Start Singapore: Commission your own art piece

Commission your own art piece

Singapore-start-up The Commissioned is aiming to enter the niche market of providing personalised artworks.

Founder Melvin Yuan said few people consider commissioning an artwork rather than simply buying one. With The Commissioned, they can become co-creators of a piece, he added.

The Commissioned provides ideas for people to commission art pieces by looking at the work of artists. "In doing so, they discover for themselves what they like, and when they find the right artist, they can commission a piece that's perfectly suited to their desire," Mr Yuan said.

To get started on The Commissioned, clients simply choose an artist. "Both artists and clients will then discuss an art piece to be created and the terms of the commission, including the price," said Mr Yuan.

Client can provide photos or descriptions of the theme they want in an art piece. They can choose to approve every stage of the process or leave everything to the artist. Prices range from about US$200 (S$280) to US$2,000. About 200 artists from 35 countries are on the platform.

Practo acquires Insta Health Solutions

Singapore-based online doctor- booking portal Practo has bought Insta Health Solutions for US$12 million (S$16.8 million).

Based in Bangalore, India, Insta Health provides hospital information management solutions for hospitals in 15 nations in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The acquisition will enable Practo to expand its doctor scheduling platform. With Insta's technology, patients can find information on doctor availability in hospitals and make bookings.

Crowdfunding portal raises $4.5m

Singapore-based crowdfunding portal New Union has raised $4.5 million for business expansion.

The investors in this round include Mr Ivan Lee, who founded the Thai Express chain of restaurants. He sold the chain in 2011 for $80 million.

Visual search app for Thai magazines

Visual search start-up iQnect is to introduce its image recognition and m-commerce capabilities to Thai magazines.

Founded last year, the local start-up will partner Thai creative agency C True to introduce its technologies to two Thai magazines, Image and IN, as well as Thai versions of international titles including Her World, Maxim, Madame Figaro and Attitude. iQnect's "visual search" app lets readers access digital content by taking a picture of an image in a magazine with their smartphone. This action brings up content such as videos, exclusive digital offers or coupons and the option to instantly buy the item photographed without having to go to a website or store.

Singtel Accelerator Challenge

If you have a mobile app that helps people in their everyday tasks, consider submitting it in the Singtel Accelerator Challenge.

To qualify, the app must work with iPhones and Android phones. Submissions must be made by Sept 28 via

The top 10 teams will be selected. On Oct 9, they will get a chance to pitch their apps to judges from Singtel and Samsung. Up to two winners will be selected, with each winning a $20,000 cash prize. The winners can take part in a regional competition called the Singtel Group-Samsung Regional Mobile App Challenge.

Grace Chng

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2015, with the headline 'Start Singapore: Commission your own art piece'. Print Edition | Subscribe