Queen's University of Canada wins top prize of $100,000 at SMU's global business plan competition

Team SpectraPlasmonics from Queen's University of Canada with Mr Hau Koh Foo (extreme left), Director of Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at SMU, Mr Adrian Chan (2nd from left), Senior Partner at Lee & Lee, SMU President Professor Arnoud De Meyer (5th from left), Mr Paul Santos (3rd from right), Managing Partner at Wavemaker Partners, Ms Shirley Wong (2nd from right), Managing Partner of TNF Ventures, Professor Gerard George (extreme right), and Dean of Lee Kong Chian School of Business, SMU. PHOTO: SMU

SINGAPORE - Team SpectraPlasmonics from Queen's University of Canada took home the grand prize of S$100,000 in Singapore Management University's Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition.

The biennial competition this year attracted a record of 550 submissions from over 300 universities in 68 countries, surpassing the last edition of 184 entries from 140 universities.

Under this year's "Smart City" theme, teams had to develop products and services - in the areas of health, living or services - that have the potential to be test bedded in Singapore, or use Singapore as a launchpad to cities worldwide.

The winning team beat the other five finalists with its cost-effective solution for ultra-sensitive chemical detection in areas of food and water contamination, and illegal drugs and terrorism agents.

SMU also recently introduced a new interdisciplinary major named Smart City Management & Technology programme to foster innovate solutions to the challenges faced by the cities of tomorrow, said SMU president Professor Arnoud De Meyer at the competition's prize-giving ceremony on Thursday (Sept 14).

The competition was organized by SMU's Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship (IIE), which has incubated 170 start-ups. They include Tech in Asia, a leading regional tech media company, and Homage, which was mentioned in the recent National Day Rally by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, for its use of technology to deliver on-demand care-giving services to the elderly in Singapore.

Prof De Meyer said IIE plans to increase the quality and quantity of start-ups from SMU, and expand its offerings to the general public.

As for the competition, IIE is in discussion with strategic partners to launch regional finals at major startup and innovation hubs of the world such as China, he said.

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