Echelon 2012 Singapore: Builk Nabs Startup Marketplace Plum(b Bob)

Ten teams pitched earnestly, and the top startup “constructed” the best pitch of them all at Echelon 2012 Singapore. Thai entry Builk Asia presented a professional networking site for construction industry professionals. Principal and Evangelist Patai Padungtin wowed judges with his very niche idea of connecting construction companies, suppliers and civil engineers in order to speed up projects and reduce costs.

Echelon Singapore 2012 Startup Marketplace winner Builk, represented by owner and evangelist Patai Padungtin.

Echelon 2012 Singapore Startup Marketplace winner Builk, represented by owner and evangelist Patai Padungtin. (Image: Nick Puno)

Builk Asia brought home the following prizes:

  • $100 Amazon Web Services Gift Voucher
  • $60,000 worth of MS Windows Azure Cloud Computing
  • Passes to BlackBerry 10 Jam Conference (July 2012 for AsiaPac)

The Thai team has been involved in the construction IT business for seven years, starting out with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application (now used by over 200 leading construction firms in Thailand), but eventually transitioning to Software as a Service (SaaS) for small contractors. They realized thousands of SME contractors wanted  the management tools for their businesses but couldn’t afford the costs.

As of June 2012, has more than 4,400 users from 1,400 enterprises, all of them are from the construction business in SMEs. Users may work on purchasing, budgeting, cost controlling and marketing their businesses including collaboration among the colleagues and other parties in construction projects.

Korean startup Between* was in the running for top prize. The couples mobile app service gives lovers a private “online room” where they can whisper sweet nothings and share intimate moments (all encrypted and kept from prying eyes). The service includes photo albums, chat functionality and even a message board.

On the delicate issue of breakups, Between* determines who initiated the breakup and cancels his/her access to his/her lover’s account and all access to their pictures and messages. If the couple gets back together, the archived files will be restored and both parties can go down memory lane. Audience members got a hoot when one judge asked about multiple accounts on Between* and the presentor deftly replied that one to one accounts will be strictly observed. I guess Casanovas won’t be welcome to this party.

Between* went open beta in 22 November 2011 and steadily grew in Korea alone (740,000 downloads as of last count). The 412,000 monthly active users buzz with 4.5 million message per day and upload 350,000 photos.

The Echelon 2012 Singapore Startup Marketplace included eight other presentors: