With the technological world advancing at a rapid speed, Singapore has become one of the forerunners in the race towards innovation and advancement. Following in the footsteps of California and India, it has been dubbed by Eyal Gura, founder and CEO of PicApp, as on its way to becoming the third Silicon Valley of the world.
Serving as the host to Echelon, Asia’s leading web technology event, Singapore is currently attracting hundreds of new business ventures that concentrate on computing and technology. The conference allows technology enthusiasts and representatives from big name companies, such as Ebay, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Oracle (to name a few), to participate in a number of talks and discussions ranging from social media to cloud computing and enterprise web. This event serves not only as a discussion platform but also exhibits hundreds of companies from across the globe, providing individuals the opportunity to network with potential investors and interested parties.
Recently, a Singaporean based company, Neotany Labs, was also selected as one of the seven technology incubators by the National Research Foundation to participate in a $50 million research program known as the National Research Foundation Technology Incubation Scheme (NRF TIS). According to a press release by the NRF, the purpose of this research is to provide “networking and mentorship” to set up and “boost the growth of high-tech start-ups in Singapore”.
Joichi Ito, an established and respected technopreneur from the Silicon Valley stated “We see many interesting ideas from entrepreneurs in Singapore that are comparable to those in innovative hotspots everywhere else in the world. My team and I look forward to working with the many aspiring entrepreneurs here and becoming a part of the entrepreneurial eco-system that is being built up in Singapore”.
Aside from its own inhabitants demonstrating great technological aspirations, global leaders in this worldwide revolution have shown a remarkable and keen interest in Singapore. The latest computer trend that is taking off is the study, research, and development of cloud computing. In brief, cloud computing is an internet-based computing method that forms a vast network where resources are shared from computers to mobile devices—such as the service that iPhones and Blackberries provide. Recently, IBM announced the opening of a cloud computing laboratory in Singapore. The company intends to enhance businesses, support the government, and establish research institutions to study and benefit from cloud computing technology.
IBM, however, was not the first to show interest in the cloud computing capabilities of the nation. In 2009, the leading company in cloud computing, Platform Computing, opened a facility in Singapore that allowed free access to cloud software and consultants. An entirely different but equally popular company, Facebook, also joined the two and set up shop in this nation that is rapidly moving towards becoming the technological epicenter of the world.
In an effort to further promote the research of cloud computing, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has reached out to the public and private sector of the global community for proposals to help further develop cloud computing. According to their website, Infocomm Investments, while they are unable to provide monetary assistance, they will provide interested parties “the use of computing and storage resources at no charge”.
The technological scope in Singapore is so vast and burgeoning, that even companies that intend to stay small are forced to expand to accommodate for the increasing demand of research. According to Infocomm Investments, in 2008, Intalio, a private cloud computing provider, opened a small window in Asia . However, as Arnaud Blandin, APAC Managing Director and Vice President of Alliances, Intalio said, “success came quickly and first major customers were signed that same year, and we decided to open a full subsidiary of the company in Singapore in February 2009 that looks after the Asia Pacific region with a focus not only on sales and marketing but on support and professional services.”
To name and list all of the leaders in innovation that are hastening to Singapore would be a great endeavor to take on. One can, however, equate the flocking of companies to the Asian country to the California Gold Rush of the 1800s. Singapore is now serving as a vast land filled with the technological equivalent of gold: research, ambition, and opportunity. As hundreds of pioneers flock to the nation, those that are left behind will surely suffer. Those, however, who want to advance in the computing world need to pack their bags and head off to the Promised Land, for there, they will surely find success and possibly even strike some gold.