[SINGAPORE] IgniteAsia Challenge, the contest-event that exists to introduce Asian Internet entrepreneurs to venture capital and private equity investors in Asia, has concluded with the announcement that Vasunas and NexLabs have won the six-month competition spanning 11 countries and 260 entrants.
Winning an additional award given by Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) was Bluengine, an interactive computer simulation and gaming organization that provides technology, media and operational knowledge to its franchisees. The Singapore Broadband Award was presented to encourage and attract enterprising individuals in Asia to exploit the potential of infocomm technology and broadband capabilities.
The IDA will now offer Bluengine a minimum six-month content or application hosting package on SingaporeONE. In addition, the start-up will also get to participate in IDA-organized marketing and promotional activities for broadband.
A 15-person IgniteAsia Challenge jury comprising Asian VCs, marketing partners, IgniteAsia marketing partners and academics, chose Vasunas as Category A winner and NexLabs as Category B winner: Category A encompasses companies that have received at least one round of external funding in excess of $200,000; Category B encompasses companies that have less than $200,000 in external funding.
Vasunas produces a series of animated characters specially for users across mobile and Internet platforms. Breathing life into these characters is a combination of artificial intelligence, natural language learning, data mining as well as decision support. Chief executive officer Johnny Lau attributed his company’s winning edge to staff dedication and commitment.
NexLabs, a software technology provider, develops intelligent messaging tools. Its TrackEngine consists of a patent-pending Content Analysis and Differential Engine that allows users to monitor any Web site and be automatically alerted of new content via e-mail or mobile devices.
“Winning the IgniteAsia Challenge represents the opportunity to be exposed in ways we had never imagined. It will not only enable NexLabs to meet with potential investors and raise our profile, but will also lend tremendous credibility to our products and business when we approach potential customers and partners,” said Raymond Wong, chief executive officer of NexLabs.
Organizations that backed the IgniteAsia Challenge included Microsoft, Compaq, Indosuez W.I. Carr Securities, PCCW, Netvigator.com, Bain & Company, LabMorgan, IDA, IandI Asia, Wired Island, eAngelz and CNBC Asia.
IgniteAsia Challenge organizer Quintus Group has announced it will be launching IgniteIndia and IgniteAustralia this year, while IgniteAsia will be returning to Southeast Asia in 2002.