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GD Group, Hope First Response and ZWEEC Analytics are the top three winners of Emerging Enterprise Awards 2015

Each winner to receive S$490,000  in prizes, comprising a S$200,000 interest-free loan from OCBC Bank, a S$50,000 prize package from MasterCard, as well as consultancy services, executive educational programmes and support in capability development

Singapore, 23 September 2015 – GD Group, Hope First Response and ZWEEC Analytics have emerged as the top three winners of the Emerging Enterprise Awards 2015 (EE 2015). 

ZWEEC Analytics is also a recipient of the Best Innovation Award and Visenze is the winner of the Most Promising Startup Award. 

Guest-of-Honour,  Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, presented the trophies to the winners at the EE 2015 Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony held at the Shangri La Hotel this evening.
Into its eighth year, EE 2015 is Singapore’s only annual entrepreneurial award that recognises promising emerging enterprises with annual sales turnover of less than S$15 million who are outstanding in their various fields. Today, the Award has gained recognition as the de facto platform for aspiring emerging enterprises looking to validate their business models. 

This year’s awards feature submissions from a myriad of industries such as food and beverage, engineering services, life sciences and logistics. The finalists were shortlisted based on the sustainability of their business models and growth plans, as well as the viability of their business strategies in taking on the challenges and opportunities in their various industries.

This year, EE 2015 offered the top three winners an enhanced prize package amounting to S$1.47 million compared to last year’s S$1.32 million. The prize package aims to provide critical support to emerging businesses seeking to transform, innovate and achieve significant breakthroughs in their growth journey in an increasingly competitive business landscape. 

Each of the top three winners – GD Group, Hope First Response and ZWEEC Analytics – received S$490,000 in prizes comprising consultancy services, executive educational programmes and support in capability development offered by the various  EE 2015 partners: 

· S$200,000 interest-free OCBC business overdraft facility per winner· S$20,000 credit in the OCBC Business Debit Card and a MasterCard Priceless Travel Experience Package worth S$30,000, totalling S$50,000 per winner· Strategic Brand & Product Development Research Package from Acorn Marketing & Research Consultants worth $30,000 per winner· Open Enrolment Programme package from INSEAD worth S$30,000 per winner· Capability Development Grant from SPRING Singapore· Consulting Package for Growing Businesses from RSM Chio Lim LLP worth S$30,000 per winner
The Best Innovation Award recognises the spirit of innovation and originality in business concepts. The winner, ZWEEC Analytics received an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) business solution package from Singtel worth up to S$30,000 and a S$50,000 interest-free business overdraft facility from OCBC Bank.  

The winner of the Most Promising Startup Award, Visenze Pte Ltd, walked away with the Most Promising Startup Title and trophy. This award was introduced last year to give recognition to young businesses below three years old and with turnover of less than $1 million per annum. 

EE 2015 is jointly organised by The Business Times and OCBC Bank, and supported by Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants, INSEAD, MasterCard, Singtel, SPRING Singapore and RSM Chio Lim LLP, which is also the official auditor for EE 2015.  

Quotes from co-organisers and partners: 

Mr Alvin Tay, Editor of The Business Times, said: “This year’s batch of  Emerging Enterprise finalists have demonstrated passion in their work and deep knowledge about their products. What struck me was the vision and acumen they had shown to take their company forward.  We at The Business Times are pleased to have supported this event over these past eight years and warmly congratulate all EE2015 winners and finalists .”

Mr Eric Ong, Head of Emerging Business, OCBC Bank, said : “It’s easy to start a business but the challenge lies in keeping it sustainable. Our Emerging Enterprise Award winners are exemplary entrepreneurs who have gone beyond that by achieving success not only in the local but overseas markets as well.  Although they come from diverse industries such as technology, F&B and healthcare, they share the same entrepreneurial spirit that sets them apart from the competition – the courage and tenacity to always push boundaries and embrace innovation in creating differentiated product offerings and new revenue streams.  Their recognition is highly deserved, and we are confident they will leverage this Award to achieve greater success as they take their business to new heights.”

Ms Deborah Heng, Group Head and General Manager, Singapore, MasterCard, said: “Businesses today face a rapidly changing landscape and have to continuously reinvent themselves in order to compete effectively. Innovation in business processes is one way to drive cost savings and stay sustainable. MasterCard's suite of products and solutions provide much needed efficiencies in the area of payment processing, while helping to drive productivity. For instance, the mobile point of sale service we launched just two months ago with M1 enables SMEs to accept card payments while on the go, providing their customers access to a secure and convenient payment experience. SMEs also benefit from greater efficiencies in cash management and preventing lost sales either from turning away customers who do not have the right amount of change or have insufficient cash. The Emerging Enterprise Awards is an excellent platform to identify and support progressive start-ups that prioritize innovation to further their growth, and we applaud the efforts of the winners.”

Mr Danny Lai, Country Business Manager, Singapore, Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants, said: ““This year’s finalists have really been impressive. What we admire is their spirit of innovation and the vision to keep challenging their category norms and conventions with products, solutions and business models new to their respective fields. We are also observing that the vision of SME businesses is not just to grow within Singapore but view regional expansion as an integral part of its survival and success.”

Mr Michael Pich, Dean of Executive Education at INSEAD said: “The Emerging Enterprise Award plays a vital role in supporting Singapore’s dynamic and diverse start-up ecosystem. It provides a platform for young, promising enterprises to develop their passion for innovation and boost their capabilities for further growth. As the education partner for EE2015, INSEAD is proud to offer these enterprises a place on an INSEAD Executive Education programme. We’re confident this will help to prepare them for the challenges of the ever-evolving Asian business landscape, and equip them with the skills they’ll need to take the lead and stay ahead in today’s increasingly connected business world. It also reflects our commitment to ensuring both local and foreign businesses and entrepreneurs achieve long-term, sustainable success. We look forward to welcoming the EE2015 winners to INSEAD’s business community. Congratulations to each and every one!”

Ms Chew Mok Lee, Assistant Chief Executive, Capabilities & Partnership, SPRING Singapore, said: “We are happy to partner the Emerging Enterprise Awards (EEA) to recognise the achievements of these innovative high potential companies.  The EEA is instrumental in highlighting best practices for the rest of the business community to learn and benchmark. Over the years, we have seen the quality and diversity of the enterprises improve tremendously. Today, both brick-and-mortar and high technology companies understand the importance of upgrading their capabilities to ensure they stay ahead of the competition. The trend is encouraging and we hope to see more successful local companies in the future. As the enterprise development agency, SPRING Singapore’s key role is to support more of such local companies to upgrade and to become more competitive.”

Mr Titus Yong, Vice President, Business Sales, Singtel Group Enterprise said, “Singtel is pleased to present the Best Innovation Award to ZWEEC Analytics. We commend them for their courage to change the game through innovation and originality. Besides sponsoring campaigns like the 99%SME ( to help SME generate new business, we provide ICT solutions that will enable them to re-invent themselves to drive future growth. These fine and outstanding examples of companies such as  ZWEEC Analytics trail blaze the way for their SME peers to show what is possible. Well done."

Mr Kaka Singh, Chairman, RSM Chio Lim LLP, said: "As the official auditors for the Emerging Enterprise Award since its inauguration, we have witnessed how the competition has encouragingly become more and more competitive over these 8 years.  With technology, the pace of doing business has intensified, the reach is almost borderless and for the successful entrepreneur the rewards limitless. For the 2015 Finalists who have made it this far, each has already demonstrated their tenacity that they have a blueprint for success in place.  We extend a big congratulation to the winners and we acknowledge too that every company who made it to the Finals is already a winner as well.  Stay resilient and distinct and success will be with you all the way."

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About The Business Times

The Business Times, a member of the Singapore Press Holdings group, is South-east Asia's leading financial daily. BT brings to its readers daily corporate, financial, economic and political news, analysis and commentary on print and digital platforms. It provides readers with in-depth coverage of Singapore and Asian business and economic developments, as well as global trends that impact Singapore business. BT's lifestyle journalists bring busy executives the latest in recreation, entertainment, the arts, design, food and shopping. 

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About OCBC Bank

OCBC Bank is the longest established Singapore bank, formed in 1932 from the merger of three local banks, the oldest of which was founded in 1912. It is now the second largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets and one of the world’s most highly-rated banks, with an Aa1 rating from Moody’s. Recognised for its financial strength and stability, OCBC Bank has been ranked Asean’s strongest bank and among the world’s five strongest banks by Bloomberg Markets for five consecutive years since the ranking’s inception in 2011.

OCBC Bank and its subsidiaries offer a broad array of commercial banking, specialist financial and wealth management services, ranging from consumer, corporate, investment, private and transaction banking to treasury, insurance, asset management and stockbroking services.

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OCBC Bank’s private banking services are provided by its wholly-owned subsidiary Bank of Singapore, which has received increasing industry recognition as Asia’s Global Private Bank, and was voted “Outstanding Private Bank in Southeast Asia in 2014” by Private Banker International.  

OCBC Bank's insurance subsidiary, Great Eastern Holdings, is the oldest and most established life insurance group in Singapore and Malaysia. Its asset management subsidiary, Lion Global Investors, is one of the largest private sector asset management companies in Southeast Asia. 

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