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What Can You Do With 24 Hours?

Startup@Singapore 24-Hour Business Challenge
Participating teams at the Startup@Singapore 24-Hour Business Challenge.

A lot, apparently. You can come up with a business plan.

That’s what over 40 teams of 2-4 members each did, when they participated in Startup@Singapore‘s first-ever 24-hour Business Plan Challenge last weekend at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School. The teams were tasked to develop, from scratch, a business plan for an idea in three identified industries – the silver industry (the elderly market, not the precious metal), social entrepreneurship and interactive digital media. At the end of the challenge, they had to submit a 3-page executive summary and prepare a short 3-minute pitch to a panel of judges.

Here’s an idea that emerged from the challenge I believe deserves to be called out:


In India’s Tamil Nadu, 80-percent of rural farmers live below the poverty line of USD1 a day. This poverty stems from a systematic inability to grow income sources due to land degradation. Specifically in the districts of Tiruchirapalli and Karur, only 25-percent of land is arable.

The winner for the social entrepreneurship category, team Smiles proposed a business model called MicroMacro that is an organic agriculture micro-investment social enterprise focused on empowering farmers in Tamil Nadu to increase plot utilization and alleviate poverty. Founders Ivan Chang and Keith Tan are barely in their 20s – Ivan is pursuing a degree in Business Administration from Singapore Management University (SMU) and awaiting for his CPA qualification, while Keith is headed toward NUS for an undergraduate study in Architecture.

I think it’s great that an entrepreneurship challenge like has spurred so many of our youth to think about the world at large. In 24 hours, you may just come up with an idea to save the world.


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