Singapore-based startup Soda won the most innovative start up crown at the conclusion of the RSA Conference Asia Pacific & Japan 2015 Innovation Sandbox Most Innovative Start Up competition on Tuesday. The competition was a precursor to the actual conference, which officially began Wednesday.
Soda provides security infrastructure for mobile communications, offering encryption via a software layer or physical tokens. The app encrypts messages, calls, and email communications sent from the mobile device. The cloud-based file repository encrypts files in storage. A chat app encrypts messages sent between parties, even group chat messages. Organizations can use the technology to prevent data from being exposed and avoid damages, said Cheong Chung Chin, Director of SODA.
The competition is designed to provide regional start ups with the opportunity to demonstrate their technology to a panel of industry experts. This year’s judging panel included Dr Hugh Thompson, Program Committee Chairman of RSA Conference, and Yu Chien Siang, Dir. TC, Computer Security Consultant, Ministry of Home Affairs.
“RSA Conference represents an ideal platform for us to showcase this exciting win and there is no better place than this to begin our deployments in Asia – the opportunities are huge and we look forward to bringing our success to greater heights worldwide,” said Dr. Raphael Yahalom, Worldwide Business Development at SODA.
The other finalists in the competition were India-based automated governance, risk, and compliance startup FixNix, Singapore-based secure unified communications startup SafeChats, and India-based IT management startup Lepide. Each finalist had a team present a three-minute pitch to a panel of judges and participated in three-minute question-and-answer session with both the judges and audience. The team also was asked to do a live demonstration of the product on stage.
“At Innovation Sandbox, we seek to find breakthroughs that will enable us to create new standards of security in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. The same breakthrough will re-define technology and propel the ability to harness efficiency while promoting productivity,” Thompson said.
Innovation is still in early stages in Asia, Yu said during the fireside chat before the winners were announced. The issues facing the industry, such as cloud and Big Data, are hard problems to solve.
On the number of finalists in the Innovation Sandbox (four this year), Yu was surprised there weren’t more contestants, but noted that security companies in Asia Pacific tended to work on different areas than in other regions. They are not working on areas like the driverless car, Internet of Things, embedded systems, or even Big Data. There isn’t a lot of It will take time for the pace of innovation to pick up.
“Smart nations and smart cities are still nascent and perhaps next year you can see more excitement,” Yu said.