#PEOPLE
The Power of Ideation

Startup innovator Durwin Ho talks about bringing together people with the right ideas to meet the challenges of sustainability.

By Edmund Wee      1 March 2020

How was the HyperX hackathon incepted?

Hackathons are an elegant and beautiful way of igniting people’s creativity and sparking ideas. We have been immersed in the world of hackathons and startup-driven innovation for quite some time, and at every hackathon we ran, we witnessed how so many revolutionary ideas fizzle out without leaving any real impact just because they lacked the funding, mentorship and resources to grow. HyperX was conceived exactly to address this problem.

As an end-to-end hackcelerator, HyperX, which is centred around the concept of sustainability, ensures that these ideas can realise their potential. Our partners at Temasek also gave us the confidence that this was the right direction to take. By partnering innovative startups with influential movers and shakers in the sustainability space, we effectively catalysed the push towards greater innovation for sustainability.

Why the focus on sustainability in the programme?

Personally, sustainability is worth working on simply because it’s a topic of urgency that deserves our attention. HyperX was conceived with the clear aim of enabling technologies and solutions to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. That is humanity’s roadmap to a sustainable future that encompasses social, cultural, economic and environmental aspects. This aligns with our belief that in order to build a better future together, tackling sustainability should not be limited to only the environmental aspects but all aspects of life.

What are the most interesting ideas you have seen so far?

If I had to narrow my choices down to just two, it would definitely have to be Meerks and Flatbread. As second runner-up at our HyperHack sustainability hackathon last year, Meerks’ sustainable, self-charging GPS tracker for elderly dementia patients deserves a second mention. Meerks ensures such patients can always be located at any given moment.

The other is related to migrant workers who are very much a part of Asia’s society. They are a group who are heavily exploited by middlemen agencies that draw them into debt by promising them a better future. Flatbread adopts technology to disrupt the middlemen in this industry, allowing migrant workers to access a platform to connect directly with future employers, and providing greater opportunities for blue-collar workers to seek employment overseas.

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