SWITCH 2017 empowers innovators and influencers to create for a better world

SWITCH 2017 empowers innovators and influencers to create for a better world
Asia’s leading plug and play platform kicks off with announcements aimed at boosting start-up and innovation growth in Singapore; and fervent discussions around a tech-enhanced world

Singapore, 18 September 2017­ ­–  The second edition of SWITCH (Singapore Week of Innovation & TeCHnology) commenced this morning at Sands Expo and Convention Centre. In line with SWITCH’s theme, ‘Founding a New World’, the opening ceremony stressed the importance of technology in creating a better world for humanity and featured announcements that promise to boost start-up and innovation growth in Singapore. Minister for Finance, Heng Swee Keat, gave the opening speech which was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Imagining a New World with Technology’ featuring Mike Descheneaux, President, Silicon Valley Bank; William Bao Bean, General Partner, SOSV; Taizo Son, CEO, Mistletoe; and Ben Goertzel, Chief Scientist, Hanson Robotics.  

Minister Heng announced the launch of Pollinate, a joint-polytechnic incubator programme that aims to foster collaborative innovation and enterprise. Jointly governed by Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic, the programme will target growth stage start-ups that have products or services ready for market adoption, growth hacking and market expansion.  Located at JTC LaunchPad @ one-north, Pollinate will provide start-ups with easy access to talent, and also promote innovative partnerships between start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises to solve existing industry problems.

Echoing the need for innovators and influencers in Singapore to address issues of global importance, speakers at the opening panel discussion shared a vision of how innovation and creativity, combined with the power of technology, can create a better world for humanity.

“Throughout history, technology has played a vital role in the progress of civilisations.  No area of our lives would be what we know today, if not for the process of scientific discovery, which in turn leads to exciting and sometimes huge advances in technology.  While we celebrate the positive impact of technology for humanity, we also need to be mindful of some of the possible risks it may bring to different communities around the world.  We believe Singapore has an important role to play in building new technologies, as well as in shaping the discussions around the implications on society,” said Steve Leonard, Founding CEO, SGInnovate and moderator at the opening panel.

SWITCH’s first day will include the start of partner conferences like Convergence; Impact Hub Singapore’s Meta Conversations: Tech & Humanity; and Ecosystem Day: Nature SciCafe Asia 2017 & Singapore QuickFire Challenge - Metabolic Disease Innovation. Over the next three days, SWITCH will also play host to conferences like Slush Singapore; TechInnovation; Women in Tech (Asia); Campus Party; and VentureCon.

Besides conferences, SWITCH participants can look forward to viewing some of the latest technologies on the exhibition floors, as well as attend SLINGSHOT@SWITCH, a live pitching competition powered by Startup SG, an initiative of SPRING Singapore.

In partnership with JTC, SWITCH will also feature guided tours about the startup ecosystem in Singapore. Themed around four key tracks - ICT, Healthcare, FinTech and Engineering, the tours are part of the SWITCH ON @ LaunchPad event and will include visits to local startups and incubators located in JTC LaunchPad @ one-north.

SWITCH will take place from 18 to 20 September 2017 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre.


SWITCH (Singapore Week of Innovation & TeCHnology) is a leading “plug and play” platform in Asia that showcases the best ideas, technology and innovation from around the world. Through a series of complementing technology and innovation events held between 18 - 20 September 2017, SWITCH brings together the best minds to create exchanges that will shape our world. At SWITCH, interactions are the catalyst for change; at the end of the day, technology does not shape our future – we do. SWITCH brings together partners from around the world in the technology, innovation and enterprise ecosystem, featuring exhibitions, conferences, workshops and activities revolving around topics such as open innovation, technology transfer, tech entrepreneurship, venture funding and talent development. SWITCH is brought to you by the National Research Foundation Singapore and organised by SGInnovate. SWITCH Partners include Campus Party, Convergence, Impact Hub Singapore, Nature SciCafé, Singapore Quickfire Challenge, Slingshot@SWITCH, Slush Singapore, SWITCH ON @ LaunchPad, TechInnovation, VentureCon (e27) and Women in Tech Conference (Asia). For more information, please visit www.switchsg.org

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