Digital Innovashen Hackathon 2019
This June, NUS-NOC collaborated with Shanghai Maker’s Chapter to bring us Digital Innovashen Hackathon 2019. This year, it centers around three verticals – Healthcare, Food & Beverages, and Smart Homes.
Spanning across 21 June to 23 June, it was an intense three days of learning, building and hustling with big names like Ele.me, Sanofi and more.
Contestants from all over the world came together to pen down and voice out their creative ideas, putting their innovation and technical knowledge into a few minutes of condensed, informative, and at the same time charming presentation.
Throughout the three days, special speakers were invited to this intensive camp. These speakers are industry veterans that are knowledgeable and experienced in the respective fields of work, willing to share with the participants, as expertise and also as inspiration.
Participants pulled all-nighters together, tearing their hair out, in order to deliver valuable ideas, and at the same time condensing the jumble of thoughts into a short pitch deck, hopefully even with a wow factor. This intensity drove the participants to work non-stop during these three days, planting themselves at the Innospace, before their projects could take shape.
The highlight of these three days was definitely the pitching on the afternoon of the last day, where all 17 groups were given a short few minutes to elaborate on the ideas that they have poured their heart and soul into for the previous couple of days. The judging panel of industry experts would then choose a few teams that conveyed extra attractive ideas and strong technical support, presenting them with honourable awards from Digital Innovashen Hackathon 2019.
It was indeed an extremely intensive period of three days, where the participants wrecked their brains and maximized their capacity, yet it also means it was a definite dose of enrichment and inspiration, giving perspective to the participants as everyone worked with teammates from different backgrounds, and the exposure to industry professionals through coaching and speaker sessions.
Digital Innovashen Hackathon 2019 is put to a closure with the award presentation ceremony and a simple and chill afterparty. Finally, the whirlwind of a three days can come to a rest, for all the participants to wind down with some comfort food and mingling.
OSG is proud to be a presenting partner of Digital Innovashen Hackathon 2019, a youth-initiated event that delivers enrichment and innovation.
Journey to mysterious North Korea
Unveil the enigma of North Korea
with a group of Singaporean youths,
as OSG ventures onto the journey
of globalizing young minds.
On the 4th of June, whilst most are celebrating the festival of famous Chinese patriot Qu Yuan, a group of 18 Singaporeans based in Shanghai and Beijing, including directors of OSG, packed their bags along with a huge dose of inquisitive courage. They have decided to embark on a journey in an attempt, to look behind the shroud of secrecy behind infamous North Korea.
Our adventure begins from Shanghai and Beijing, to the city of Dandong.
Dinner was hosted by OSG Shanghai team, as a stroll was taken along the Yalu River, looking into the borders of North Korea. You bet, it was pitch dark.
Broken Bridge along the Yalu River, alongside the New Bridge to Cheongnyeon Station in North Korea.
The Shanghai and Beijing teams finally met up on 5 June at the Dandong Train station to begin our journey.
After clearing the Chinese customs, we made our way to the 'Green Skin' train that heads towards the border of Cheongnyeon Town in North Korea, greeted by the friendly NK custom officers conversing in Chinese while going through our travel documents.
It was a collective effort by us to be cooperative and 'obedient', as we seemed to have unconsciously behaved with more caution and care, in this mysterious nation that none of us have ever stepped foot in.
The next 4 hours was a train ride to Pyongyang filled with sceneries of vast swathes of padi fields, farm animals, and curious onlooking farmers. A song came into our mind:
"planting rice is never fun,
bend from morn' till the set of sun..."
The next day, we began our journey by visiting the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). We also headed to the historic Panmunjom and also Kaesong - former capital of the medieval Koryo dynasty, followed by the Kaesong Koryo Musuem, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
The day ended with a fabulous entertainment showcase by the awe-inspiring Arirang Mass Games. A performance put together by 100,000 students and professionals, reflecting the North’s valiant endeavors in the face of numerous adversities.
The next few days were simply eye-opening, in all possible aspects.
BBQ - Summer 2019
On a weekend in the month of June, Singaporeans students currently based in Shanghai gathers for a comfy get-together. Groups of students from Singapore Management University (SMU) and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) are on exchange programmes from their respective schools, some studying for a semester, whilst some are interning in Chinese companies.
Ellen, a fellow Singaporean residing in Shanghai, graciously opened up her house for our little summer party.
With lot of sumptuous food,
it was a bustling yet cosy summer evening.
Our little summer fun was made even better with a furry friend that roamed around, lurking after food 😉😛
OSG hope to bring more fun times to the Singaporean community overseas, bringing enrichment but also recreation to our youths.
OSG Talk#19 - Can Singapore Entrepreneurs Survive in China?
Over the past year, OSG has been a small supporter of the Singapore National Library Board (NLB)'s "Eye on Asia" Initiative. The mission of "Eye on Asia" is to promote Singaporeans' understanding of the Asian region, and this is accomplished via a resource corner at the Library, and regular talks conducted by Singaporeans who have deep understanding of the cultures and opportunities in Asian countries, including China.
OSG had recommended a few Singaporeans based in Shanghai and Beijing to be speakers of their regular sharing sessions, while OSG Director - Dr Tan Eng Han, presented OSG's work in China last November. It was also great news to both OSG and NLB that the Nov session by Eng Han received the biggest ever attendance of more than 70 that evening.
Thus, when OSG proposed to NLB of the OSG Talk#19 "Can Singapore Entrepreneurs Succeed in China?" event in March 2019, NLB graciously agreed to provide the exclusive use of The Pod, which can house up to 120 participants. NLB had also been very supportive in putting event posters at NLB and the "Eye on Asia" website, allowing more Singaporeans the opportunity to view and register.
We understood that this is a big topic, and thus extra care is needed to ensure we hear from panelists of different backgrounds.
We decided to invite James Tan, the Managing Partner of Quest Ventures and Vice Chairman of ACE; Steve Ong, co-founder and CEO of startup ProSpace Analytics, Ho Geer How, Regional Director of NUS Overseas College of NUS, and Marcus Pang, the VP of Southeast Asia market for a US Advisory Firm.
All panelists have spent considerable time in China under various capacities and have a deep understanding of China.
We have also asked Elston Sam to be the moderator of the session. Elston was a former NTU student who spent a year interning in Beijing at Jumei.com and AirBnB, thus we are sure that Elston is capable of bringing the best of each panelist as well as meeting the expectations of our audience.
Eng Han, together with Lilly Wong, Tan Ee, both OSG Singapore volunteers arrived early to set up the registration table at the ground floor lobby. The POD is so exclusive a place that there are key cards needed to open the lift lobby and activate the single lift to 16th floor. NLB's staff were tremendously efficient in making sure that the chairs, stage, AV facilities are all well done up when are arrived.
Su, and Shawn, our photographer and videographer respectively, came shortly afterward to prep the place as well.
Eng Han started the session with an introduction of OSG and how we came about from our very first session in May 2017 to the current 19th session. He introduced Elston on stage who also subsequently thanked NLB for the facilities and invited each panelist on stage one by one.
The early part of the panel session was focused particularly on the China experiences of our panelists, where Elston tried to uncover what brought them to China and how the China experiences have shaped whatever they are now.
The session ended with a short Q&A at 8:30 pm, where we received a total of half a dozen questions.
We took a group photo at the end of the Q&A. The participants lingered in the POD, networking, and discussing with the panelists until 10:30 pm when we were asked to leave so that NLB can close the venue. All participants are enjoying the marvelous 360 degrees Singapore skyline and the common interest in whats happening in China.
Once again, OSG wants to express sincere appreciation to James Tan, Steve Ong, Ho Geer How, Marcus Pang and Elston Sam for their contribution and selfless sharing. Also, NLB for allowing the use of this wonderful facility, and Su, Shawn, Ee and Lilly for their tireless support!!
OSG Talk#17 - Opening doors to Multilateral Banking
OSG organized a visit to AIIB on January 19, 2019. Despite it being the end of the school term, we still had a good turnout of students who were still in Beijing doing their internships. Mr Pang Yee Ean, Director General of AIIB’s Investment Operations Department, gave a brief introduction of the AIIB.
He emphasized how AIIB is a truly multilateral bank instead of a Chinese Policy Bank, and highlighted AIIB’s differences with existing multilateral development banks (MDB) such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. AIIB’s key differentiator lies in its nimbleness, stemming from its lean procurement policy, lack of country desks, and other innovations that allow it to get things done faster. Moreover, while World Bank’s lending focuses on policy and includes healthcare and education projects, AIIB focuses mainly on hard infrastructure. It was interesting to be sitting in the board room and have Mr Pang point out which seat belonged to which director. (India, Indonesia, China) One could almost imagine being at their quarterly investment committee meetings, in that very room.
When it came to the question and answer section of the program, students were eager to ask penetrating questions, such as clarifying the relationship between AIIB and BRI, whether AIIB seeks to replace or complement existing MDBs, the role of private sector financing in infrastructure projects, future plans for AIIB and more. Mr Pang was very patient in answering all of the questions. We as students walked away with newfound knowledge about the difficulties of infrastructure investing (long gestation, fluctuating FX rates) and the importance of building partnerships (avoid repeated due diligence).
One point that stuck with me was the importance of retaining the Singapore DNA of being honest, principled, and competent. Singaporeans at AIIB work in audit, risk management, and compliance roles which require the highest standards of integrity and professionalism. According to Mr Pang, these are valued traits internationally (and perhaps even more so in China).
At the end of the session, we took a short walk to the nearby Vanda Room restaurant for a hearty meal of Singaporean food. Over lunch, Mr Pang regaled us with stories of his previous work in India and the Middle East, and provided valuable career development advice. It was a great opportunity to be able to directly ask questions to someone with a wealth of experience to tap on, and who at the same time was eager to help young Singaporeans start off their careers with a global mindset while retaining their Singapore DNA.
OSG x NTU-OEP Beijing-Singapore Networking Dinner 2018
On 15th September 2018, OSG supported the NTU-OEP Beijing-Singapore Networking Dinner, which was held at Koo Kee Restaurant, a well-known Singaporean F&B establishment in Beijing. OSG brought together seasoned, veterans Singaporeans from all walks of life to serve as mentors for the students brought to the event by the NTU-OEP students. The resourceful NTU-OEP team managed to bring in students from major tertiary institutions in Singapore: NTU, NUS, SMU, and SUTD as well as Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
Through our rooted belief in the idea of “Singaporeans Guide Singaporeans”, it was a heart-warming scene to see the older generation come forth to help our younger generation of students navigate the seemingly daunting environment in China and assist them in seizing the opportunities that China has to offer.
A short excerpt from the NTU-OEP Facebook Page tells us more about the atmosphere and theme of the event:
“The event had a rotational-style networking theme, where there was at least one mentor on each table and the students had to change their tables after each half an hour while getting the much-needed refills of delicious Singaporean food. Each table was carefully chosen to facilitate discussion by having a mix of students from different backgrounds during each session.”
OSG wishes to express our gratitude to the NTU-OEP team for all of their efforts in making this Networking Dinner a resounding success. We hope that, by bridging the gap between the older and the younger generation, we have been able to illuminate your path in China and that we have provided a sense of security that home will always be where Singapore is.
NOC-OSG Hackathon 2018 - "Hacking for the Brave"
Over the weekend of May 11 – May 13 2018, the National University of Singapore Overseas Colleges Beijing (NOC) alongside the non-profit social enterprise, OSG, organised its inaugural hackathon, themed the Internet of Things (IoT).
Honor and Tuya were the proud sponsors of this hackathon with the former providing the hackathon case challenge and the product prizes. A leading smartphone e-brand under the Huawei Group, Honor’s product lines extends into the manufacture of other IoT devices as well as tablet computers and wearable technologies.
This hackathon served as a platform to enable participants to leverage on the concept of IoT connectivity– integrating new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing and Big Data into the daily lives of consumers to enhance the quality of life –to ideate and develop solutions accordingly.
Within 48 hours, hackers had to develop, prototype and pitch their solutions to our esteemed panel of judges and audience. To expedite the ideation and development process for our participants, Honor provided teams with their newly released laptops <<Magicbook>> for their use throughout the weekend. Our hackers were indeed very impressed by the product aesthetics of the laptops and of course, their functions! Engineering student, Ken Lam, had nothing but praises for the MagicBook exclaiming that “the MagicBook took an hour to charge up to 70 percent!”
This hackathon was targeted at local and foreign university students in Beijing, organised with the objectives of providing students with a platform to gain new knowledge relevant to the theme, learn new skills and develop entrepreneurial mindsets. There was a total of 56 participants, forming 8 teams with backgrounds ranging from engineering, computer science to business supply chain management. It was indeed an eye-opening for participants that their fellow peers hailed from different nationalities – Singapore, China, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Angola amongst others – adding diversity and vibrancy to the event. The event also saw two Chinese students who travelled from Jinan with the sole purpose of taking part in the event hosted by NUS and sponsored by renowned IOT companies, Honor and Tuya.
We were honoured to have Daniel Tan (Vice-President of SmartLiving, Huawei Honor), Jin Jing (Strategy Director, Tuya), Hu Xin Gao (Vice-President, Fenghou Capital), Wang Wei (Chief Investment Officer, Beihang Investments) and Ho Geer How (Regional Director – Asia, NUS Enterprise) as our judges.
For the pitches, teams were given 5 minutes to present their solutions, followed by a 3-minute Q&A segment.
Product solutions included smart mirrors, smart masks, smart dustbins, amongst others. Eventually the following teams emerged as winners:
Team Power 6 placed 2nd Runner-up. They proposed a smart dustbin that will increase the convenience for lazy middle-aged consumers. It integrates the need for better waste management systems in urban cities and young people’s lazy habits. The smart dustbin can be controlled and moved around using an APP, for which the team designed a prototype of.
Team MVCPDK proposed a smart mask solution that aims to protect consumers’ skin against the polluted Beijing air. The team’s product comprises of the addition of a chip to the mask enables the mask to sense the air quality surrounding the user. The smart mask includes features such as skin moisturizing, hence simulating the role of a personal beautician. For their efforts, they placed 1st Runner-up.
The team 樱木花道,comprising of students from Jinan and Singapore, emerged as the champions. Their solution is the creation of a wristband that would enable travelers to better cope with jetlag. Their product includes the use of the flagship Honor View10. Honor View10 is a smartphone that is equipped with several artificial intelligence features and a wide range of IoT sensors, hence making it the perfect device for their wristband to be connected to. Team 樱木花道’s unique solution and captivating presentation led to their high placement among the judges and they eventually took home the win.
Team Vnicom was awarded the best team presentation prize for their “punny” efforts during their presentation to engage with the audience and for a very convincing Q&A segment to put forth their solution across to the judging panel.
Last but not least, with much flair and charisma in his presentation, Sim Ee Liang was awarded the best speaker for his confident pitch.
This event was the culmination of the accumulative efforts of the organizing committee and sponsors for the past few months: Honor served as one of the two main sponsors for the Hackathon, providing the case brief for the hackers and sponsoring the amazing prizes which included their recently released Magicbooks, Waterplay tablets, routers, and other attractive prizes. The event's other sponsor, Tuya,also supported by sponsoring the other resources needed for the event to run smoothly. Alongside Honor and Tuya, Innoway and Innoplanet served as the venue sponsor, Jumbo Seafood and Koo Kee served as the food sponsor and 36Kr served as event’s official media partner.The organizing committee would like to sincerely thank all stakeholders – sponsors, mentors and workshop speakers – for your support and enabling us to make this happen. We were certainly heartened by the flow of creative juices and vibes this weekend andas our distinguished Guest-of-Honor Mr Daniel Tan, Vice-President of SmartLiving at Honor mentioned, “This hackathon is indeed a good platform for college students to innovate and be creative and explore the infinite possibilities of the Internet of Things.”
OSG/SingCham Shanghai x Wonderfactory
On the 27th of October, over 30 participants attended our OSG/SingCham Shanghai x Wonderfactory - Unleash Your Imagination! event and came together for a Saturday of fun, joy, and learning!
As the crowd started streaming in, the excitement in the restaurant began to build. When the clock struck 1pm, we began our event!
Daryl began by opening the event with an introduction of the main organisers -- OSG and SingCham Shanghai - Youth Chapter, represented by Kent.
In addition, a huge thank you to the proprietors of 1965东南亚街头美食 Zen and Eugene for allowing us to host the event at their restaurant!
After the opening address, the crowd cheered on, and what could have brought the atmosphere to its peak...?
As everyone sat around and enjoyed the tantalising dishes, it was a heartwarming scene to see the youths mix with the professionals! The interaction that took place was indeed priceless!
After lunch, the star of the show, Kenny Lim, founder of Wonderfactory, went on stage to share his journey in chasing his passion and turning it into a reality.
Our participants were extremely awed at the ordeals he had to go through in order to actualise his dream.
The Q&A session was extremely engaging as well, with our participants asking Kenny various questions. Perhaps the most memorable question was when one participant asked Kenny about the corporate and personal sacrifices he had to make. In his response, we learned that the sacrifices Kenny had to make were not just limited to the surface, but certain sacrifices that were tough for anyone who wanted to chase their passion as well.
After the sharing session, we gathered together for a group shot and bade goodbye to 1965. We then took a short walk over to 兴业太古汇, where the Wonderfactory PlayCreate Exhibition was being held!
It was over here where we closed the event and everyone had their free and easy time!
OSG Talk#13 - Challenging the "Wet n Wild" Wall
This "Wild Wall" trip was planned and organized by Guo Dan, a Peking University Singaporean graduate who had done countless adventures over the last few years, including cycling from Chengdu to Kathmandu, and also from Kunming to Bangkok.
On 20th May morning 0700 hrs, 17 of us, including 3 super young Sinagporeans age 3,5 and 6, gathered and set off from Tuanjiehu subway station in a chartered bus.
The trip took about 2 hours to arrive at a village where we will be hosted for breakfast at a 农家乐.
Our breakfast consist of corn porridge, white bun, chicken and goose eggs, and salted vegetables. Somehow we enjoyed the chicken eggs a lot, probably because they are from free-range chicken. The host even gave us a small "Tibetan chicken" egg!
Right after our breakfast at 1030 hrs, we thanked the host and set off for our hike towards the Jiankou Great Wall. Although the weather forecasted that there will be rain at night, the drizzling stated since the early morning. Fortunately, most all of us come prepared with raincoats or umbrellas, and that the rain was not super heavy.
The climb from the village to the Jiankou Wall was about 1 hour, largely hampered by muddy tracks and slippery slopes. However, we used this opportunity to enjoy the greenery and fresh air, more importantly to chit chat and to know more about our travelling companions.
When we finally arrived at the base of Jiankou Great Wall, most of us simply stood in awe, asking ourselves "How did they manage to build this wall 800 years ago?". Guo Dan told us there are 2 ways of going up the wall: turn left to find a low wall out there, or try to climb the high wall here. Many of the young and strong Singaporeans took up the challenge of climbing the high wall while the rest of us trail along the wall to find a low opening.
Once everyone had climbed up the Jiankou Wall, we started taking pictures to commemorate our "great achievements", only to suddenly realised that we can't see much beyond 20m. We were literally in the clouds, everywhere is nothing but white.
This part of the Great Wall was considered the Wild Great Wall because it was not refurbished like those we are familiar at Badaling or Mutianyu.
We walked to the nearest tower and took shelter from the rain to start eating our "lunch", comprised mainly of bread, biscuits, and crackers. That is when many of us started to talk about how delicious "Mamee" and "出前一丁“ is and what we will eat for dinner today. Somehow, the chill and the humble lunch set our imagination flowing....
By 1300 hrs, we have completed the Wild side of the Wall and entered the more civilized side 慕田峪 Wall. After a whole morning of mud, slope and ruins, it was amazing to suddenly see nicely paved steps and ladders. Although the visibility is still low, by 1400 hrs, we can see further as the fog seems to clear.
By 1500 hrs, the rain stopped and the fog also cleared. We took this opportunities to take lots of photos and to enjoy the last stretch of the Wall.
After an endless, knee-killing stretch of downhill steps, we finally arrived at the entrance of 慕田峪 Wall. By this time, we only have dinner in our mind.
We are so fortunate that the ride back to the city was quick and uneventful, allowing us to arrive at our hotpot restaurant an hour earlier. We attacked the hotpot with a vengeance, to the delight of the waitresses.
Many of us hoped that we can have less (or no)) rain and less fog for this trip, but I always believe there is beauty in every circumstance. The challenge of ascending slippery slopes and the beauty of walking in the middle of the fog/cloud made this trip a superb and memorable one for me, and more importantly, it is a new friendship forged.
SSBA-OSG Hackathon 2018 - FINALS
On 21 April, over 220 leading industry players, high-profile technology innovators, aspiring entrepreneurs, investors, incubators and students from both Singapore and China gathered at OCBC Bank Tower for a highly energised weekend of inspiring keynote speeches, insightful panel discussions, as well as an exciting SSBA-OSG Hackathon Finals presentation.
From the Semi Finals on the 18th Apr, we have 10 shortlisted finalist teams from both Student and Open categories to pitch their most creative and innovative ideas to our judges and audience. We are honored to have Maggie Jiang (GM, Touch Stone Golden Investment Ltd), Oscar Ramos (Prog Dir, Chinaccelerator), Hui Kwok Leong (Assoc Dir, NUS Suzhou Research Institute/Deputy Dir NUS Enterprise), Marc Dragon (VP, SSBA, Exec Dir, Insycn Ventures), Wang Ke (Head of Ops & Tech and CIO, OCBC Wing Hang China), and Lim Ai Leng (Div Dir (China), Enterprise Singapore) as our Finals Judges.
Our Finals judges are (left to right) Maggie Jiang (GM, Touch Stone Golden Investment Ltd), Oscar Ramos (Prog Dir, Chinaccelerator), Hui Kwok Leong (Assoc Dir, NUS Suzhou Research Institute/Deputy Dir NUS Enterprise), Marc Dragon (VP, SSBA, Exec Dir, Insycn Ventures), Wang Ke (Head of Ops & Tech and CIO, OCBC Wing Hang China), and Lim Ai Leng (Div Dir (China), Enterprise Singapore).
Of the 10 teams shortlisted for finals, 4 teams (Team Glazed, Team The HESS, Team StrawforJustice, and Team Lihaoma) came specially from Beijing either the night before or the very morning to make it for the Finals presentations. We thank them for their commitment to this event!
The event started with the Student Category first followed by the Open Category. All teams were given a maximum of 5 min for presentation followed by a maximum of 3 min of Q&A from the judges.
Aptly themed 'Transforming Your Business with Innovation & Technology', our Shanghai Singapore Business Forum x Hackathon 2018 ended on a weekend evening where potential synergies and collaborations were explored, needs and ideas emerged, and friendships were forged.
Last but not the least, the Organising Commitee would like to take this opportunity to thank all our participants, partners, sponsors, and student volunteers who have helped make this amazing event possible!