Walking about BLOCK71

NUS Enterprise organised BLOCK71-GO! at BLOCK71, an initiative by NUS Enterprise, on 22 September, which featured a showcase of 15 start-ups, a drone tutorial and the first ever high-speed drone race to be held at the JTC Launchpad@one-north (Launchpad).

Representatives from nine NUS-affiliated start-ups — AfterYou, Gtriip, KIN Studio, Park N Parcel, PS Love, RateX, SurePark, WateROAM and XY Connect — shared about their products and services with enthusiastic visitors of the exhibition.

Co-Founder of XY Connect Ms Kayla Youk, who graduated from NUS Computing in 2016, was eager to work in a start-up after her NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) stint in Israel, and so she joined XY Connect as Director of Business Development. Together with more than 40 other young and passionate teams, XY Connect started their journey from The Hangar by NUS Enterprise — the campus hub for entrepreneurs. The company’s product — a lightbulb which helps to eliminate Wi-Fi blind spots — has users in 13 countries, shared Ms Youk.

AfterYou, a platform for people looking to hire part-time cleaners, caregivers and tutors, was founded by four NUS Engineering alumni — Mr Liang Fitzkhoon, Mr Jason Teo, Mr Deepan Bala and Mr Alvin Ng. Speaking of the impetus to set up the company, Sales Director Mr Ng said, “We realised that all of these home services currently in Singapore could only be purchased through agents, which is very expensive and limits one’s choices.”

The event also included Drones 101, where beginners were able to learn about drones and fly them through various obstacles. A highlight of the day was Game of Drones, which drew a sizeable crowd as five pilots steered their drones in a thrilling competition around basketball and futsal courts.


A drone takes off during the drone race, the first ever held at the Launchpad

Dr Koh Sueda, Research Fellow at NUS Smart Systems Institute, who was present at the drone race, has built more than 10 drones as well as organised and participated in several drone races. Dr Sueda is currently working with Professor Naoki Tsukahara, a biologist from Sokendai (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies), on a talking drone that aims to communicate with crows in an effort to control their behaviour, such as by preventing them from littering.

BLOCK71-GO!, attended by some 200 visitors, was organised in conjunction with Walkabout Singapore, an annual opportunity for people to visit technology companies, meet the founders and get a sneak peek into what goes on at innovative entities.