Young Upstarts

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[Singapore] Martell V.S.O.P.’s “The Ultimate Start-up Space” 2011

Martell V.S.O.P. launched its “The Ultimate Start-up Space” competition for the first time last year to great success, culminating in concept bar The Chupitos Bar beating over 200 other entries and nine other finalists to win the challenge. “The Ultimate Start-up Space” is back again this year and promises to be bigger and better.

This time, the prize on offer is it a 1,400 square foot storefront in Singapore’s bustling central business district, and a year’s rent fully paid-for by Martell V.S.O.P., for the winning business idea from aspiring local entrepreneurs. Apart from the winner walking away with a total prize reward worth over S$169,000 (including S$20,000 start-up capital), the top ten finalists of “The Ultimate Start-up Space” 2011 will receive business management training from INSEAD, one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools.

“The 200-over entries submitted last year were very impressive and have set a high benchmark on the judges’ expectations for this year,” says Paul-Robert Bouhier, managing director of Pernod Ricard Singapore, which handles the Martell V.S.O.P. brand here.

“This year, we have chosen a space located on Boon Tat Street, a location that is rich in heritage and culture and I believe it will put the creativity of our aspiring entrepreneurs to test. I’d expect the winning idea to be one that best brings out the geographic uniqueness of the area,” he adds.

Vote Via Crowdfunding

Submissions will be judged by a panel of experts and the winning idea will be selected based on originality, ingenuity and the potential to succeed. Sitting on the panel of judges this year are two of Singapore’s most successful entrepreneurs, Jimmy Fong, chief executive officer of EpiCentre, and Low Cheong Kee, managing director of Home-Fix D.I.Y., who will also act as mentors to the finalists

An interesting twist this year will be the addition of an online “crowd-funding” component, where members of the public can pledge funds for their favorite idea in the top ten entries, which will also contribute up to 20 percent of an entry’s total score.

From 31 March to 15 May 2011, Singapore citizens and permanent residents who believe that their idea could be the next million dollar business can submit their ideas to “The Ultimate Start-up Space”. The winner will be announced in August 2011.

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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