Start Singapore: A Better Florist aims for faster, cheaper bouquets

A Better Florist, co-founded by Mr Lee Jun Wen (left) and Mr Steve Feiner, imports flowers directly from Cameron Highlands, which cuts out the middleman, passing on savings to customers.
A Better Florist, co-founded by Mr Lee Jun Wen (left) and Mr Steve Feiner, imports flowers directly from Cameron Highlands, which cuts out the middleman, passing on savings to customers.PHOTO: A BETTER FLORIST

A Better Florist aims for faster, cheaper bouquets

A Better Florist (abetterflorist.com) wants to disrupt the traditional florist business by providing faster service and cheaper bouquets.

The online firm imports flowers directly from Cameron Highlands farmers, enabling it to cut out the middleman and pass the savings on to customers.

Co-founder Steve Feiner said its selection of hand-crafted bouquets are 30 per cent cheaper than the competition, and its flowers are fresher as there is no middleman. He added that bouquets can be delivered to any location here within 90 minutes.

"The flower industry hasn't changed in 30 years. The current florists source their blooms from wholesalers, so by the time the flowers arrive at your doorstep, they are already 10 days old and will wilt quite quickly," said Mr Feiner.

A Better Florist has about four to six bouquets on its website to make it easier for people to make their selections.


7 get exposure to venture capital in IIPL programme

Seven men and women aged between 23 and 25 years old joined Infocomm Investments (IIPL) early this month to get an accelerated exposure to the world of venture capital and entrepreneurship.

The management associates, as they are known, will work in areas such as portfolio management of companies, evaluation of deal flows and maintaining of stakeholder relationships.

This is the inaugural programme initiated by IIPL, the venture unit of the Infocomm Development Authority.

The seven associates will be mentored by IIPL chief executive Alex Lin and general manager Pang Heng Soon during the programme.

The programme is 18 months long - comprising a six-month part-time segment and a 12-month full-time segment.

The associates were selected from 150 shortlisted candidates.

Among them is Mr Mohammad Fauzan Abdullah Sane, who turned down a job offer from a top consulting firm to join the programme.

His aim is to get a front-row seat to observe the fast-expanding start-up scene. He will soon graduate from Nanyang Technological University in chemical and biomolecular engineering.

Mr Shane Low closed his three-year-old tuition business to participate so he could get an inside perspective into disruptive innovations and how start-ups are changing the world.


Study trip to find out how Israel nurtures start-ups

Entrepreneurs and investors can join a two-day study trip to Israel to learn how the country nurtures start-ups.

Participants will be able to learn from the experiences of Israeli firms in areas such as business development and planning.

Israel is known for its nurturing start-up environment, in which risk-taking is rewarded and failures are tolerated. It also has elite universities and research centres set up by tech companies like Cisco that provide engineers for budding firms.

The study trip is being organised by Microsoft Israel and will be held on March 14 and 15.

To register, e-mail a-eethen@microsoft.com.


Aslan raises $13m for product development

Singapore-based Aslan Pharmaceuticals raised US$9 million (S$13 million) last week to accelerate product development.

Funding came from new institutional investor MVP Capital Partners, as well as existing investors previously announced. Aslan has raised a total of US$43 million since December last year.

The biotech firm, which was founded in 2010, will use the funds to accelerate clinical development of its four therapeutic agents that have the potential to treat tumour types highly prevalent in Asia.

Grace Chng

• Sends news on start-up developments to chngkeg@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2016, with the headline 'Start Singapore: A Better Florist aims for faster, cheaper bouquets'. Print Edition | Subscribe