Sunway Group’s innovation arm, Sunway Innovation Labs (Sunway iLabs), has announced the top five startups from its one-month pre-accelerator phase of the 2021 Sunway iLabs Super Accelerator programme.
The accelerator programme, kicked off together with Pan-Asian venture capital firm Gobi Partners last month and was completed with 23 startups in a pitch competition to a panel of judges.
The top five selected startups are Loop Foods, Rent Guard, Singular, Trabble and Wise Crafters.
In the next three months of the Super Accelerator programme, Sunway iLabs will help the selected top five startup founders connect with Sunway’s global network of partners, industry experts, mentors and investors.
Head’s Up will be interviewing all five chosen startups each week to discuss further on where they are, their challenges, and how they are creating, how their participation in Sunway iLabs will impact their journey moving forward.
News & Announcements
The Shell LiveWIRE programme for Sarawakian entrepreneurs is now open for registration.
Are you a Sarawakian innovator or social entrepreneur aspiring to positively impact the community and environment?
Join us for a series of 10 Shell LiveWIRE Webinars from 6 November 2021 to 5 December 2021 to take your idea to the next level.
This year’s five selected winners will receive a business grant of RM15,000 and one year of coaching and mentoring.*
Register today at https://bit.ly/sarawaklivewire2021
The Shell LiveWIRE programme for Sarawakian is organised in collaboration with Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Sarawak (TEGAS).
* Terms and conditions apply
TOP 10 FINALISTS OF ALPHA STARTUPS DIGITAL ACCELERATOR COHORT 38
1337 Ventures has announced the Top 10 promising early-stage startups that are selected out of 71 startups who participated & 94 who registered. 🚀
In no particular order, the Top 10 teams of the Alpha Startups™ Digital Accelerator (ASDA) Cohort 38 are:
2. Artmeet - Graphic Designer Community
8. Tumpang Malaysia
1337 Ventures would also like to invite the general public and would-be investors to their ASDA Virtual Demo Day on the 15th of October (Friday) from 2 to 5 pm. Registration is required and free. Register online at https://bit.ly/demoday38
Q&A with Trabble
What plans do you have in mind in order to successfully empower travel and hospitality businesses to adapt to return to post-Covid tourism?
Trabble’s vision is to consolidate the fragmented Travel Industry, by providing a Guest Engagement Platform that is flexible, transferrable and revolutionary to business operations in the travel industry globally, especially for Post Covid-19 travel.
Helping individual small businesses implement an automated Self Check-In and Guest Engagement Software as a Solution (SaaS) platform provides guests with a seamless and contactless experience. Trabble’s SaaS platform helps automate customers’ Guest Enquiries, Reservations, and Services by unifying and consolidating multiple chat platforms for easy, efficient and productive management by businesses.
With uncertainty still within the industry, how optimistic are you?
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic is definitely one challenge that affected almost all businesses, but none as badly as the Travel & Hospitality sector, and this challenge is certainly an emerging trend in every industry.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a greater need for social distancing as part of wider health and safety concerns. Thus, there is a surge in demand for digitisation and automation in daily operations so as to minimise face-to-face contact in our daily life. With COVID-19 redefining the travel scene, and with social distancing and health and safety concerns being more stringent.
During the peak of the pandemic in 2020, Trabble saw almost no new sales as the industry is severely affected. We were fortunately that 2019 was a really strong year for us in terms of profitability, and we used this time to expand our suite of features and functions of our Trabble solutions. We are constantly finding ways to allow our clients to improve their brand positioning as a safe, low-contact business, without compromising their guest engagement and service.
What is interesting is that with the pandemic, it has helped better position our products, from what used to be a "good to have” innovative product, to now a more “need to have” position for the return of post-COVID tourism. We are now seeing an increase in clients, as many are already preparing and gearing up for the return of post-covid tourism. As most of the industry have retrenched up to 80% of their staff, it has increased the value of Trabble to help ease their operations and increase productivity, making it a good opportunity for them to revamp their SOPs.
Are you looking to expand beyond Singaporean shores and in that case, what countries are you looking to expand into?
In Singapore, we have effectively leveraged on STB’s support to reach out to local hotels and OTAs, and we can also tap on the PR of our existing clients to target a greater number of industry players.
We seek to explore greater business opportunities and to expand operations throughout Southeast Asia, by first establishing a strong foundation in Singapore as our main headquarters.
We are also establishing our base in China, Korea and having an office there, we would first try to penetrate the local travel and hospitality industry through the governmental and associations support.
With collaborations with the industry, we will start pushing for sales into the market in supporting inbound tourism. We might eventually look into supporting or even organising trade conferences or events for the highly fragmented travel industry, increasing collaboration with our other customers globally.
What do you think the reception will be like among hospitality services to your offerings?
We help hospitality businesses increase revenue channels, guest satisfaction and operational efficiency. We empower businesses to seamlessly serve their guests 24/7 via guests’ own mobile devices from Pre-Trip, Check-In, In-Trip, Check-Out to Post-Trip, minimising physical exposure to both staff and guests, while enhancing high intimate service standards digitally, to serve their Enquiries, Reservations, Access and Concierge.
In 2019, we launched a fully automated self check-in hotel chain, ST Signatures, in 2019, and are continuously working with them to improve and enhance the seamless guest engagement experience.
Previously, without a Property Management System (PMS) that allows for reservations coming from multiple OTAs and direct channels to be managed efficiently, this makes the reservations process tedious and prone to human error – where it may lead to double booking of rooms.
It also requires at least 1 staff to be manning the reservations for 24 hours, 7 days a week. With Trabble, all reservations will be integrated and consolidated on a single platform, easing manpower and eliminating potential human errors.
The number of staff required especially at peak hours of Check-In and Check-Out make the deployment of staff difficult. For hotels, this means huge manpower needs that are not consistently required. Peak hours can require 4 staff for check-in and -outs. A night staff is also required, which does not actually serve much purpose unless the hotel receives a late check-in or walk-in guest, who can easily be self-served.
With Trabble’s Automated Self Check-In, staff will be freed up to attend to other needs of guests and better serve them. With reduced face-to-face contact between staff and minimised guests and peak-hour crowding, we will also be able to reduce exposure to risk of contagion for staff and guests.
In terms of funding, how could potential funding improve your services and in which areas?
Quic.Key is a feature that allows our clients to deploy Trabble's self check-in solution, so as to allow their guests to check-in pre-arrival in the comfort of their own homes, go straight to their rooms skipping the queues at the front desk and all with the convenience of using their own devices.
We are improving on digitalised verification on the feature, with funding, we could roll out this function more quickly to suit the needs of hotel during the pandemic.
What are the areas as a startup you are looking to improve with the help of the partners, Sunway iLabs and Gobi Partners?
We hope to gain market access with the help of partners since Malaysia is a huge potential market for Trabble.
We seek to explore greater business opportunities and to expand operations throughout Asia, starting with Malaysia as Malaysia has a strong drive for digitalisation, improvement and evolution of the travel industry.
We believe Sunway iLabs and Gobi Partners would be able to push forward digitalisation in Malaysia’s Tourism.
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