NUS GRIP Run 5 Lift-off Day: Start-ups that wowed us

NUS Enterprise
8 min readJun 10, 2021


Photo credits: GRIP LinkedIn

Contributed By Rebecca Tan Li Qi

“GRIP start-ups are already attracting almost 4x external fundings compared to NUS direct investments.” — Professor Freddy Boey, Deputy President (Innovation & Enterprise), NUS

Wow, I thought.

In fact, according to the NUS Graduate Research Programme, $3.3 million dollars of investments have gone into these deep tech start-ups, which has in turn generated close to $12 million dollars in external grants and investments.

This is GRIP, the Graduate Research Innovation Programme.

The NUS Industry Liaison Office held its latest NUS GRIP Run 5 Lift-Off Day on 3 June 2021. 15 teams showcased their deep-tech innovations and pitches after 3 months of Venture Hothouse, which provides structured training to the teams to guide them through the process of starting up. From product and market validation, to cost and business analysis, to IP and growth strategies, Venture Hothouse has it covered.

At the end of the 3 months, the 15 start-ups pitched to an audience of investors, incubators, corporates and institutions for opportunities to secure funding, build networks and collaborate with potential partners at the NUS GRIP Run 5 Lift-off Day!

Of these 15 teams, 8 are Artificial Intelligence (AI) start-ups, 5 are in advanced materials, 1 in biotechnology, and 1 in drones and robotics.

Introducing the 15 start-ups:

Schedule delays. Lives lost. Reputational damage.

These are increasingly common problems faced by construction companies.

Ailytics is able to address these issues with their AI-powered detection system, Ailyssa. By tapping into any single CCTV feed, Ailyssa can detect undesirable behaviour and potential hazards at worksites, thus improving safety by alerting workers of potential dangers so that they can make better-informed decisions.

Saving lives by visualising a 3D scene with just 2D feeds?

Yes, that’s right.

Indoor farms have a compounded annual growth rate of 24%.

Yet, we have problems replicating conditions of the natural environment specific for different crops when we move indoors.

Ambient Systems’ integrated hardware and software solution uses machine learning techniques to create an optimal indoor environment specific for different crops which can provide energy savings, reduce man-hours and lower crop losses.

What’s even better is that Ambient Systems’ solution is customised for individual customers!

USD$100 billion.

This is the amount of money that Japan, Korea and China have spent on English learning training.

Yet, conventional English learning platforms do not take into consideration cultural influences, resulting in expression errors during direct translation from one language to another.

LALIA introduces an unprecedented cultural AI-generated feedback that helps correct errors derived from the students’ native language. This has helped English learners save 20% of their time and increased their learning experience by 15%, thus allowing them to retain information and construct sentences better.

Want to learn English more effectively? Subscribe to LALIA.

Imagine a day where all 220 malls in Singapore get integrated into one mobile application.

This is no longer just a dream today.

Mall Nautics connects physical places to the digital world by tracking shoppers’ behaviour using its indoor positioning system, captured through their mobile application. Subsequently, retailers can tap on these data to influence shoppers’ purchases, by making personalised recommendations as they navigate through the mall.

Better still, it will soon be hardware-free as Mall Nautics moves towards using Bluetooth technology.

Demand for online shopping has increased by 44% in just 1 year from 2019 to 2020, resulting in online retailers having to automate most of their packaging processes.

However, current grippers in the market are not extendable, flexible nor auto-reconfigurable. As a result, warehouses still have to rely on human packers as human hands are agile enough to handle different sizes and packaging materials.

RoPlus has been able to overcome all these challenges with their UnisoGrip, which boasts a 100% grip adaptability and soft touch, as well as higher packing productivity as compared to human packers.

Want to hire someone who doesn’t take any lunch break, is consistent and never complains?

Hire UnisoGrip.

Travel to your office or work from home?

We are 55% less productive at home, yet travelling to our office can mean long commutes.

SpaceMatch offers a better alternative in this new era of flexi-working — book a working space near your home!

Using artificial intelligence, SpaceMatch matches employees looking to work remotely near their homes with host companies that are hoping to lease out their unutilised office space. This allows companies to monetise their unused desk space, and employees can work remotely without compromising on their performance.

Sounds like a plan?

Practicing medical procedures through virtual simulation?

This is what the NUS Medicine and Nursing students are doing!

VIRTUAI solves the problem of inefficient training that compromises patient safety by using artificial intelligence and analytics, coupled with virtual simulation, to customise medical scenarios and offer personalised recommendations for learners.

Furthermore, VIRTUAI optimises cost and manpower by more than 90%!

Given the current pandemic (or endemic), doctors and nurses can easily be overloaded. Shortages in hospital beds are also common occurrences. This has caused a $3.6 million loss, severe fatigue of medical workers and, inevitably, frequent medical errors.

Dolphin Link introduces Team Sync, a healthcare-specific online platform for doctors and nurses to facilitate their daily collaboration and communication in Patient Bed management.

With Team Sync, efficiency is improved, risks are reduced, and hospital stays are shortened.

There are 4 million blood samples collected every day.

Clinic wait times can exceed an hour, substantial logistical costs are incurred when professional healthcare personnel are deployed, and laboratories require 20 minutes to centrifuge the plasma from the blood to carry out blood diagnosis.

What if half of the procedure can be performed by the patients themselves, in the comfort of their own homes?

HiSEPOR has invented a convenient blood sampling method using the High-Performance Membrane Technology for Blood Plasma Separation that can be performed independently by patients at home. This technology can also extract plasma from only a few drops of blood.

All we have to do is to prick, drop and mail! And our blood samples will be ready for diagnosis.

Air conditioners are huge contributors to global warming.

If we do nothing, by 2050, the global electricity consumption of air conditioners will increase by 3 times and its contribution to global warming will double.

The solution?

1cool introduces a Dew-Point Cooler that has a 60% lower carbon footprint and reduced heat emission. The Dew-Point Cooler also helps users save up to 60% of their electricity bills, reduces temperature by 4°C — 8°C, and produces 100% fresh air without adding any moisture.

Sounds attractive? It sure is.

By 2030, there will be over 1 million electric cars on the road.

Lithium batteries power electric cars. Yet, current methods of recycling lithium batteries are expensive, have a high carbon footprint and cause large amounts of pollution.

NEU introduces the world’s first patented Electrochemical Battery Recycling Technology that extracts lithium ions to form lithium hydroxide, which is subsequently made into new cathode batteries at a low cost, producing 100x less pollution and has a lower carbon footprint.

By 2030, NEU is looking to recover 80,000 tonnes of sustainable lithium left in landfills or warehouses.

US$4.4 billion.

This is the annual global shrimp losses to shrimp diseases.

Current shrimp disease diagnostics can take up to 3 days and cost between US$10 — US$17.

RAPID solves this problem by producing their own easy-to-use on-site molecular diagnostic test kit that can generate results in just 2 hours and requires no refrigeration.

Guess what’s the real deal? Farmers can save up to US$12K/Hectare/Year!

“The dirtier, the better,” says the CEO of reActo.

Every year, industries produce more than 70 billion tonnes of wastewater that are either incinerated or released into the environment.

The reActo solution combines electrochemistry and graphene to completely decompose persistent organic pollutants on-site, generating 50% cost savings compared to incineration.

Better still, the reActo solution has a broad range of applications that can treat any organic pollutants in any industry.

Looking for a cost-efficient solution to treat dirty wastewater? reActo is the one.

As we age, we may have underlying gut diseases due to gut inflammation.

Akesis Biologics has a safe, effective, easy and reliable way to quench inflammation.

MastGut, a health supplement that tackles gut inflammation directly, is FDA approved and is delivered to your guts by friendly bacteria.

Thanks to MastGut, we no longer have to fear gut diseases.

Did you know that 90% of robots do not work well in busy environments?

Current robots are slow to respond and require predefined maps and GPS to navigate.

Vilota’s OmniSense, a patent-pending vision-based 360-degree sensor, allows autonomous mobile robots (AMR) to capture and process high-quality visual data to seamlessly navigate both indoor and outdoor environments without the need for predefined maps.

What’s more, OmniSense has a 55% faster response rate!

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Impressed by these start-ups and hope to become one of them in the upcoming GRIP Run 7? You can express your interest at:

Missed the GRIP Run 5 Lift-Off Day? You can watch the recording at:



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