Woke, Super Thirteen, and Teaspoon pitch at Echelon Asia Summit

Seven businesses from DARe's Accelerate join summit in Singapore, with three pitching on the TOP100 startups stage

Startups from Brunei attending Echelon in Singapore.
Group photo of the founders of the seven startups from DARe's Accelerate eigth and ninth cycle who attended the Echelon Asia Summit in Singapore from June 14 to 15. All photos: Harris Ahmad/DARe

Darussalam Enterprise’s (DARe) Accelerate Bootcamp participants Woke Company, Teaspoon F&B Services, and Super Thirteen Clothing Co. recently pitched at the Echelon Asia Summit 2023 in Singapore.

The three startups shared Echelon’s TOP100 stage which featured a hundred promising early-stage startups from the region, pitching to a panel of industry leaders, potential investors, and other startups.

With Echelon’s status as one of Singapore’s leading tech and entrepreneurship conferences, DARe also brought another four bootcamp participants from prior cycles to attend the event: Bike Park Company, RR Catiosmith, GroMinda Group, and Onz.

DARe’s attending representative Syuaib Rafie from Programme Management said the participation of their seven startup delegation is part of ongoing, wider efforts to connect Brunei startups to the regional ecosystem to explore potential opportunities.

“It acted as an eye-opener for those who have not experienced the regional startup ecosystem, with more than a hundred startups showcasing the latest technology available and discussions on innovation,” he said.

“For everyone attending, it was definitely something that will inspire all of us to further develop the startup ecosystem in Brunei – whether as a founder, startup development team or ecosystem builder.”

Organised by e27, Echelon was held from June 14 to 15 at Singapore Expo, featuring 150 speakers and 200 exhibitors, along with more than 1,500 founders.

Startups pitch their scaling plans

Woke’s co-founder Rui taking to the TOP100 stage for their pitch.

Investing educator Woke Company continues to go from strength to strength; the female-founded startup is on track this year to double its revenue from last year.

In their pitch, co-founder Ming Rui said they now have students from seven countries – the majority of whom have had no prior investment training prior to attending Woke courses.

With a focus on simplifying investment and educating beginner investors, Woke has three core products, priced between $20 to $1,700: online classes, mentoring for more personalised learning, and subscriptions that provide market insights.

Ming also shared they are also working on their own launching their own financial platform that provides digestible stock analysis which customers can subscribe to, as well as a virtual teaching assistant to provide students with round-the-clock support.

Super Thirteen’s CEO Tarmizi’s collaborations with businesses forced to shutter during COVID-19 were also popular in Brunei, with the collections selling out.

Local streetwear brand Super Thirteen detailed their approach to partnering with small businesses to develop merchandise and collaborating with artists to create new designs.

CEO Tarmizi Bahrin said they’ve released more than a dozen collections since starting in 2017, with sales growing to over $20,000 last year.

Tarmizi said they are now looking for $50,000 in investment to launch an initiative where they will work with local designers more extensively to come up with new creations.

Founder of Teaspoon, Lei, is a former oil and gas executive who has set up their bakery in the Sg Duhon industrial complex in Kuala Belait.

Operating as a wholesale bakery, Teaspoon F&B Services looks to supply other eateries and cafés in Brunei with high-quality products and ingredients that will ease the preparation of their menus.

These include providing raw and frozen products alongside baked goods and partially prepared items – which serves to simplify and speed up the preparation of dishes at the business’ storefront.

Founder Jian Liang Lei envisions Teaspoon as more than just a wholesale bakery, eventually becoming a one-stop F&B solutions provider providing consultancy over menu development, equipment, manpower, and other areas of operations.

Businesses invited to join DARe bootcamps

Executive Officer at DARe’s Programme Management Syuaib (R) with founder of Teaspoon Lei (2nd R) speaking to exhibitors at Echelon. Aside from networking opportunities locally and abroad, participants of Accelerate also have the opportunity to access DARe’s ecosystem of initiatives which include financing, mentoring, training and incubation space.

Since its inception in 2017, Accelerate has enrolled more than 300 entrepreneurs, who have collectively raised more than $3.25 million in investment.

The 100-day startup development programme, fully sponsored by DARe, targets early-stage businesses based in Brunei that are keen on leveraging technology, raising investment, and building innovative business models to scale rapidly in and out of the country.

Accelerate is one of two business bootcamps that are run throughout the year by DARe.

The other is the Micro Bootcamp, which targets the growth of smaller, self-employing businesses that can sustainably operate through more traditional, but nevertheless profitable avenues.

Registration for both bootcamps can be done year-round through DARe’s website, though the programme in conducted in cycles.