Sakae partners Tech For Good to launch accelerator for 'social tech' start-ups

Sakae Holdings building in the Tai Seng area.
Sakae Holdings building in the Tai Seng area.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Sakae Foundation, a non-profit organisation set up by Sakae Holdings, has partnered social tech accelerator Tech For Good to launch an accelerator programme aimed at developing start-ups who use technology to tackle social issues.

The programme will focus on firms taking on issues related to financial inclusion, social inequality, nutrition and health, as well as education.

Called Tech With Heart, the four-month programme will start with an innovation competition that will be part of the selection process. Applications for the competition will open in June and the programme itself will start in August. It plans to take in about 10 start-ups.

"This programme will connect the real needs of the industry and society to unique innovations from bright entrepreneurs," said Tech For Good founder Kineret Karin. "The programme will work with the start-ups to ensure they have a strong and sustainable business model, along with meaningful impact on society."

Mr Douglas Foo, the founder of Singapore-listed Sakae Holdings which operates the Sakae Sushi chain, said the company sees this as an opportunity to become involved in making technology more accessible.

Fintech, for instance, can make banking more inclusive.

"Wealth management used to only be for a certain niche, just like how sushi was only for a certain segment. But what we've done is bring down the price but not the quality, so everyone can enjoy sushi," Mr Foo told The Straits Times.

"Similarly, technology now allows wealth management to be expanded to a larger pool of people."

Mr Foo said Sakae aims to use its network, funds and experience to benefit start-ups in the programme and could potentially work with some of these companies.

"Today's world is about how to collaborate instead of doing everything ourselves," he added.