Fruits Vending, ImmunoScape and SkyLab Networks bag Emerging Enterprise awards

Women buy orange juice from a Fruits Vending machine in Tampines. ST FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Six budding enterprises were recognised for their business innovation, resilience and excellence at the Emerging Enterprise Award 2020 on Wednesday (Dec 9).

Fruits Vending, a vending machine manufacturer and operator, biotech start-up ImmunoScape and SkyLab Networks, a data logistics firm, were honoured for showing an enterprising mindset and displaying potential for significant and sustainable growth.

Robot developer Weston Robot received the best innovation award while social enterprise TreeDots Enterprise, which focuses on food and packaging waste, was the most promising start-up.

This award recognises emerging enterprises that have developed a unique and commercially viable idea with potential to be sustained in the long run.

Food-recycling firm Lam Tak received the sustainability award, introduced last year to recognise emerging enterprises that help the underserved and create greater good for the community.

All the winners will receive support in capability development from Enterprise Singapore.

The awards, jointly organised by The Business Times and OCBC, are in their 13th year.

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing told the virtual ceremony of the need to use public resources to help businesses and workers adapt amid the disruptions stemming from the pandemic.

He added that the award finalists demonstrate Singapore's "can-do" spirit and ability to respond nimbly to challenges

"In their spirit of enterprise, they are always searching out new opportunities - even amid the pandemic - to develop new business ideas and models, build new capabilities, and leverage innovation and new digital tools," Mr Chan noted. "When thrown lemons, we make lemonade."

The government will create the most conducive environment it can for business growth, he said, but also urged businesses to work together to keep Singapore competitive.

"Whatever we can do, others can emulate and try to do even better. Hence, be it government or businesses, we must continue to work closely together to stay ahead of the competition."

Business Times editor Wong Wei Kong noted that the awards started in 2008 during the global financial crisis so the event is no stranger to crises like the one that has overshadowed 2020.

"It is encouraging to see that even in the pandemic, there are still promising, innovative enterprises marking out growth paths for themselves," he said.

Mr Linus Goh, head of global commercial banking at OCBC, noted: "A sustainability strategy is necessary to 'future-proof' businesses and address changing stakeholder expectations, but at the same time, also opens up new opportunities to gain competitive advantages, which many are beginning to capitalise on."

The awards are supported by RSM, MasterCard, Singtel, ACORN, Rajah & Tann Legal Basix, Wavemaker and Enterprise Singapore.

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