Partnerships, exposure top S'pore firms' CES wishlists

Two Singapore companies heading to Las Vegas in January eye tie-ups with channel partners and the opportunity to showcase their innovations to a wider international audience.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

SINGAPORE--As companies gear up for the upcoming 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which will run from Jan. 8 until Jan. 11, two Singapore companies showcasing their wares at the tradeshow are hoping to use the platform for wider international exposure as well as secure tie-ups with channel partners in selected markets.
V S Hariharan, co-founder and CEO at Third Wave Power, told ZDNet Asia in a recent interview one of the company's main objecties at the tradeshow will be to talk to channel partners about launching its mPowerpad product in the United States. The company has yet to release the portable solar charger in the U.S. market, but it is looking to do so by February 2013, he revealed.
"We have had good progress with two to three of these potential partners in the [San Francisco] Bay area, and we are sending invites to channel partners to speak to them during CES," Hariharan stated.

Credit: Third Wave Power

The Singapore startup, which was established in March 2011, will be traveling to CES under the Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association's banner together with six other local companies. Third Wave Power's mPowerpad captures clean energy from the sun to act as a radio, flashlight, phone charger, and insect repellent for people in energy-starved situations.
It is also looking for one or two potential OEM (original equipment manufacturers) companies to help produce the mPowerpad or its solar-charging capabilities in the U.S., Hariharan pointed out. Possible candidates would be accessory makers for tablets such as Apple's iPad as the solar charging feature can be easily included in their existing products, he explained.
Third Wave Power also is hoping to get feedback about its product from a wider customer base. Lim Chuin Kiat, the startup's co-founder, CTO and COO, said CES will provide a platform to hear from big manufacturers and retailers about the mPowerpad and how the product can be better tailored to suit the local market's needs. "These guys are shopping for new products during CES, so it's the perfect opportunity for us to engage them," Lim said.
Chance for exposure
Another local startup making its maiden visit to CES, Plunify, has simpler aims: to showcase its service, and gain more industry contacts. Ng Harnhua, the company's co-founder, said it has lined up some customer meetings with companies it is already in contact with, but is also hoping to introduce its services to other interested parties during the tradeshow. 
Also part of the Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association's entourage, Plunify provides a cloud computing application platform for semiconductor chip design. With this service, chipmakers can offload standard processes such as design simulation and testing to a third-party cloud computing infrastructure without taxing their internal IT systems.

Plunify currently offers a Web-based interface as well as a desktop client, which has additional features needed by more experienced engineers, Ng explained.
The Singapore company, founded in 2009, is still in the customer evaluation stage whereby a client can try the service for two weeks without charge, he noted. The startup is hoping to make the first sale in the first half of next year, he added.
Possible customers would include global chipmakers such as Qualcomm and Broadcom, while in Asia, MediaTek and Samsung would be Plunify's target audience, Ng noted.

Past local participants to CES had said the international consumer electronics tradeshow remained an important conduit to check out new innovations as well as grow their international presence, despite the absence of big vendors such as Microsoft, Apple, and Google.


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