With the annual SiTF Awards just a few days away, we speak to SiTF’s resident judge Shirley Wong in Singapore, on what the awards mean to her and the positive impact it brings to the ecosystem
Already into its 7th year, the annual SiTF (Singapore infocomm Technology Federation) awards held in Singapore brings together and celebrates the best made-in Singapore infocomm innovations since 2009. Such innovations include large companies, SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), start-ups and even students.
For those who have followed the SiTF Awards closely, you would have noticed its long list of well known judges that are specialists in their own field. On this board of judges that change annually you will find a handful that are committed to this award year after year.
Wong is one of them. She has been actively participating in the awards ever since and ‘had the opportunity to witness the growth of the industry alongside the progress of the Awards over the years,’ said Wong.
Aside from participating as a judge at the SiTF Awards, Wong herself has a long list of accreditation. She has over 20 years of experience in the IT and technology industry and is now the Managing partner of TNF Ventures Pte Ltd. On top of her already packed schedule, Wong is very active in the start-up scene where she takes on the rule of a mentor to help start-ups get access to resources and funding amongst others.
This is the third part of our four week special covering the SiTF awards, this week we got the chance to speak to Wong about her personal observations regarding this year’s entries and her take on the future of technology in our lives.
What can we expect from this year’s SiTF awards?
SW: We expect award winners from across a spread of industries and coming from diverse backgrounds, and from experienced industry veterans to young entrepreneurs willing to start their own business after leaving university.
What are your observations of the entries over the years?
SW: Since we conceived the first SiTF awards seven years ago, there has been a surge in the formation of start ups. The Singapore tech innovation scene continues to mature and this is reflected in the growing number of entries we receive each year.
There is also more diversity in the type of entries and greater quality from the submissions. This year we had more than 300 nominations and shortlisted 92 finalists across 10 different categories, coming from schools as well as the private and public sector.
How do you feel about the quality of entries this year?
SW: I am pleased to see increasing entries and the relentless pace of growth year on year that showcase a stellar standard of creativity and innovation in Singapore that cut across all sectors. Also noteworthy was the emergence of numerous companies embracing disruptive innovation, even in the public sector in their use of ICT (information and communications technology).
How do you feel the SiTF awards have helped budding start-ups in Singapore?
SW: The awards have certainly given them the local recognition and enhanced their visibility to further excel in the global arena. The awards also provide the winners with a platform and unique opportunity to be profiled. They can inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Could you please share with us how previous SiTF award winners have done? Which is your favourite?
SW: It will be difficult to name a favourite. Many have all done well and continue to thrive. For the last seven years, SiTF is proud to be able to provide schools and start-up tech companies with opportunities to demo and showcase their products and solutions to the industry, and be able to spur greater adoption of their technology and give them access to new markets and customers.
If you have a crystal ball what would be your one statement that will define technology and innovation ten years from now?
SW: Technology innovation is changing and disrupting the ways we do business, and companies will move away from the traditional approach of using IT as they embrace disruptive technologies to create new and innovative business models.
By Geralyne Kaye Ong / September 29, 2015 12:20PM GMT+8 Singapore
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