Asia Pacific’s economic surge over the past decade is in large part a testament to the ingenuity and drive of its startups, led by companies in the high tech, financial, retail, transportation, telecom, professional services and supply chain sectors. One common denominator is that they were all born and reared in the cloud, often leveraging AI, machine learning and other advanced technologies.
Oracle is privileged to work with many of these companies as part of our fast-growing Oracle for Startups program, which enrolled 130% more Asia Pacific members in the past 12 months than in the prior year.
I recently had the pleasure of serving as emcee of a lively virtual competition we call Startup Idol, where Oracle hosted six of our program’s most impressive startups in the region, hailing from India, Singapore, Thailand, and Australia. A panel of leading analysts judged each startup executive’s three-minute pitch and responses to a round of questions before selecting winners in three categories: Most Creative, Most Innovative Solution, and Best Overall Pitch.
The winner in both the Most Creative and Most Innovative Solution categories was DeepVisionTech. The India-based company is the developer of Let’sTalkSign, an AI-based platform that enables easy two-way communication between speech- and hearing-impaired individuals who use sign language and those who don’t know it.
Let’sTalkSign converts sign language to text and speech in any language—and vice versa—in real time on any computing device with a camera, web browser, and minimal processing power.
“The platform enables customers to add hand gestures as an additional user interface to their websites, mobile apps, TV apps, games, and other front ends—a capability that’s particularly important in India, where 95% of the speech- and hearing-impaired are uneducated and know only sign language,” says DeepVisionTech Founder and CEO Jayasudan Munsamy.
Munsamy sees Let’sTalkSign making it much easier for the speech- and hearing-impaired—first in India, but eventually worldwide—to access education, career, commercial, healthcare, transportation, and other services and opportunities.
The winner of the Startup Idol Best Overall Pitch category was another Indian startup, TensorGo Technologies, whose customers in a variety of industries are starting to use its AI-based, low-code computer vision platform to read individuals’ gestures, facial expressions, eyeball movements, and language use.
Banks and insurance companies can use the platform to detect fraud. Healthcare providers to help diagnose depression, dementia, and other mental health conditions. Educators to gauge students’ boredom, irritation, and/or frustration with particular lessons in order to make adjustments. Automakers to detect if drivers are getting drowsy or distracted so that their vehicles can issue timely alerts to avert accidents. Retailers to gauge the feelings and intentions of shoppers.
“All of this is possible with our platform, providing scalability and performance in collaboration with Oracle, at a very, very low cost,” says TensorGo Founder and CEO Srini Chilukuri. “Among all the platforms in the market, TensorGo has the state-of-the-art, enterprise-grade deep learning APIs where you can directly go and build the applications yourself.”
In addition to the winners, there are many innovative ideas from other participants such as BOTNOI Group, a Thailand-based company that helps enterprises develop customer-facing chatbots, computer vision, data science, and other AI-based applications; the mobile app of Singapore’s DIBIZ that incentivises even the smallest Southeast Asian farmers in the palm oil supply chain to produce in a sustainable way; the encrypted videoconferencing, document workflow, and other “military grade” security solutions of Australia’s DekkoSecure; and another Australia startup Colakin, whose mobile apps leverages AI to help shoppers in stores and online select the best-fit clothes without having to try them on.
We are honored to be working alongside some of the most promising startups in the region and are committed to fueling their growth and passion for innovation even further. The positive response to our recent announcement of offering 100 startups in Singapore US$30,000 each in Oracle Cloud credits over the next two years and providing free Oracle Cloud Infrastructure training and certifications until end of March 2022 is a strong testimony to the confidence the startups are placing in our technology. Additionally, we are providing mentorship and marketing support to the startups, from providing Oracle for Startups members with Oracle Cloud credits, our program introduces them to Oracle’s enterprise customers globally.
We pledge to continue driving innovation across Asia Pacific with our startup network, providing a global platform for the most groundbreaking and transformational companies to thrive.