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  • Writer's pictureLouisa Ong

What’s next for Tech for Good?

The past two months have been a fruitful journey for the Tech for Good team, marked by a momentous return to in-person events and a trip to Europe now that travel restrictions have eased.

What’s next for Tech for Good? In this first of a two-part series, our Tech for Good team and SIP’s Associate Director of Business Development, Alina Chia, shares with us her takeaways from the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH) conference, thoughts on challenges faces by social entrepreneurs when it comes to innovation as well as her vision for Tech for Good.


Q: What were your key takeaways from the SWITCH conference?

Alina: I was impressed by the amalgamation of ideas and the conversations around innovation that flowed. It’s a truly exciting time to see so many great ideas and important efforts going into innovation and research to push the boundaries of technology to not only enhance the quality of life and allow for greater access through cheaper and better solutions, but also to resolve some of humanity’s pressing challenges as well as risks arising from climate change and food.

Q: Which startup pitch did you find most compelling and why?

Alina: We caught the pitches made by the grand finalists live (all 10 of them). I find that Peptobiotics made the most compelling case particularly because they were focusing on a disruptive solution that could resolve a longstanding challenge in the food industry. This involved the widespread use of antibiotics to keep yields productive against livestock disease – which not only can help livestock companies overcome increasing regulatory controls around use of antibiotics, but more broadly could help lower risks against antibiotic resistant strains of pathogens. A win-win solution that presents a huge potential market and better SDG outcomes. It’s no wonder that they are the Winner of the start-up competition, a well-deserved win!

Q: What would you say are some of the biggest challenges social entrepreneurs face when it comes to innovation?

Alina: I would argue that social entrepreneurs face an even greater uphill task in addition to the same challenges an entrepreneur would face. Aside from usual challenges such as seeking capital to fund their development capabilities etc., many also face the dilemma of the pursuit of a double bottom line approach of social impact goals and financial goals. Social Enterprises often start out with a good sense of the “why” and though the intentions are good, at the end of the day it is still an enterprise first, which means it has to be financially sustainable and profit generating.

Q: What’s your vision for the role of social entrepreneurs leveraging on Technology for Good in the future?

Alina: I will keep this short and simple – for all entrepreneurs leveraging the use of technology to apply it more consciously- and through which, achieve greater innovative breakthroughs for humanity and its sustainable development.


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