SINGAPORE: Funding from Research Innovation Enterprise 2015 (RIE2015) has supported more than 160 start-up companies in Singapore, according to the National Research Foundation.
Part of its next five-year plan, RIE2020, is also to continue channelling funds into this cause. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (Jan 8) unveiled a S$19 billion plan to support Singapore's R&D efforts over the next five years.
One start-up company that received grants from RIE2015 is TapTalents. The start-up came up with an app which lets field workers retrieve real-time information related to their jobs.
Said CEO of TapTalents, Loh Mun Yew: "As field workers, from sales representatives to homecare nurses to train technicians, carrying hard copies of manuals and product information while on the go can be inconvenient.
“With this application, all the information they need is consolidated into one device, and can be retrieved with a tap of a finger."
Mr Loh founded TapTalents in 2013. He conceptualised the app after seeing more people using tablets to access information. "Why not impact them in their daily lives for their jobs? So with that thought, we got around, huddled with my technical team, to find out what sort of area we can target, applying productivity tools using tablets for workers."
Some companies like Singtel and Fuji Xerox use the app to store data like product listings and pricing, which helps their sales representatives, for example, to refresh their knowledge of various products before meeting clients.
They can also get the latest product information, as the team at base can update it and push it out on the app in real time.
Other companies store manuals in the app, which employees can use to supplement what they have learnt in training, and apply it at work. So far, the app has served around 800 to 1,000 field workers in Singapore and regionally.
The fund that TapTalents benefited from RIE2015 was used to hire a capable technical team. It also helped the company secure a strategic office location at the JTC LaunchPad at one-north.
"We met a lot of similar like-minded start-ups. We also got connected with very prominent business accelerators and incubators and we were taught how to actually effectively scale our business as a young start-up with minimal resources,” Mr Loh said.
“So, that was really tremendous help without which we wouldn't have the insights to know how a start-up should be able to build their business quickly and scale it quickly. The environment was very good for us to thrive in."
TapTalents plans to expand its technology to wearables in the future.