Students to leverage ASEAN opportunities with BIGFund’s $1 Million Commitment

Students to leverage ASEAN opportunities with BIGFund’s $1 Million Commitment
Regional Ideation Lab to propel simultaneous Proof-of-Concept Launches in Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam


SINGAPORE, 24 April 2017 — Three international student groups were awarded $150,000 in cash grants and resources to propel their business ideas locally and overseas at the inaugural Super Pitch Day on 17 March. The winning teams, Home-X-Man, Trabeller Co. and Professional Companionship, will each receive $50,000 investment via BIGFund – Southeast Asia’s first regional start-up ideation lab created by Entrepreneur’s Resource Centre (ERC) Holdings.

The winning teams will receive the necessary support to ensure that they are provided with the optimal environment and resource. Each team will enjoy:
·         Workspace and meeting room access at ERC’s existing co-working spaces, BIGWork, currently available in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh and Singapore.
·         A cash grant for developing a prototype for feasibility testing in different markets.

In addition, the start-ups also benefit from ERC’s regional network such as:
·         The ability to tap on ERC’s domain expertise in the hospitality, education, entrepreneurship and real estate sectors to gain industry insights and attend exclusive networking sessions.
·         Regional market access programmes where established panel of industry experts across financial, marketing, legal, retail and hospitality backgrounds will serve as mentors, providing guidance to translate paper business models into reality.

As the gateway to BIGFund, Super Pitch Day 2017 is closely aligned with the Singapore government's priority to help Singapore firms to scale globally, as shared in the recent Singapore Budget 2017 announcement.

BIGFund is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur and Chairman of ERC Holdings, Andy Ong. It offers an acceleration programme for entrepreneurs to nurture scalable ideas to commercialisation stages within 6 months with the potential to roll out across the ASEAN cities.

“Grooming the next generation of entrepreneurs in a supportive and pro-business environment remains the priority for ERC. In the past two decades, ERC Holdings has achieved successes with our own start-ups across different business silos with operations spanning multiple cities such as Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The regional ERC presence has extensive experience in education, co-working space, and hospitality projects, we hope to tap on our domain expertise and cultivate a unique BIGFund experience for young entrepreneurs. With BIGFund, participants are assured of a network of like-minded individuals who are each dedicated in growing their product,” said Andy Ong, Chairman of ERC Holdings.

The three-month pitch process received a total of 20 applications from ERC’s education arm, ERC Institute’s (ERCi), existing students and alumni from across four countries namely Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and China. The participating teams include a mix of current students and graduates, ranging from diploma, graduate and masters education levels.

The competition unveiled three winning teams whose business ideas address some of the pertinent social issues we are facing in today’s society. The three winning teams at Super Pitch Day 2017 are:

1.  Home-X-Man (Vietnam)
Home-X-Man took an existing social issue; parenting problems faced by Vietnamese and translated the issue into their product. Home-X-Man is a service platform that provides families who face parenting problems with professional support.

The Home-X-Man team pitched remotely from BIGWork Ho Chi Minh at Super Pitch Day 2017, made possible by ERC’s established network and presence in the regional market.

2.  Trabeller Co. (Singapore)
Trabeller Co. is an all-in-one travel platform where users can access help in itinerary planning, find the best quotes from travel agencies, and make bookings for their travel needs. Through the use of Big Data Analytics and Predictive Algorithm, Trabeller Co. also brings about convenience for group travellers as they can collaborate with their friends to plan an itinerary based on everyone's preferences, maximising satisfaction with their trip.

3.  Professional Companionship (China)
Professional Companionship is a social community platform that allows skilled professionals to “buy” and “sell” their time for remuneration. The start-up concept acts as a marketplace for consumers to find and hire skilled professionals to meet specific needs of companies and households. 

The winning teams will be supported with ERC’s immediate infrastructure, network and resources available in-house to grow and propel their business ideas beyond the local market to other ASEAN cities.

Concluding a successful pilot season of Super Pitch Day 2017, which was only opened to ERCi students and alumni, the next Super Pitch Day now accepts applications from ERCi students, alumni and the general public across three cities – Singapore, Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok. Interested applicants can send in their business ideas to BIGFund by 31 August 2017.


BIGFund has plans to add seven more cities across the ASEAN region to its programme by 2020. For more information on the next Super Pitch Day, please visit http://fund.thebiggrp.com/

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