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Benjamin Barker, Ecommerce Enablers and Innovfusion are the top three winners of Emerging Enterprise Awards 2016

Each winner to receive S$500,000  in prizes, comprising a S$200,000 two-year interest-free business overdraft facility, a S$50,000 prize package from MasterCard and OCBC, as well as consultancy services, executive education programmes and support in capability development

Singapore, 16 September 2016 
Benjamin Barker, Ecommerce Enablers and Innovfusion have emerged as the top three winners of the Emerging Enterprise Awards 2016 (EE 2016). 

Cravefx is the recipient of the Best Innovation Award and Mirxes is the winner of the Most Promising Startup Award. 

Guest-of-Honour, Dr Koh Poh Koon, Minister of State, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Trade and Industry, presented the trophies to the winners at the EE 2016 Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony held at The St Regis Singapore this evening.

Into its ninth year, EE 2016 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 Awards 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 e-commerce, health care, life sciences and digital media. 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 2016 offered the top three winners an enhanced prize package amounting to $1.5 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 – 
Benjamin Barker, Ecommerce Enablers and Innovfusion – received S$500,000 in prizes comprising consultancy services, executive education programmes and support in capability development offered by the various EE 2016 partners, including :

  • S$200,000 two-year interest-free 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
  • Consulting Package for Growing Businesses from RSM worth S$30,000 per winner
  • Support from SPRING Singapore in capability development

The Best Innovation Award recognises the spirit of innovation and originality in business concepts. The winner, 
Cravefx, received an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) business solutions 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, 
Mirxes, walked away with the Most Promising Startup Title and trophy, as well as S$30,000 worth of digital consultancy services from Maxus. This award was introduced in 2014 to give recognition to young businesses below three years old and with turnover of less than $1 million per annum. 

EE 2016 is jointly organised by The Business Times and OCBC Bank, and supported by Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants, INSEAD, MasterCard, Maxus, Singtel, SPRING Singapore and RSM, which is also the official auditor for EE 2016.  

Quotes from co-organisers and partners: 

Mr Alvin Tay, Editor of The Business Times, said: “This year’s Emerging Enterprise finalists come from diverse businesses and backgrounds. But they share one common trait - the founders have combined their passion and knowledge with cutting-edge technology to come up with offerings that have the potential to revolutionise their industry, as well as the way we work, live and play in future. We are impressed by their high quality and well-thought out business ideas. The Business Times is delighted to support this event for the last nine years. Congratulations to all our EE 2016 winners and finalists and we look forward to working with them to build up their offerings and capabilities." 

Mr Eric Ong, Head of Emerging Business, OCBC Bank, said: “In today’s fast-changing and competitive business environment, the challenge to continually innovate is stronger than ever before. This year, our 16 finalists reflect the rise in the number of startups in emerging industries which are heavily influenced by innovation and technology, such as e-commerce, biomedical science and digital media. They have impressed with their own unique success story, but what set the winners apart is their ability to capitalise on new consumer trends and needs to come up with first-of-its-kind solutions by ingeniously leveraging innovation and technology to do so. We at OCBC extend our heartiest congratulations to all five deserving winners, and we look forward to partnering and growing with them as they continue to chart their own course to greater success.” 

Ms Deborah Heng, Group Head and General Manager, Singapore, MasterCard, said: “As a global leader in payments innovation, Mastercard has supported emerging enterprises with solutions to help SMEs and entrepreneurs fulfill their full potential. We congratulate this year’s winners who have demonstrated immense business acumen and innovation in their own field, including Benjamin Barker, Ecommerce Enablers, Innovfusion, Cravefx and Mirxes, and are confident that they and all the other nominated enterprises will prove to be an inspiration for other aspiring entrepreneurs.”

Mr Kwan Chong Wah, Founder/CEO, Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants, said: “The most prominent theme amongst this year’s finalists is their ability to leverage various branches of technology, be it bio-tech, robotics, IT, AV technology, to drive and to differentiate their products or services. Quite a few have adapted and innovated from existing technology to address consumer or commercial needs, and in the process, added to the knowledge base of how technology could be harnessed for the betterment of our lives. To me, this is the highest value generated from this Emerging Enterprise Awards."
Ms Mary Kwan, Regional Director Asia Pacific of Executive Education at INSEAD said: “The Emerging Enterprise Awards is a valuable initiative that supports the development of dynamic SMEs across Singapore. This year, we were impressed to see entrants from such a diverse range of industries, all sharing a passion for innovation and the tenacity to drive their businesses toward future success. Together, they form a vibrant snapshot of Singapore’s start-up community. As the education partner for EE 2016, INSEAD is proud to support the growth of these promising young enterprises by offering them a place on INSEAD Executive Education programmes. By sharing with them our expertise and insight into the fundamental principles and challenges of growing a new business, we are confident we can help transform them into globally-competitive organisations. EE 2016 also reflects our commitment to helping executives achieve sustainable success. We very much look forward to welcoming these winners to INSEAD. Congratulations to all the winners!”   

Mr Titus Yong, Vice-President, Business Sales, Group Enterprise at Singtel said: “We are pleased to present this year’s Best Innovation Award to Cravefx for using technology to create new transformative value for the industry. This is crucial as the world transitions to a digital economy. With value creation and digitisation becoming more important, SMEs have to adopt ICT solutions, such as e-commerce, social media, mobile and cloud computing, to keep abreast of the changing needs of their technologically savvy customers. Being a strong supporter of local SMEs and advocate for the use of ICT solutions, we hope this award will show how technology can help SMEs streamline their business processes, improve communications and protect their corporate data.Cravefx is an outstanding example for local SMEs to follow as the company’s courage to push creativity and technology to the limit, innovate with a focus on differentiation and execute well a robust business plan are critical success factors for an emerging business. Congratulations!"

Mr Desh Balakrishnan, Managing Director of Maxus, said: "Maxus is proud to be associated with the EE Awards this year and we have been tremendously impressed with the strong pool of promising companies with sound business strategies, strong financial results and sustainable business plans. This coupled with the high level of professionalism and competitiveness for the awards proved to be challenging for us to decide on the eventual winners for each of the awards categories. Congratulations to all the winners who have proved to be deserving champions in their respective award categories."

Mr Kaka Singh, Chairman and Senior Partner, Singapore, RSM, said: "The participating local SMEs have once again demonstrated the resilience and acute business acumen needed to survive and to thrive in the rapidly-changing business environment. Despite the hurdles faced, they have maintained a forward-looking way of thinking that continues to inspire us and relentlessly challenge the conventions of their industries. RSM, now in our ninth year as the official auditor, is honoured to be part of this path to help SMEs take the next step in their growth journey and explore the exciting global marketplace."


Appendix 1 - EE 2016 Factsheet -

Appendix 2 - Corporate profiles of Emerging Enterprise Awards 2016 partners -

Appendix 3 - Emerging Enterprise Awards 2016 judging panel -

Appendix 4 – Emerging Enterprise Awards past winners -

Appendix 5 - Profiles of Emerging Enterprise Awards 2016 finalists - 
(See attached file: (FINAL) Appendix 5 - Profile of Finalists of Emerging Enterprise Awards 2016.pdf)

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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.
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OCBC Bank’s private banking services are provided by its wholly-owned subsidiary Bank of Singapore, which operates on a unique open-architecture product platform to source for the best-in-class products to meet its clients’ goals.  
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