SINGAPORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alipay, the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group (“Ant Financial”), and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (“NUS”), today announced the launch of a new initiative to support digital technology innovation throughout Southeast Asia.
The Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge aims to identify and support the growth of start-ups in Southeast Asia that are using digital technology to build a more inclusive society. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, enabling low-income groups to gain access to better educational opportunities, supporting elderly individuals leverage digital technologies to enhance their lifestyle, and helping people with disabilities through upskilling and reskilling initiatives.
“Since Alipay’s inception in 2004, we have been dedicated to using digital technology to bring equal opportunities to the world. In particular, we want to make financial services simple, low-cost and accessible to the many, rather than the few. While the impact of one company may be limited, an ecosystem of partners who stand behind the same vision will be able to achieve much more. We look forward to working with our new partner NUS Enterprise, to identify and support the growth of the most innovative start-ups in Southeast Asia. It is exciting for us to be involved with teams creating lasting impact for their communities and addressing real world problems, such as aging, poverty and lack of access to development opportunities,” said Geoff JIANG, Vice President, General Manager of Technology and Business Innovation Group at Ant Financial.
“We are delighted to partner with Ant Financial and Alipay in this worthy initiative, to seek out the most innovative start-ups involved in developing digital technologies that will build a more inclusive society and a better world for everyone. NUS Enterprise will help these innovators scale their efforts and maximise social impact, through our strong support ecosystem and extensive entrepreneurial networks, which include mentors, impact investors, corporate CSR teams, capacity builders and community partners,” said Professor Wong Poh Kam, Senior Director, NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, a division of NUS Enterprise.
The inaugural Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge will take place in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Applicants can participate by registering online at www.alipaynusseachallenge.com. Applications will close in January 2019. The first round of judging will determine the top three winners within each country, who will each receive a cash prize of SGD $10,000. The nine finalists will compete for the top cash prize of SGD $50,000 in the grand finale, to be held in Singapore in March 2019.
The winning teams will not only receive financial rewards to invest toward increasing their social impact, but also receive support to accelerate their growth through networks, mentorship and partnership opportunities with Ant Financial, NUS and other partners in the ecosystem. Top teams will also receive three-month incubation support by NUS Enterprise, as well as access to its BLOCK71 community and co-working space in Singapore, Bandung, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Suzhou and San Francisco.
A series of workshops and roadshows will be held in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, to build awareness of the challenge, encourage applications and support further growth for the participating teams. Alipay and NUS Enterprise will offer direct access to experts from different parts of the business, alongside other social entrepreneurs and established innovators, who will share their expertise and experiences.
In addition, the winners will become eligible for the 10x1000 Tech for Inclusion programme jointly provided by International Financial Corporation (“IFC”), a member of the World Bank Group, and Alipay. The comprehensive training programme will support the cultivation of 1,000 technology experts in emerging markets from both public and private sectors over the next 10 years. There will also be potential opportunities to work with Ant Financial and Alipay on CSR initiatives.
This latest initiative builds on the work and strategic partnerships that Ant Financial has been carrying out in Southeast Asia. Ant Financial has been sharing its technology capabilities with strategic e-wallet partners such as TrueMoney in Thailand, DANA in Indonesia, GCash in the Philippines and Touch ‘n Go in Malaysia, to enable them to innovate and better service their customers.
“The Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge brings together the entrepreneurs, technologists, innovators, educators, investors, mentors and change-makers who are all passionate about building a more inclusive society. It is through such collaborative efforts that we can maximise the benefits of digital technologies, and create a better world for everyone,” said NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye.
About Ant Financial
Ant Financial Services Group is dedicated to using technology to bring the world equal opportunities. Our technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, security, Internet of Things and computing, empower us and our ecosystem partners to serve the unbanked and underbanked, bringing more secure, transparent, cost-effective and inclusive financial services to individuals and SMEs worldwide.
Ant Financial has formed international partnerships with global strategic partners to serve local users in those markets, and we serve Chinese travelers overseas by connecting Alipay with online and offline merchants in popular destinations. Brands under Ant Financial Services Group include Alipay, Ant Fortune, Zhima Credit, MYbank and Ant Financial Cloud.
For more information on Ant Financial, please visit our website at www.antfin.com or follow us on Twitter @AntFinancial.
Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently works with over 200 domestic financial institution partners. Over the years, Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers over 40 countries and regions across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 29 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies.
About National University of Singapore (NUS)
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education, research and entrepreneurship, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. We have 17 faculties across three campuses in Singapore, as well as 11 NUS Overseas Colleges across the world. Close to 40,000 students from 100 countries enrich our vibrant and diverse campus community.
Our multidisciplinary and real-world approach to education, research and entrepreneurship enables us to work closely with industry, governments and academia to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and the world. Researchers in our faculties, 29 university-level research institutes, research centres of excellence and corporate labs focus on themes that include energy, environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases common among Asians; active ageing; advanced materials; as well as risk management and resilience of financial systems. Our latest research focus is on the use of data science, operations research and cybersecurity to support Singapore's Smart Nation initiative. For more information on NUS, please visit www.nus.edu.sg.
About NUS Enterprise
NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), plays a pivotal role in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at NUS and beyond. It actively promotes entrepreneurship and cultivates global mind-sets and talents through the synergies of experiential entrepreneurial education, active industry partnerships, holistic entrepreneurship support and catalytic entrepreneurship outreach. Its initiatives and global connections support a range of entrepreneurial journeys and foster ecosystem building in new markets. These initiatives augment and complement the University’s academic programmes and act as a unique bridge to industry well beyond Singapore’s shores. For more information, please visit www.enterprise.nus.edu.sg