Announcing the 5 Lotus-NUS recipients of 2019

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The long-awaited Lotus-NUS Fund results are out! We are excited to share with you the five social impact champions of 2019 — start-ups that are creating positive social and environmental impact in Singapore and abroad.

A collaboration between Lotus Life Foundation and NUS Enterprise, the Lotus-NUS Fund awards S$25,000 to top promising NUS-affiliated social impact start-ups, to help them accelerate their business growth towards building a sustainable and scalable social venture.

(Learn more about Lotus Life Foundation at lotuslifefoundation.sg)

Last year, we reviewed more than 80 social impact start-ups, most of them that are doing great work. These five start-ups have shown the biggest potential, and we hope will benefit the most from the grant. Find out more about them below, and do give them your support in whatever ways you can!

GUILD Aglantis

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GUILD Aglantis is Southeast Asia’s first water restoration enterprise focused on advancing unmanned surface cleaning robotics to restore rivers, lakes, estuaries and oceans to grow thriving communities and cities in Asia. After field studies in rural and urban rivers across Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore, we further establish the intricate relationship between pollution, healthcare and economic development. With these ground insights, we continue to design our riverbots known as ‘hydrones’ to help municipal agencies and communities clean floating plastic trash more effectively. Our work is not done until every child and wildlife can safely swim in any waterbody and thrive.

2020:
Recipient of S$25,000 from the Lotus-NUS Fund

2019:
Finalist in China-ASEAN Smart City Innovation & Entrepreneurship competition
Second Place at HyperHack, global sustainability hackathon

Glyph

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Glyph is dedicated to combating inequality in Asia. People lacking the resources, exposure, and a conducive environment from young lack the confidence, skills, and relationships to capitalise on opportunities in life. When they try to acquire these later on in life, it’s much more difficult for them to succeed and break out of a vicious cycle. Glyph disrupts this cycle by offering kids and youth from lower income households or challenging family environments access to affordable privileges in life. Glyph’s businesses provide highly subsidised, quality goods and services to its members which would otherwise be out of their economic reach.

2020:
Recipient of S$25,000 from the Lotus-NUS Fund

2019:
Finalist, President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Award 2019 (Social Enterprise Start-Up of the Year)
Top 150, 10th Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition

Find out more at https://glyph.asia/
Follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/glyph.asia/

Insectta

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Insectta is a biotech company specializing in the production of high-value biomaterials, such as chitosan, ‘organic semiconductors’ and probiotics, from the black soldier fly larvae, which are farmed on food waste due to their unique ability to consume quickly and unreservedly. By extracting more than just proteins and lipids from black soldier flies, Insectta is able to more than triple the value of dried insect biomass. This creates the opportunity for insect farming to be profitable even when established in expensive cities, where food waste tends to be concentrated. We thus enable the setting up of a green industry which recycles food waste into value for the economy, leading to a much more sustainable way of living.

2020:
Recipient of S$25,000 from the Lotus-NUS Fund

2018:
Recipient of the SG Founder Grant

Find out more at https://www.insectta.com/
Follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/insectta

VERE360

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VERE360 develops research-based educational tools using Virtual Reality (VR) and other immersive technologies to change behavior towards social issues. We work with socially driven organisations to incorporate VR and immersive technology into their educational programs and awareness campaigns. We are also in the process of producing independent educational VR games for mental health support and reducing food wastage. The ultimate vision of the company is to curate all the educational VR tools we create for clients and individually, into an online platform in the future. This platform will be the unprecedented resource for educational organisations to educate their students on social issues in one of the most innovative ways. Given the team’s background in curriculum development, we also offer our clients the option to let us facilitate and design educational workshops around the VR tools we build.

2019:
Recipient of S$25,000 from the Lotus-NUS Fund

2018:
Recipient of the DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant Programme
Winner of UNFRAMED’s #SOIMPACT Boot Camp 5

2017:
Awarded best prototype at UNLEASH 2017

Find out more at https://vere360.com/
Follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/VERE360/

Yonah

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Yonah aims to solve cargo logistics problems in rural and remote areas where the terrain is challenging and there is a lack of proper infrastructure. By understanding these communities and using creative design and technology, we are building a medical cargo drone infrastructure to empower these isolated communities and improve their accessibility to basic healthcare.

2019:
Recipient of S$25,000 from the Lotus-NUS Fund

2018:
Recipient of the DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant Programme
Winner of Ericsson One Asia Challenge

Find out more at http://www.yonah.sg/
Follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/yonahsg/

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NUS Enterprise nurtures entrepreneurial talents with global mindsets, while advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at Asia’s leading university.

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