it’s all happening.”
Still, White is “very excited to actually get back to living that aspect” — the domestic side — “of my life.”
“I’m the guy that will like, I’ll just be stoked to help you trim the bushes,” he says. “I’ll do yard work, I like to paint the houses, any sort of physical work, I’m down, I’m your guy. It’s ridiculous.”
And he means it. He tells this story with a laugh:
“I was at mom’s house, I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, what do you need?’ And then the neighbors — it was a beautiful East Coast day in the summertime — and you saw all the other neighbors kind of like eyeballing. They came out, they started doing their yards like, ‘You’re not going to have the nicest yard on the block.’ And then I’m out there all — it got very competitive.”
No surprise for an Olympian.
“I find competition in life when it’s not there,” White says. “I just look for it.”
Manchester United’s Anthony Martial has been looking to the future excitedly after he won Player of the Month for the club for January.
The Frenchman has been in fine form this season despite starting it from the bench as Marcus Rashford was favoured by Jose Mourinho.
Despite those odds he managed to eventually overtake the Englishman and has kept Rashford on the sidelines since, playing too well to be dropped by his manager.
Given that Martial is a little older and therefore more likely to be more consistent, it’s not too surprising to see him excel but it’s a credit to him and his determination that he’s managed to win over Mourinho.
Either way, the rest of the season looks set to be one that the former AS Monaco man will never forget should he continue his recent form.
According to the Daily Star, Anthony said to MUTV: “We all like it when we’re playing every three days, that’s football at the highest level these days.
“We’re always ready and prepared and, what’s more, we have the squad to cope with the amount of games, so it’s an exciting period ahead.
“I feel really good at the moment, I’m training hard and, to be fair, with the matches and results since the new year, we’ve made a decent start, so I hope we can continue in the same vein.”
The 22 year old has been forced to play out on the left wing despite his preference to play as a striker which is understandable due to Romelu Lukaku being the first choice in that position.
Although he’s not in his most natural position he’s still made the most of it and has competed with Rashford well so far this season.
His performances have led him to rightfully winning the club’s Player of the Month award and fans will be hoping he can keep things up.
Manchester United’s Juan Mata has revealed all his future plans as he ponders over his post retirement plans despite them being a little further down the road.
The 29 year old has had a testing time during his stay at the club with many rumours still to this day swirling over his future at Old Trafford.
Mata’s quality though has never been questioned since his arrival from Chelsea but since Jose Mourinho has become manager at United, the media have loved to create a story that simply doesn’t exist.
The Portuguese boss has already discussed the issue the moment he was named manager, stating that the Spaniard is with a different type of team where he plans to play a different type of tactic.
Either way, rumours about when his time at United will come to an end will always remain but the attacking midfielder was busy discussing his future retirement plans.
According to Manchester Evening News, Juan said to Panenka magazine: “I would like to play until I’m 40 if my body allows me to. I will carry on with Common Goal. And management tempts me but it is an unforgiving role.
“A coach depends on whether I take a corner well or finish a chance in front of goal and really, what influence does he have over this when it happens?
“I understand that people take decisions under pressure but the process is not valued, only results.
“I also want to work with youngsters, warn them of the perils and remind them of their responsibilities because it is sometimes easy to fall off the right track needed to get to the top level.
“Psychology also attracts me and in football, the mental aspect is very important, because if the mind is not settled, the feet do not work either.”
This season hasn’t been a vintage one by Juan Mata‘s standard and whilst he hasn’t performed poorly, he hasn’t hit his previous heights.
The Armenian has left but Alexis Sanchez has arrived- a player that’s more likely to cause Mata’s career at the club some damage.
Often featuring in an unnatural position, the former Valencia man still manages to put in decent numbers and is loved by the fans.
Whether Sanchez’s arrival means the end of Juan’s time at United is yet to be seen but should the day come, supporters will certainly be disappointed.
Both Manchester City and Liverpool have been linked with moves for Real Madrid’s Isco this week but Zinedine Zidane has dealt them both a blow.
That is because the Bernabeu boss has claimed that he wants Isco to spend the rest of his career at the club.
The Spaniard has been impressive for the past couple of years despite the odd dip in form.
That has lead to interest from Liverpool and Manchester City who are looking to make him the focal point of their attack.
That would no doubt be attractive to a player who is certainly not the main man at Real Madrid.
Though, it’s safe to say that Zinedine Zidane is not open to the idea of selling him.
Instead, he’s been talking about just how good the player is despite a role off the bench.
Not only that, he has explained that the player will get game time, as will many of the squad because they have so many games coming up.
‘I want him (Isco) to spend his entire career here and that won’t change,’ he explained in his press conference.
‘He’s a superb player and he’s shown that, it’s not true we want to sell him. Every member of this squad is crucial.
‘We have so many games and I’ll have to call on all of them. I’m the one with the difficult job of picking the team.’
Whether that will stop Isco wanting to move is yet to be seen but it’s safe to say a sale will not happen if it’s up to Zidane.
I can’t think of a more suitable direct replacement for phil Coutinho than Isco of Real Madrid ..#LFC
— Grizz (@GrizzKhan) February 8, 2018
Returning to action
Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez has penned a statement regarding his future at the Foxes after going on strike over the past few weeks.
The player was unable to secure a move away from the club to join Manchester City when they attempted to sign him.
Having put in a transfer request, the Algerian was pinning his hopes on joining Pep Guardiola at the Etihad.
Though, Leicester stood firm and rejected all offers, including one that totalled £50million plus Patrick Roberts.
That angered Mahrez and his response was to refuse to come in for training or play any games for the side.
Claude Puel stuck with it and attempted to bring the player back and it looks to have worked.
Most importantly, Mahrez has detailed his explanation for going on strike at the club.
He has also now committed himself to finishing the season strong with Leicester City.
“Leicester City were always aware of my whereabouts and had knowledge of my thinking either directly or via my advisors,” the statement read.
“I have been a part of the Leicester City team that has achieved much success including promotion to the Premier League and being Champions of the League.
“My goals have always been the same and I have always given my full 100 percent when I play for the club the fans and my teammates.
“Those goals remain the same today and in the future and when I am asked to be a part of the Leicester team, rest assured I will continue to give my all.”
“Over the past ten days many people claiming to be my friend have spoken about me and things they know nothing about,” he added.
“Off the back of that many people and journalists have made assumptions without properly checking the story, so I would like to clarify that all those so-called assumptions of why I was absent are completely untrue.
“Myself nor my advisors have ever made any statements about that so all presumptions made are totally without foundation.”
Zinedine Zidane has branded the Spanish TV show who claimed Isco was for sale this summer, ‘liars’.
The post Zidane talks Isco future after Liverpool rumours emerge appeared first on The Empire of The Kop.