Tag: startups

Here is what happened at the Startup Weekend in BLK71 in San Francisco

07/22/2015 | By Jerry Tan

This post originally appeared on blog.up.co

They came, they pitched, they presented, they won.

The winning teams of Startup Weekend Asia-America!They are the 4 winning teams who just slogged through 54 hours non-stop over the weekend of July 17th to 19th at the recently concluded Startup Weekend Asia-America held at Block71 San Francisco. In line with the theme, the venue was chosen because of its history – a collaborative initiative between three iconic Singapore organizations – NUS Enterprise, Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL) and Singtel Innov8, as well as its mission to connect entrepreneurs from both Asia and America.

The crowd favorite is OFF/Packers, a travel platform that promises to connect local guides with travelers who are travelling to an unfamiliar place. Hoping to capitalize on the on-demand trend, OFF/Packers specializes in on-demand guides for nature and outdoor experiences.

Coming in 3rd place, Givfolio aims to solve the huge paperwork and bureaucratic burden surrounding dollar-for-dollar matching corporate donation programs through an app that manages the employee’s donations and automates the reporting on the corporate side. The brainchild of an ex-Disney employee who experienced the problem herself, Givfolio can potentially help employees and charities take full advantage of the donation budget set aside by companies.

First runner-up is Seeker, a platform built on top of LinkedIn that solves the biggest headache of recruiters – how do we know when a person is open and looking for new opportunities in their career? Through monitoring changes in a person’s LinkedIn profile, Seeker hopes to identify active and passive job seekers and provide this information to HR recruiters.


Top prize winner of Startup Weekend Asia-America – Food to FameAnd finally, the winner of Startup Weekend Asia-America goes to Food to Fame. The team beat out 11 other teams to clinch the top prize of a Startup Exhibition Alley booth at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015 worth $1995, among other prizes worth a total of $6000. Food to Fame aims to help food brands market their products through Instagram influencers, helping influencers monetize their social value at the same time.

Team leader, Sylvia Look, was pleasantly surprised to know that her team won. The National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate currently on NUS’s Overseas College Silicon Valley (NCSV) program competed against teams with experienced working professionals, some of whom work in the Bay Area’s top tech companies.

It was a close call, as the point difference between the 3 winning teams were just fractions of a point from each other. The event certainly saw a lot of well-thought-out ideas and the coaches who attended commented on the high quality of work they saw this weekend.

While not everybody won prizes, everyone certainly got something out of the event. Some made new friends from a new country. OFF/Packers truly lived up to the spirit of the event as a multi-national team made up of members from Brazil, Switzerland, Austria and America. Connections with Venture Capital (VC) firms were made and the VCs got to know about some interesting startups. Last, but not least, everyone had fun!

5 things you need to know about Block 71 in San Francisco

(Image Credit: Block71 San Francisco)

If you haven’t heard about Block 71 San Francisco (Block71SF), here’s the scoop – Block 71 San Francisco is a US-based coworking space located in the South of Market area in San Francisco, just north of Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world.

Block71SF serves as a launchpad for Singapore startups into the US ecosystem (and vice versa, for US startups to break into the Southeast Asia scene).  It is a joint partnership between NUS Enterprise, Infocomm Investments, and Singtel Innov8.

Singapore tech companies exploring business opportunities in the US can leverage Block71SF to better understand the US market, set up shop, and expand their networks into the tech community, while US-based entrepreneurs, companies and investors can find out more about Singapore and Southeast Asian markets through our events and activities.

Thinking about checking out Block71SF? Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know, and should know, about the space.

1. We host both Singaporean AND US Startups


(Image Credit: Block 71 San Francisco)

While we do have exclusive workspace dedicated as launchpad for Singaporean startups looking to break into the SF tech ecosystem, we also have a non-exclusive hotdesking space for Singaporean, ASEAN, and US startups that are looking to learn more about the Singapore and Southeast Asian (SEA) tech scene.

We welcome all startups with a Singapore or SEA angle to hang out in our space and be part of our community.

Why, you asked? The reason is simple. We are building a community of US and SEA venture capitalists, advisors, and startup founders. A lot of organic interactions between US and Singaporean entrepreneurs happens at Block 71 thanks to this arrangement.

Alongside with pitching events and panels, we are seeing that startup founders are getting the information and startup advice that they need from other community members. With the open hotdesking space, we are seeing Singaporean startups becoming more proactive in reaching out to individuals within the community who have knowledge about the space that they are looking to disrupt.

Find out more about how this non-exclusive hotdesking arrangement works.

2. Our hotdesking space works on a first-come-first-serve basis


(Image Credit: Block 71 San Francisco)

If you have been to Plug-in @Blk 71 in Singapore, chances are, you know how the non-exclusive hotdesking space works. Our non-exclusive hotdesking space works on a first-come-first-serve basis for registered users.

Do note that our non-exclusive hotdesking space are only open during office hours (9am to 5pm on weekdays).

If you are looking to work out of our non-exclusive hotdesking area when you are in San Francisco, email us at enquiry@

3. Our meeting rooms are named after landmarks in Singapore

(Image Credit: Block 71 San Francisco)

Would you like to have your meeting in Clarke Quay, Fullerton, or Marina Bay Sands? Those are names of our meeting rooms at Block71SF.

True to their names, Clarke Quay has a casual and open setting; Fullerton has swanky sofa seats; and Marina Bay Sands boasts a grand full board room setup.  We are not afraid to let our Singaporean colors shine through! Plus we know Singaporeans are bound to miss home when they are hustling in US.

Also, check out our colloquial banners ( It gets pretty amusing when visitors try to read them).


4.We don’t discriminate against non-ICT focused startups

(Image Credit: Green Pea Cookie)

On top of ICT startups, we also house several hardware startups (such as Touchjet and BuzzyBooth) as well as a food tech startup (Green Pea Cookie)!

We are happy to host any startups with a SEA-US angle that are looking for a space to work out of in San Francisco.

5. We are not just a coworking space

( Image Credit: Jasmine Ho)

Block71SF is not just a space for you to work out of when you are in the SF Bay Area.

We are a great place to build your network. Don’t be shy when you are at Block 71 SF. Be sure to network with others when you are hanging out in our space. You never know who is sharing the desk when you are at Block 71SF.

(Image Credit: Block 71 San Francisco)

We can link you up with our network of local partners. One of our most distinct partners is SFAsia – a nonprofit, public-private partnership between the SF Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and the San Francisco Center for Economic Development (SFCED).We also have a community of San Francisco startup founders who hang out in the space, and venture capitalists who are interested in US-Asia cross-market startups!

Many tech events take place at Block71SF too. Since we started in January, we have organized many startup and community events to connect SG startups with the SV community. We organized VC panels, pitching and demo competitions, networking sessions, and hackathons too. Most of our events are open to public.