Singapore carrier StarHub announced the beta launch of a crowdfunding platform for Asia-based entrepreneurs today, called Crowdtivate. Touted as the world’s only telco-backed crowdfunding site, Crowdtivate also seems to act as an extension of Starhub’s interests — the carrier intends to keep a close eye on projects emerging there and eventually give a boost to the promising ones.
“With Crowdtivate, we aim to tap into a continuous source of innovative and creative ideas from local inventors, and ultimately help them grow as a future business or incorporate them into our service platforms,” Stephen Lee, StarHub’s head of its i3 (Innovation, Investment, Incubation) division, says.
To access Crowdtivate now, entrepreneurs need to request for an invitation code on the site. Other than technology-related projects, Crowdtivate also welcomes creatives to come up with art, book and film-related ideas.
Crowdfunding is still pretty much a novelty in Asia, although there have been a number of successful projects out of Asia, including The Buccaneer 3D printer which raised nearly $1.5 million. Kickstarter hasn’t arrived in Southeast Asia, though this could be imminent given that it expanded into Asia Pacific via Australia last year. There are, however, a couple of local offerings, as Australia’s Pozible has expanded into Singapore and Malaysia, and Indiegogo is available.
With Starhub behind Crowdtivate, it could be an encouraging signal for people to pledge their money and support promising projects — since a big carrier (it is Singapore’s second-largest telco) provides some form of reassurance. This may eventually help to surface more crowd-supported innovative projects out of Asia.
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