SMEs can meet drone waiters, robotic servers and 3D food printers at DBS event series

SINGAPORE - DBS announced on Monday the launch of a new series of events - dubbed "Disrupt @ the Bay" - that will bring together small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups.

Through the series, traditional business owners can meet and mingle with innovators and "disruptive" start-ups so that they can learn from each other and encourage the adoption of new business models, processes and operations.

"Disruptive" technologies include the use of artificial intelligence, nutrigenetics, aeroponics and drones.

The first event in the series, "F&B Disrupt @ the Bay", is for the food and beverage industry, and will be held on June 10 at The Promontory @ Marina Bay.

The $6.1-billion F&B industry has been facing margin pressures in recent years due to the labour crunch and rising rental and raw material costs. Almost half of the 369 cafes, coffee houses and snack bars that registered their business in 2011 had ceased operations by last year, according to data from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

The one-day event will showcase live demonstrations of the latest F&B innovations from Europe, India, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan such as drone waiters, robotic servers, 3D food printing and digital gastronomy. Panel discussions will cover topics such as alternative F&B business models, and how digital point-of-service systems and central kitchens can improve productivity.

The series is part of DBS BusinessClass, a programme connecting SMEs and start-ups to the brightest business masterminds in Asia and around the world. Entrepreneurs can consult industry experts, investors, fellow entrepreneurs and DBS SME specialists via the DBS BusinessClass mobile app. Since its launch in October last year, more than 10,000 SME owners and entrepreneurs have signed up as members, said DBS.