Team Merlion Announced as Winner of Rakuten-Viki Global TV Recommender Challenge

Singapore, September 2015: The Rakuten Institute of Technology has announced the winners of the Rakuten-Viki Global TV Recommender Challenge at the grand presentation and award ceremony.

Participants and winners of the Rakuten-Viki Global TV Recommender Challenge
Participants and winners of the Rakuten-Viki Global TV Recommender Challenge

Masaya Mori, Global Head, Rakuten Institute of Technology, Executive Officer, Rakuten, Inc presented the winning title, along with the grand cash prize of S$8,000, to Team Merlion. The first runner-up and second runner-up titles were awarded to Team Haipt and Team GM respectively.

 

Team Merlion
Team Merlion

Earlier this quarter, the Rakuten Institute of Technology partnered with Viki, a global TV site, to launch the Rakuten-Viki Global TV Recommender Challenge. Hosted on Dextra’s challenge platform from the 22nd July to the closing date of 31st August this year, participants had access to over 7 million lines of rich, anonymised data to gain a sense of viewers’ preferences, popular content features, and TV fan demographics. The goal was to build a personalised recommender system for Viki fans world-wide, following a set of user and business considerations.

 

Six teams were shortlisted by Rakuten Institute of Technology and Dextra to present their models to a panel of judges – including Mr Masaya Mori, Mr Rohit Dewan, Chief Technology Officer at Viki, Ms Ewa Szymanska, Head of Research at Rakuten Institute of Technology Singapore, Mr Takashi Umeda, Data Scientist at Rakuten Institute of Technology Tokyo and Mr Adam Lyle, Chairman of Newton Circus – at the final presentation and award ceremony, held at the IDA Labs @ National Design Centre.

 

Unlike many other online data challenges, accuracy was only one of the criteria used to select the winners, participants were required to submit their documented codes and detailed reports. The judges took into consideration engineering qualities including ease of implementation and risk management, business and user insights including demonstrating depth of understanding of the data and Viki business and use of innovative approaches alongside further ideas for improvement.

 

Winning team Merlion employed an elegant algorithm that performs outstandingly in both public and private leaderboards, identified and engineered very useful features, as well as discovered and visualised some key insights from the data provided.

 

 

First Crowne Plaza Hotel Opens in Bandung, Indonesia

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) has announced the opening of Crowne Plaza® Bandung, the first Crowne Plaza in Bandung, Indonesia. Located in the heart of the city and near major transport links, the new 270-room hotel offers a comprehensive range of meetings facilities close to Bandung’s city centre and Central Business District – making it the ideal choice for ambitious business travellers.

image001

Crowne Plaza Bandung is offering a special opening rate from USD85.00++ per night, inclusive of breakfast for two.

Read the full press releases

[pdf-embedder url=”http://theneodimension.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Media-Release_Crowne-Plaza-Bandung_Final-ENGLISH.pdf”]

Create and Communicate on Any Device with @Logitech’s New Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse #M337 #K380

Singapore — September 3, 2015 — Today Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) introduced the Logitech® K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth® Keyboard and the Logitech® M337 Bluetooth® Mouse, giving you the freedom to work, create and express yourself on any device, anywhere.

M337-K380-2

Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard

The Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard brings the comfort and convenience of desktop typing to your computer, smartphone and tablet. Express yourself on any computing platform anywhere in your home, and connect with up to three devices, instantly switching among them with the Easy-Switch™ buttons. The keyboard will recognize your connected device and automatically map keys to supported functions and shortcuts – making your typing experience familiar and comfortable. The Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard provides up to two years of battery life from the two AAA batteries included, and will be available in blue or black for a suggested retail price of $54.00.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://theneodimension.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Fact-Sheet-Logitech_K380.pdf”]

Logitech M337 Bluetooth Mouse

The Logitech M337 Bluetooth Mouse lets you create on virtually any computing device, whenever and wherever you choose. Its programmable navigation button puts control in the palm of your hand, allowing you to switch between applications, change between desktops, drag-and-drop files and images, replicate the three-finger swipe gesture that brings up mission control on a Mac computer, and bring up Task View on Windows 10. The mouse tracks reliably on just about any surface – from metal café tables to tile countertops to your favorite study desk – thanks to a laser-grade optical sensor. It is portable, includes a tilt wheel, has a curved shape and textured rubber grips that provide lasting comfort, and it can keep going for up to 10 months on one AA battery. Offered in three colors – Black, Blue and Red, the Logitech M337 Bluetooth Mouse will be available for a suggested retail price of $49.00.

By downloading Logitech Options Software, you can customize both the keyboard and mouse to enhance your experience and unlock a world of possibilities. Although they aren’t dependent on each other to work, the new keyboard and mouse look great together, featuring matching colors and a distinctive design.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://theneodimension.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Fact-Sheet-Logitech_M337.pdf”]

Availability

The Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard and the Logitech M337 Bluetooth Mouse are expected to be available in Singapore in September. Each device is sold separately.

I2I 2011: Training, mentoring and funding

Idea to Investment (I2I) for the Media Industry is the leading training program in Singapore for the media and interactive and digital media (IDM) companies. Co-organized by Expara and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA). I2I has trained and put in front of investors more than 540 entrepreneurs from 272 companies since 2007.

During the two-day, intensive, hands-onm workshop, participants will develop the key elementsof their business strategy, business plan, financial model and investor presentations.

I2I is open to all sectors of media industry, and to companies of all sizes, maturity and stage of development. We help existing companies to grow and new companies to get started.

To know more about this event, visit www.expara.com

Cost-Saving Printer

 

For small business owners, listen up! Brother has recently launched a new series of compact colour printers and Multi-functions Centre that promise to deliver cost-saving and high-speed printing. Price starts as low as $498/-

By utilising a newly improved LED printing technology, Brother is able to offer high speed printing at 16 pages per minute (ppm) and rich colour print quality at up to 2,400 x 600 dpi resolution, without increasing the cost of ownership. This will certainly meet the printing needs of both Small Offices Home Offices (SOHOs) and Small and Medium sized Businesses (SMBs)

Additionally, the MFCs offer print, fax, copy and scan functions in one machine with the unique scan to FTP and network features to reduce the amount of paper filing and easier document management for today’s offices. Alternatively, users can also scan to and even print directly from USB flash memory drive.

I do not have the chance to test up the printing quality but I guess this is pretty secondary.  For small business owners, what matters most is to achieve cost saving and decent print quality. The Toner Save Mode enables draft quality printouts that consumes less toner, while a separate toner and drum technology lets users maximise toner and drum usage so less is spent on replacing drums and reducing wastage.

 

To know more about the price and the specification, you may wish to download a simplified catalogue here.

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD 2009

 

The current crisis has wiped out the global market confidence but not the ambitions of the entrepreneurs.

 

And the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) and the Rotary Club are aiming to recognise those who have succeeded this year despite the many obstacles. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is now into its 21st year. It seeks to honour successful entrepreneurs who have been able to recognise opportunities, take appropriate actions and accept the associated risks.
Past winners include homegrown firms like Charles and Keith, Breadtalk and Qian Hu.

 

What are the qualifying requirements? 

  1. The Candidate must be an entrepreneur who has been in business for at least three years, and has demonstrated outstanding entrepreneurial qualities in growing and developing the business.
  2. The Candidate must be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident, who is above 21 years of age.
  3. The Candidate’s company must have a minimum 30% local equity.
  4. If the Candidate owns between 10% and 30% of the Company’s shares, he/she has to be nominated by the Board of Directors.
  5. Total fixed production assets of the Candidate’s company should not exceed S$30 million. Total number of employees must not exceed 400 if the Candidate’s business belongs to the service industry.
  6. The Candidate’s company must neither be a listed company nor a subsidiary of a listed company.
  7. The Candidate’s company must hold at least three years of audited books of accounts, which must be submitted for evaluation.

Submissions for the award will close at noon on June 30, 2009. Visit the website at http://www.eya.com.sg/

 

Venture capital improves corporate governance

COMPANIES receiving venture capital backing are generally better at corporate governance when they list on the stock exchange than those that have not gone down the venture capital path, according to a study by the Australian School of Business.

Based on 11 years of research by Associate Professor Jo-Ann Suchard in association with the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, the study examined corporate governance at companies that had gone through an initial public offering.

It finds that listed companies with VC-backed boards have more independent directors and a higher percentage of independent directors with industry experience than non-VC companies that have gone to an IPO.

“It is established in international markets that venture capitalists add value through various types of activities beyond just giving money,” Suchard says.

Her research shows VC-backed firms have more independent directors. “These were not just non-executives, but directors who didn’t have any prior or existing relationship with the company, so they weren’t lawyers or bankers or accountants who had a prior working relationship,” she says.

Suchard says VCs use their networks to bring in specialist independent directors to help run companies, and therefore provide better corporate governance, which should help protect shareholder interests and contribute to better performance over time.

Luceille Outhred, chief executive of South Australian technology innovation group Digislide Holdings, says having VC backing has definitely helped her company achieve stronger corporate governance.

“We’ve gone through seed capital raising and angel raising, and each time we’ve gone through a different stage, as a natural consequence of the business growing but also as a necessity for raising additional capital at a higher level, our policies and procedures have tightened up,” she says.

“We always had a goal of listing on the ASX or the New York Stock Exchange, or Nasdaq, so we have constantly been upgrading our policies and our procedures, both operational and governance.


“Digislide has received about $12 million in venture capital funding and we would be in a position to lodge with ASIC for an ASX-listed company if we choose to do so, because all our policies are at the highest level and the implementation is at the highest level.”

Dr Katherine Woodthorpe, chief executive of the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, says VC-backed companies are used to working with a board, whereas many other companies that list for the first time have not previously done so.

“A lot of companies think they don’t need a board in the earlier stages of being a company and so people are just not used to having a board,” Woodthorpe says.

“It is difficult, however, finding independent directors, particularly people who are interested in working with smaller technology companies, which are perceived as having higher risk.”

Ivan Kaye, director of BSI Australia, which provides venture capital funding through its Australian Distributed Incubator arm, says a condition of putting money into a company is that they move towards having the right structures in place.

“There are generally independent or non-executive board members put on by the VC.

“As a result of that, the shift from a private company to listing is smaller than with a company that hasn’t had VC backing.”

Mike Hershorn, director of Four Hats Capital, manager of the Nanyang Innovation Fund, says one of the first things to improve in the field of corporate governance is a company’s financial reporting.

“That’s really the first step, because if the board doesn’t have accurate financial reports it can’t work well to improve the company.”

VENTURE FORTH
* Companies with venture capital backing tend to have better corporate governance

* Independent directors have a stronger presence on the board

* The right governance structures are often a condition of VC funding

* Better governance brings better financial reporting

Source: The Australian, 28 Nov 2008

Sponsored Review: Feel the air of entrepreneurialism!

Feel lost in the job market? Lack of motivation? I believe these are some emotional struggles among young Singaporean. However in the midst of poor market condition, there always exist an opportunity. Successful entrepreneurs usually emerge during bad weather. Why not get yourself de-stressed and feel the air of entrepreneurialism with Global Entrepreneurship Week 2008?

Global Entrepreneurship Week (The Week) lasts from 17 to 23 Nov 2008. It is a celebration of innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. The Week will bring together millions of young people across the globe through online and local activities and encourage them to think innovatively and unleash their ideas.

This is not an “All Talk, No Action” event. M.Y. FBI Holiday Camp, targeted at children (age 10-12), will required participants to think of creative ideas to sell their craft on 22nd November as a closing for the camp. All profits will go to a charity benefiting children which will be selected by the participants themselves.

Besides business educations for the young children, Youths-4 Charity Flea market is targeted at youths from Secondary Schools and ITE with a focus on social entrepreneurship. Youths-4 Charity Flea market is a competition. Each team will be required to produce items/ crafts for sale on the flea market. To make the competition more realistic, rental and interest will be imposed.

The Global Entrepreneurship Week 2008 is organised by ACE and NUS Enterprise. The sponsored review is provided by BLOG2u (http://blog2u.sg). If you wish to find out more information of the event, please visit the official site: http://www.entrepreneurshipweeksg.org

Can we drive “armored-vehicle” on the road?!

 

If you are an entrepreneur or business developer, you are constantly fighting for sales otherwise you will lose out in this highly-competitive market. Time is everything! As a sales person or entrepreneur (especially those at the early stage of startup), you need to be highly efficient even on the move!

 

Meeting your clients is like engaging a fire fight. You need weapons and transportation for wars. Your products are your bullets and your car should be like your armor vehicle. Besides transportation capabilities, armor-vehicles have fighting and communication capabilities. Question here, “besides transportation, what else can our car do?”

 

I am sure all of us agree that car is a liability. Why? Simply because we do not see much of owning a car except for the ERP (for those who don’t understand, it is the acronym of Electronic Road Pricing), car loans, petrol charges and road taxes. We need to look at uses or applications of car beyond transportation.

 

I come across the term “Mobile Office”. One of the examples is to convert your vehicle into a mobile place. I believe this is the area that can be further explored. In fact Volkswagen (Stock Quotes: VOW.DE) has the concept of such car. Below are some of the photos of Volkswagen T6.  

 


 


 


 

The T6 model has won the “Best Lifestyle Interior” in the Interior Motives Award 2008. (Source: Car Body Design)

 

I am using this example only to prove my point that we need more applications on wheels. In fact, I believe that the design of the concept car can be further developed to suit the needs of the mass (especially entrepreneurs who might not have an office to work since office rental can be quite expensive).  Sounds hard? But it is not very hard for the technicians to change or modify your car parts. If you watch MTV channel, there is a TV program called “Pimp My Ride” that actually helps to “renovate” your car.

 

 

Enough of Wonderland! Let’s get back to reality. In Singapore, we have seen car loves spend ten thousands of dollars just on installing lighting and car audio system. I am sure there is a demand of office usages on cars. But, Can we have such car modification in Singapore? Bear in mind, you might be installing additional battery (approval from LTA – Land Transport Authority ) to power up your equipments such as communication devices which might transmit wireless signal (approval from IDA – Infocomm Development Authority).  Things are not going to be that simple. I believe there are more factors to consider.

 

I am very willing to hear more. Please drop your comments.