X-PITCH 2023 Announces Global TOP100 Startups

X-PITCH is delighted to introduce 2023 TOP100 startups. Chosen from a pool of over 3,000 startups around the world, this year's selection showcases a diverse and vibrant ecosystem of entrepreneurial talent. X-PITCH 2023 is driven by a shared commitment to accelerate deeptech innovation across four vital domains: Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, Sustainability, and Digital Economy.

The statistics speak to the global reach and diversity of the competition. Among the semi-finalists, 88% originate from Asia, while the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Africa collectively make up the remaining 12%. These startups are at various stages of development, with 53% in Seed/Pre-A, 40% in Pre-Seed, and 7% in Series A/B. The categories they represent reflect the pressing needs of today's world, with 39% focusing on digital economy, 29% on sustainability, 20% on healthcare, and 12% on advanced manufacturing. For a closer look, find the TOP100 shortlist at www.xpitch.io.

X-PITCH 2023's overarching theme revolves around "Accelerating Deeptech." The primary objective is to foster innovation that not only advances technology but also contributes to the betterment of society. With a commitment to "Tech for Good," the competition aims to harness the power of deeptech in addressing critical global challenges.

X-PITCH is renowned as the X Games for Startups, thanks to its unique and challenging pitch contests. This iconic startup event offers founders the opportunity to win investments, accolades, and invaluable exposure. The competition has a history of hosting pitches in unconventional locations, including skyscraper elevators, self-driving cars, and even MRT. This year's semi-finals take place on the Singapore River, where startups will pitch aboard the city's iconic bumboats.

The journey culminates with the selection of the TOP10 startups from the semi-finals, who will advance to the finals at the National Gallery Singapore. The Grand Finale, scheduled for November 9th, will see the presentation of ten awards. The Deeptech Summit, a focal point of the event, will feature thought leaders exploring deeptech's transformative potential in different industries.

Since 2021, X-PITCH has expanded its global footprint, reaching over 50 countries, engaging 8,000+ startups, and involving more than 100,000 participants. The competition has been instrumental in securing a total of US$2 million in investment prizes and over $38 million in funding for the winners. Beyond the competition, X-PITCH's global partners will provide a range of value-added activities to benefit the TOP100 startups. These activities include market access seminars, pitch training, workshops, investor matching, and more.

Hosted by XCEL NEXT and e27, X-PITCH 2023 is made possible through the support of Enterprise Singapore and A*StartCentral and is co-organized by top organizations from ten Asian economies, including Block71 Singapore, BSSC, Cool Japan Fund, DOST-PCIEERD, HKSTP, HUB.ID, KOVA, MDEC, TA, TINVA, TusStar, and VITTBI. The event is proudly sponsored by AIOX Apex Angel Fund, Foxconn Technology, Media OutReach Newswire, Quanding EMC, and Yulon Motor.

"I am excited to extend an invitation to deeptech investors and stakeholders. X-PITCH 2023 aspires to be a platform for deeptech innovation, bringing together outstanding startups from across the globe in the shared pursuit of groundbreaking solutions. We cordially invite you to join us for the Finals & Summit in Singapore on November 9th, where these visionary founders will take center stage, contributing to a future where technology serves the greater good," said K. Yu, Organizing Committee Chair of X-PITCH 2023.

Tech Week Singapore

Artificial intelligence (AI) has experienced a breakout year in 2023 even going into music. The rapid democratisation of AI is leading to a surge in wide-spread adoption across industries, with many companies integrating the burgeoning technology into their products. However, the brave new world of AI brings about new challenges such as cybersecurity, sustainability and ethical concerns. Balancing the risks and rewards of AI was one of the hottest topics at Tech Week Singapore, Asia’s leading technology event organised by CloserStill Media. More than 600 technology pioneers, leading businesses, and public leaders convened to discuss the complexities of AI.

“In 2022, the world woke up to ChatGPT, and for many of us, this moment ushered in a new era for Generative AI,” remarked Dr. Aik Beng Ng, Regional Manager of NVIDIA AI Technology Centre. “We are just beginning to realise the true potential of AI where it meets the physical world. Currently the AI experience is very much digital. The next generation of AI is where AI meets the full extent of every industry out there such as transportation, manufacturing, and more.”

However, the benefits of AI are matched with threats in equal measure. Dr. Magda Chelly, Co-founder of Responsible Cyber, said: “On one hand, AI technologies have the potential to amplify cyberthreats, weaving a web of complexities, including its usage by various stakeholders in an ecosystem. This phenomenon would raise exponential risks, and might create a domino effect when a cyberattack or data breach happens. Such a scenario might not only lead towards a disruption but a full-scale interruption within a wider supply chain and ecosystem.”

She added: “Yet, we also see an unparalleled opportunity for AI to bolster our cyber defences, especially when incorporated into data analysis and process optimisation. By embracing AI in cybersecurity and third-party risk management strategies, businesses gain a clearer visibility into the cascading risks in their ecosystems. It's crucial to understand that AI doesn't merely represent the threat horizon but is an essential ally in navigating it.”

At Cyber Security World Asia, the Singapore-based startup Responsible Cyber unveiled IMMUNE X-TPRM, their innovative AI-powered platform that not only monitors real-time ecosystem and third-party risks, but also anticipates risk scenarios, ensuring businesses remain steps ahead of potential breaches, while simultaneously enhancing operational efficiency and compliance through intelligent automation.

In the gold rush towards AI, it is also important to pay attention to data centres as the critical infrastructure supporting the greater demand for computing power. The server computer density that AI requires also generates significant heat and consumes a large amount of water for cooling, which presents energy efficiency and sustainability challenges. Governments are emphasising the importance of sustainable growth with countries such as Singapore announcing a sustainability standard for data centres operating in tropical climates.

Schneider Electric Singapore recently announced they are investing SGD1.2 million to collaborate with the Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed in Singapore. This announcement is in the lead-up to their keynote speech at Data Centre World Asia on key strategies to measure and manage sustainability in data centres on October 12th.

“2023 marks the year that AI exploded into public consciousness. As we enter this new age of AI, there are more questions than answers. How can leaders separate tactics from media noise and what are the priorities for business leaders entering this new AI-enabled future? What strategies will make sense to a small-medium enterprise versus a multinational corporation?,” said Andy Kiwanuka, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at CloserStill Media. “At the heart of Tech Week Singapore is a multi-layered content programme for leaders to share best practices and envision new possibilities where technology is the enabler for a better future.”

Tech Week Singapore will run until 12 October 2023 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

Tom Waits Records Studio Catalog Newly Remastered

Personally overseen by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, Waits spectacular middle-period albums—released on Island Records between 1983 and 1993—have been newly remastered from the original tapes and will be reissued on vinyl and CD this fall via Island/UMe. Waits’ transformative creative breakthrough, Swordfishtrombones (1983), its sprawling and superb sequel, Rain Dogs (1985), and the trilogy-completing, tragi-comic stage musical, Franks Wild Years (1987), will kick off the series September 1, 40 years to the day that Swordfishtrombones was released into the wild, ushering in a new and critically acclaimed musical era for Waits and his longtime songwriting and production partner, Brennan. The epic song-cycle, Bone Machine (1992) and the under-appreciated Waits (with Robert Wilson and William S. Burroughs) musical fable, The Black Rider (1993), will follow October 6. September, incredibly, marks the 40th anniversary of Swordfishtrombones, and the 30th of The Black Rider.

Ahead of their physical releases, all of the albums are available to stream today featuring the newly remastered audio, allowing fans to hear how these landmark recordings now sound better and more vivid than ever.

In addition to streaming and download, each album will be released on CD and in two vinyl options: 180-gram black vinyl and a limited edition color variant that will be available exclusively via TomWaits.com and UDiscover Music. Swordfishtrombones will be pressed on canary, Rain Dogs on opaque sky blue, Franks Wild Years on opaque gold, The Black Rider on opaque apple and Bone Machine on translucent milky vinyl.

All albums were mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering under the guidance of Waits’ longtime audio engineer, Karl Derfler. Swordfishtrombones was sourced from the original EQ’ed ½” production master tapes while Rain Dogs, Franks Wild Years, Bone Machine and The Black Rider were sourced from the original ½” flat master tapes. Bellman meticulously transferred the tapes and then remastered the audio in high resolution 192 kHz/24-bit. The lacquers for all titles were cut by Alex Abrash at AA Mastering. The new vinyl editions will come with specially made labels featuring photos of Waits from each era in addition to artwork and packaging that has been painstakingly recreated to replicate the original LPs, which have been out of print since their initial release. Surprisingly, The Black Rider and Bone Machine were never released on vinyl outside of Europe and will be making their vinyl debut in most of the world.

These critically acclaimed works are a monument to an artist’s ability to break through into new creative territory.

Waits went from ‘70’s-era “bluesy, boozy” wordsmith and melodist with seven albums behind him to sound sculptor, miner of the subconscious, abstract orchestrator, sonic cubist—while retaining his innate lyricism, melodic invention, humanity. A rough analogy: Picasso switching from exquisite literal depictions to pouring his brain and id out onto canvas. Waits was still painting, in other words, but the frames were made of blood and bone and feathers and old carburetors.

Working with experimental composer Francis Thumm, and taking inspiration from the music of found-object composer Harry Partch—plus Waits’ friend, Captain Beefheart—the renowned singer-songwriter reinvented his sound, album by album.

As he put it in a 1983 interview: “I tried to listen to the noise in my head and invent some junkyard orchestral deviation—a mutant apparatus to drive this noise into a wreck collection.”

Not that Waits’ early albums were devoid of artistic progression. There were the piano-based jazz-folk ballads of his remarkable debut, Closing Time (just remastered for its 50th anniversary), the beat/jazzy/smokey flavor of Nighthawks at the Diner, the piano-bass-sax-drums sagas of the landmark, Small Change, the experimental tone poem, “Burma Shave,” on Foreign Affairs, the grit and grunge of the stripped-down Heart Attack And Vine… All this would stand alone as a great body of work if the man had never written another note.

But with Swordfishtrombones and the albums that followed, Waits shifted gears, or rather, deliberately ground them. New York Times music critic Stephen Holden wrote: Miles away from the (music) he used in the ‘70s to evoke the wrong side of the tracks, his evolved style is an abrasive, lurching honky-tonk that at its most adventurous suggests a fusion of Captain Beefheart's Dadaist extensions of the delta blues with the Kurt Weill of 'Threepenny Opera.'

Music Of The Spheres World Tour by Coldplay partnered with DHL

Every global music tour requires intensive preparation and complex logistics. However, Coldplay has added to this complexity by setting an ambitious goal to make their Music Of The Spheres Tour as sustainable as possible and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 50%. DHL, a pioneer in the field of sustainable transport and logistics, will support the band on this journey with its extensive expertise.

“As leaders in our industries, it is our responsibility to lead the change but also inspire and facilitate sustainable solutions for other businesses and brands. We feel honored and proud that Coldplay has selected DHL to embark on this journey for change,” Monika Schaller, Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications, Sustainability & Brand, Deutsche Post DHL Group.

DHL’s expertise and sustainability solutions

Coldplay selected DHL as its logistics partner due to the company’s extensive expertise in sustainable logistics solutions. As the world’s leading logistics provider, DHL will support Coldplay’s efforts, especially in the field of sustainable transportation, by offering multi-faceted approach to lowering CO2 emissions.

With its GoGreen Plus Service DHL’s customers are offered a suite of solutions for minimizing logistics-related emissions and other environmental impacts along the entire supply chain. Ocean and air freight emissions are reduced by the use of advanced biofuels. For land transportation, DHL is able to call upon an extensive fleet of electric vehicles and trucks fueled with Bio-LNG (liquified natural gas made from organic waste). The remaining part of the supply chain is made climate neutral by full lifecycle emission compensation - drawing down and offsetting any residual carbon emissions. DHL can ensure the lower CO2 emissions of their services are transparently passed onto its customers.

A new model for sustainable touring

Aside from innovations in sustainable logistics, led by DHL, Coldplay has introduced a variety of other initiatives to make their tour as low-carbon and environmentally beneficial as possible. Every show is powered by a mix of renewable energy (such as wind and solar energy) and certified renewable biodiesel. The band even harness fan energy through state-of-the-art kinetic floors and power bikes.

The band has also pledged to plant a tree for every ticket sold and to draw down significantly more CO2 than the tour produces through investment in a diverse range of carbon offsetting initiatives.

DHL and Coldplay’s shared hope is that the Music Of The Spheres Tour will provide lessons and best practices for other artists to build on and push the live music industry towards an ultra-low-carbon and sustainable future

In line with the company’s sustainability strategy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 (“Mission 2050”), DHL is committed to sustainable logistics solutions that will decarbonise the entire logistics sector. As part of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s mid-term sustainability roadmap for 2030, the group strives to achieve the sub-target of having at least 30 percent of fuel requirements covered by sustainable fuels. To reduce CO2 emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, the Group will spend €7 billion on sustainable fuel and clean technologies by 2030.

Coldplay’s pledge to make their tour as sustainable as possible

Coldplay’s co-manager Phil Harvey said: “When we announced this tour, we pledged to reduce primary carbon emissions by more than 50% compared to the last tour. This can only happen with tour partners who share this vision and are willing to invest the necessary resources to make it happen. We’re grateful to DHL for their help in minimizing our tour’s freight emissions through their expertise and investment in sustainable logistics.”

Singapore Date: 23, 24, 26, 27, 30 & 31 January 2024, 8PM

Venue: National Stadium

Tickets: $298 / $268 / $238 / $208 / $168 / $148 / $128 / $98 / $68 (excludes booking fee)

See you there!