Moonshot: Permacolony 2021

Excitement is ramping up within the community as we confirm our list of startups, lock in our mentors and tie up loose ends. While we count down to the 2nd run of Moonshot: Permacolony, we can’t help but feel a tad reflective…


Last year, we kicked off with a global call for startups in partnership with ESG Singapore and Salto Network‘s iconic 100-hour Startup Bootcamp. The global effort got us acquainted with startup teams from Africa, Europe and SEA, with collaborations to deploy at our first Permacolony site in Singapore. Ragnar Sass (co-founder & CEO of Salto Network) together with Mariya Vasylyk and Mari Helstein did much of the legwork and were key drivers in injecting the energy, enthusiasm and motivation for startups to do more than that they possibly ever did in a 100 hours – setting the bar for our subsequent moonshot programmes. So we are extremely grateful that Ragnar will be back to give a session on priming up pitches!!! Thank you Salto Network for being part of this audacious endeavor again. 🥰

Continuing the spirit of collaboration…

This year, we are enthusiastic about forming deeper relationships with startups in our home base. The six key themes of Permacolony are represented by AUDACITY’s very own respective seed project teams. The leads of each project have designed hands-on activities and/or workshops to help assimilate startups into the community. Our friends of AUDACITY will also be contributing to a highly curated program. The aim for startups is to leave no stone unturned when it comes to moonshot venture building. Participating members will get to unlearn and relearn their human / team psyche, unlock their potential beyond present day conventions, and unleash transformation with autonomy to design their own roadmap for scaling sustainability. Most importantly, the program is about making friends, finding a support network and building resilience through authentic relationships.

The outcome is an anticipated experience for the rest of the community because our culture of the community because of our highly unconventional culture of venture building, particularly in a competitive environment like Singapore. Nevertheless, our spirit for collaboration stays strong as we move away from the notion of ‘competition’ between startups to foster a culture of community like-mindedness. In return, with the spirit of ‘community’, we remind ourselves to level our focus on the wellbeing of those driving their ‘big hairy audacious goal’.

… and community like-mindedness

Singapore startups who took part in last year’s Moonshot: Permacolony will also be returning as coaches and contributors of the program to share their growth experience and juicy tips on how to leverage opportunities that lie ahead with Audacity.

Get a preview of their experiences and content in these podcast episodes (Click to reveal)

Interview with Sean Tan, founder of Insect Feed Technologies Unlearn. Unlock. Unleash.

What are the means to making social impact? Sean Tan, founder of Insect Feed Technologies (IFT) humbles us with a frank conversation about his journey venturing into the food waste technology. Just two years ago, Sean was working 9-5 (maybe 11…) for an agency that supports startups with grant applications. In 2019, he took a leap of faith to invest his time and savings into a sustainable future food system he believes in. Starting out with a team of three in a makeshift test facility behind Audacity's Innovators' Playground, IFT has grown to a fourteen-person strong team with experienced partners from the Singapore food system who also believe in the vision of creating a circular economy. Sean's 'just start-first' and go-getter attitude has been an inspiring source of energy for many in the community. The future is bright but as Sean said it best "黎明前的黑暗" – a Chinese idiom which translates to "before the dawn are the darkest hours." However he emphasises that it is not about the glorification of sacrifice.  In this special edition series of Unlearn, Unlock, Unleash, hosts Colin and Jan seeks to uncover what makes startup founders who they are and share tips on how to best leverage the opportunities at startup programs like Moonshot: Permacolony. Listen to hear more of his candid anecdotes which we find extremely inspiring to many Singapore founders. We're also excited to invite him back to Moonshot: Permacolony as a program partner and mentor to advise on grant applications and growth hacking. Learn more about the audacious mission of Moonshot: Permacolony here: https://audacity.world/permacolony/ Application closes 30 Sep 2021.
  1. Interview with Sean Tan, founder of Insect Feed Technologies
  2. Interview with Chu Xian Oh, Magorium Technology
  3. Interview with Edric Subur, Warmspace

To name a few highlights…

🤙 Returning Founders: Edric Subur (Warmspace), Sean Tean (Insect Feed Technologies), Diana Yousef (Change:Water labs) will be returning for sessions on the subjects of authentic relating, grant applications and dual-use technology building, respectively.

👉 Highly rated! Joanna Grudzinska from Tribe47 who ran last year’s highly remembered marketing 101 workshop will be coming back to share killer digital marketing strategies.

🙏 Trending ~ Joining us for the first time are Su Yuen Chin of MoMoCentral on ‘Software Prototyping’, Joshua of Masawa on ‘Impact’, and Vladimira and Nektarios of The Future Farm on ‘Founder Wellbeing’.

☝️ Hygiene Insight panels with key industry players on Green Transitions, Incentives, Equity, Liabilities and other hard conversations…

Joining the mission…

Moonshot: Permacolony will not be possible without the support of a wonderful party of mentors and speakers (new and returning) who are carving time out for the startups we believe in. Many of them have become good friends of the community and are not only respected for their expertise, but also their passion to help others.


Mala Rajpal is a Consultant on National Youth Communication Activities, APAC and Programme Lead for Youth Engagement in Singapore at UNDP. She has over a decade of experience working with startups as well as large global organisations. Mala has been leading the Youth Co:Lab programme, a join initiative of the UNDP and Citi Foundation, in Singapore since 2019. She is also coordinating communications across 28 countries where Youth Co:Lab operates.

Areas she can help with: Brand building; Marketing Communications; Partnerships; Project Management.

“Mala is passionate in helping youths turn their bold ideas into reality!” – Anonymous

William Koo
Temasek Life Sciences Accelerator

William, Managing Director of Temasek Life Sciences Accelerator has over 20 years of experience in the public service and private sector. He has held leadership roles with international banks and started his career at the Singapore Economic Development Board (‘EDB’), where he was responsible for investment, promotion, and development of the Food and Biotech industries in Singapore. 

Areas he can help with: Agrifood; Biotech Venture Building; Venture Capital.

“William is approachable and patient. A recommended coach and partner for any agri-food tech startup.” – Anonymous

Dr. Ho is the Co-founder Managing Director of NAMIC — a Singapore government platform initiative to catalyse innovation and scale industrial adoption of digital additive manufacturing technologies. Since its inception in 2015, NAMIC has raised millions in public-private funding to catalyse various AM initiatives across several industry sectors. A technology-for-good advocate, he has been active in scouting and nurturing deep tech start-ups and is instrumental in growing the AM startup ecosystem in Singapore. Fun fact: As a prolific inventor, Dr. Ho holds 49 US/international patents!

Areas he can help with: Digital Manufacturing; Product Development; Semiconductors; 3D Printing; Supply Chain; Manufacturing Operation.

“Chaw Sing is the guru of Additive and Advanced Manufacturing and the ecosystem builder of decentralized manufacturing.” – Atsushi

Vladimira Brienstenska
Neem Exponential | The Future Farm

Vladimira is committed to a systemic change through entrepreneurship across different parts of the world. With that vision, she co-founded a venture-building studio in Pakistan, Neem Exponential, that scales impact technology ventures across emerging markets. In response to ‘mental health crises in entrepreneurship’, Vladimira co-founded The Future Farm Organisation and a global community dedicated to healthier entrepreneurship. Vladimira is also a co-host of the NAKED podcast normalising and destigmatising a public discussion about the emotional and mental health of entrepreneurs and leaders.

Areas she can help with: Emerging markets; Founders Psychology; Ecosystem Nurturing; Company Culture

“Vladi is a great advocate, coach, and advisor – empowering those she works with.” – Anonymous

Jonathan Lim

Jonathan is a CFA and Singapore country manager at Funderbeam — the MAS & FCA licensed global investing and trading platform for investors to buy and sell equity stakes in private companies. He formerly managed 3 ETFs with Phillip Capital, which had a total S$200M+ AUM. He is also an independent director and investor in Plantonics (organic fertilizer FMCG), Hawkermatics (F&B automation) and TSS-Clerkly (Digitised AI-driven Corp Sec services).

Areas he can help with: Capital Raising; AI Tech Implementation in business, SEA Regional Expansion; Cross-region Market Development in EU; PE Investor.

“Very approachable and knowledgeable in how to build investable startups” – Anonymous

Anton Wibowo
Trendlines Agrifood Innovation Centre

Anton has over 11 years’ of diverse business, management, and investment experience in the Singaporean biotechnology and agribusiness communities. Prior to joining Trendlines as their CEO, Anton was operations director and former business development director at Biomax.

Areas he can help with: Agrifood; Technology Development; Business Development.

“Anton is generous with his insights about the food and agriculture ecosystem offering his rich experience to young startups.” – Jayden

Joshua, the founding partner of Masawa, has a goal to enable ecosystems of products, services, and processes that improve mental wellness + catalytically change the world. He is an impassioned disruptor, innovator, visionary, and activator for good with 20 years’ global experience designing, leading, communicating, and partnering around complex concepts across various industries and sectors, including private, non-profit, and government sectors.

Areas he can help with: Technology; Fintech; Process design; Human Rights; Mental Health.

“A pioneer at the intersection of impact investing and mental health” – Anonymous

Sherman Ng
Salt Media Asia

Sherman is a keen entrepreneur with a special passion for building businesses. He started out in wealth management with the Royal Bank of Canada and HL Bank, and subsequently co-founded a family office. Sherman enjoys helping people and is very active in the faith-based community as well as the media and creative sectors. He was also a mentor in the first edition of the Permacolony Challenge, and facilitated a US biotech startup in the Mistletoe portfolio to enter the Singapore market. 

Areas he can help with: Purpose Driven Innovation; Industry Partnerships; Pitching.

“Pro-active mentor with great connections and the ability to get things done.” – Anonymous

Tania Kodliuk

As the Chief Science Officer at Dathena, Tania leads the company’s global AI team in the design and development of innovative data security and privacy technology. She holds a Ph.D in Applied Mathematics and has over 10 years’ experience in data analytics and artificial intelligence (ML/DL/NLP/CV). One of the key principles Tania works on is AI Ethics, which aims to bring trust to the “magical black box”. As an mental wellbeing enthusiast, she invests her time into the research on how AI can make people happier through self-awareness and self-development.

Areas she can help with: Data Science; AI; Big data; Machine Learning; Wellbeing.

“Tania is advising me personally on a project and I honestly felt like she was more of a friend. Startups will be lucky to have her guidance!” – Jan

John Sharp

John Sharp is a former aerospace and cybersecurity entrepreneur and co-author of three US patents involving computer security. Ten years ago, he began investing in private companies, a passion that ultimately led to the founding of Hatcher+, which has become one of the most-awarded next-generation venture capital technology firms.

Areas he can help with: Agrifood; AI; Business Development; Business Strategy; Cryptography; Early Stage Startups; FinTech; Media; Pitching; Venture Building; Venture Capital.

“One of the most active early startup investors driven by AI and Machine learning-based platform, Hatcher” – Anonymous

Nektarios Liolios
The Future Farm

Mental health advocate, podcaster, coach and co-founder of The Future FarmNektarios worked in the financial services sector since the 1990s and co-founded Startupbootcamp FinTech to address the relationship between corporates, startups and investors in London, New York, Singapore, Mumbai, Mexico City, Dubai, Amsterdam, and Melbourne. He also co-founded Rainmaking Innovation, the global cooperative of entrepreneurs, and led SWIFT’s Innotribe Startup Challenge, the first global FinTech startup competition, facilitating interaction between startups and financial institutions.

Areas he can help with: Ecosystem Building; FinTech.

“Passionate and compassionate about creating the emotional space for startup founders to thrive” – Anonymous

Yina Chua
Singapore Polytechnic

Yina leads the establishment of an Entrepreneurship & Innovation ecosystem at Singapore Polytechnic. She is part of the World Cities Summit Youth Leaders Community and is keen own working with startups to create liveable cities and urban solutions. Yina is also an accredited Green Mark Professional registered under Singapore Green Building council and she has been a BCA young leader since 2016.

Areas she can help with: Business Development; Business Strategy; Industry Partnership; Green Building; Sustainable Materials

“Yina is a passionate change-driver, looking forward to her high energy at permacolony” – Shuen Hwee

Clement Yang

As a Business Development Manager at Innovate360, Clement has worked in Indonesia and Singapore with the agri-commodity as well as the consumer-packaged goods industry. He is also familiar with assisting companies in their lease management matters. Clement is passionate about assisting startups and aspiring individuals who are interested in entrepreneurship and bringing them to the next level of growth.

Areas he can help with: Business Strategy; Brand Building; Consumer and Category Insight; Purpose Driven Innovation; Marketing

“Your helpful and friendly partner who’s always keen to work with early-stage food startups” – Anonymous

Tytus Michalski
Fresco Capital

Tytus is a returning mentor. He has been living and working in Asia for 20 years while investing globally as co-founder of Fresco Capital since 2012 and previously as co-founder of PMA Investment Advisors. In his spare time, Tytus enjoys training and teaching traditional Okinawan karate as a third degree black belt.

Areas he can help with: Wellness, Future of Work, EdTech, Digital Health, Venture Building

“Down to earth and very invested in helping startups to walk the talk. Tytus is a wonderful mentor.” – Anonymous

Shiying Gan
Family Office

Shiying is passionate about sustainable investments, deal making and creating enduring relationships across ecosystem of founders, investors, partners, and stakeholders. She started out her career as a scholar and assistant director in Singapore’s Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, before moving to the private sector in 2015. Since then, she has served various financial and business roles, and is currently focused on strategy, valuation, mergers, takeovers, acquisitions, divestments, capital market activities, and restructuring.

Areas she can help with: Strategy; Valuation; M&A; Capital Raising ; Financial modelling

Lee Chien Herr
Asia Practice

As the founder of Asia Practice, Chien Herr has been exposed to the various aspects of entrepreneurship, from the startups’ perspectives. His sector experience includes fintech and start-ups, maritime, commodities and commercial property developments in Singapore and abroad. Chien Herr is also ex-partner at an international law firm and often speaks on various career and entrepreneurship-related fora for current NUS Law Students. As legal specialist, he also delivers content workshops for a number of entrepreneurship and innovation incubators such as Block 79.

Areas he can help with: Disruptive Technology and FinTech; Startups & Corporate Entities; Maritime Specialist

“As an early adopter of interesting tech, Chien Herr brings his curiosity and passion into his practice of law by being both engaging as well as commercial.” – Anonymous

Philip Lim
Aquinas Global

Founder and CEO of Aquinas Global, Philip is currently involved with a number of impact investments, sustainability and energy transition initiatives. Previously, he held numerous corporate management positions in strategy as well as sales and marketing for Chevron and Johnson & Johnson in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Europe, and USA. He leverages his corporate experience and networks to nurture the start-up and SME ecosystem.

Areas he can help with: Business Development; Purpose Driven Innovation; Business Strategy; Sustainability; Social Impact; Leadership; Energy; Marketing

“A global-minded and strategic thinker with proven track-record to grow talents and businesses under challenging environments with in-depth experience in business and digital transformation.” – Anonymous

Michael Emmersen

Michael is from Factor(e) Ventures, which provides capital and hands-on support for early-stage technology companies creating impact in emerging markets. A mechanical and geological engineering by training, he has 10 years of experience in Europe and Africa, working primarily on agriculture, mobile and energy solutions.

Areas he can help with: Expansion in Europe and Africa, Early-stage Startups; AgriTech; MobilityTech; EnergyTech

Satia Narjadin
Family Office

Satia is an active investor in the venture capital ecosystem, with investments totalling over 15 fast growing Singapore tech companies and many more in the wider region. He also leads Global Orion, a real estate developer with a gross development value of more than S$700 million.

Areas he can help with: Real Estate Investment; Portfolio Management; Startup Investing

Yiting Loh
Big Idea Ventures

Yiting oversees the Accelerator Program at Big Idea Ventures and has supported over 10 Foodtech startups in their branding and pitch. She also spearheads key events for BIV’s outreach efforts, building an inclusive ecosystem for entrepreneurs both locally and globally. Passionate in areas of sustainability, she is always on a lookout for opportunities to work with like-minded individuals and support aspiring young entrepreneurs in the space.

Areas she can help with: Agrifood, Branding and Design; Pitching; Sustainability; Social Media.

“Proactive in supporting agri-food startups with branding and communications” – Anonymous

Terry Tan
Temasek Life Sciences Accelerator

Terry is an investment analyst working at Temasek Life Sciences Accelerator, where he combines both scientific and business skills to aid towards making strong investment decisions. He has keen interest in science, technology, and aviation. His desire to gain a deep understanding of how things work has provided him with valuable experiences, including co-publishing a book on soil for forensic purposes.

Areas he can help with: Early-stage Startups; Biological Science

Jack Lim
Mikko Capital

Jack is the Managing Director of Mikko Capital. Following a legal career in one of the largest law firms in Singapore, he spent time in international banks both in and outside Singapore, taking on global positions that oversee legal and compliance functions. He subsequently returned to the family fold to oversee its investments. As a private investor, Jack has sat on the advisory boards of many of these companies. He actively lends his expertise in corporate governance and takes a keen interest in nurturing the leadership qualities of the founders and senior management; honing their strategic planning skills as their companies accelerate growth.

Areas he can help with: Capital Markets; Mergers and Acquisitions ; Leadership; Corporate Governance; Growth Strategy

Atsushi Taira
Mistletoe Singapore

Atsushi has 30 years’ experience in the tech/consumer industry in a variety of roles. During his 12 years in SoftBank, Atsushi worked closely with Masayoshi Son, founder of Softbank, holding various executive positions in the Softbank Group. Prior to SoftBank, Atsushi played a key role in propelling the use of technologies as DoCoMo AOL Chief Marketing Officer, Coca-Cola Senior Brand Manager and Consultant for retail, manufacturing and distribution at Accenture. Since 2016, Atsushi joined Mistletoe Inc. in Japan as co-CEO before relocating to Singapore in 2017 to set up Mistletoe’s global headquarters. Atsushi’s passion is in building the startup ecosystem in Singapore and the region.

Areas he can help with: Venture Building; Impact Investing; Business Development; Business Strategy; Early-stage Startups

“Atsushi is wise and leads from the heart. His opinions are acutely insightful, valuable, and timeless.” – Shurui


Virginia Tan
Teja Ventures & She Loves Tech

Virginia is the founding partner of Teja Ventures, the first gender lens venture capital fund for emerging Asia, targeting early stage technology companies for the She Economy. She also founded She Loves Tech, the world’s largest startup competition for women and technology which is in more than 30 international locations in 2020. Previously, she worked as a finance lawyer in Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa and South America. She moved to Beijing in 2013 to work on strategic investments related to the “One Belt One Road” initiative on behalf of Chinese state owned companies and financial institutions.

Ow Yan Xiang
St John Island National Marine Laboratory

Dr Ow is a research fellow with St John Island National Marine Laboratory, Singapore. After graduating from the National University of Singapore, she joined the Tropical Marine Science Institute, NUS, to work on Singapore’s coral reefs. Her PhD at James Cook University was on the physiological responses of tropical seagrasses to declining water quality and ocean acidification at the Great Barrier Reef. Her research interest lies in examining the mechanisms through which marine phototrophs (i.e. corals, seagrasses, algae) respond and adapt to changes to their environments.

Diana Yousef
change:WATER Labs

Diana is the founder of change:WATER Labs. A serial entrepreneur with 10+yrs experience commercializing technology for social and environmental impact. Formerly, she consulted for McKinsey, co-founded IFC/World Bank’s Life Sciences Investment Group and the United Nations’ Inclusive Markets incubator, and was a seed-stage VC with Battelle Ventures. She co-founded: WeCyclers (social venture to clean up slums and create recyclables supply chains in Nigeria), Immerse Global (Stanford-spin out to develop atmospheric water capture technologies), and SachSiSolar (MIT-spin out to develop revolutionary lower cost solar energy). A former protein biochemist (A.B., Harvard; Ph.D., Cornell) with an MBA and MA in International Development (Columbia), she is an advisor to the TED Fellows Program and a Founding Council Member for NASA/USAID’s LAUNCH Accelerator.

Lynette Tan
Singapore Space & Technology

Lynette is the CEO of Singapore Space and Technology Limited, and co-founder and Executive Director of Singapore Space & Technology Association. She is passionate about finding new opportunities for Singapore to partake in the space industry. Her 17 years of work experience includes a management position in the M&A division in a global pharmaceutical company. She also spent 6 years in the Singapore government service, which included a role as the centre director in the Asia Pacific team. A Sundstrand-EDB Scholar, Lynette completed her undergraduate chemical engineering at UIUC and her masters in chemical engineering at Stanford.

Stuart Oda
Alesca Life Technologies

Stuart began his career as an investment banker before founding Alesca, an agricultural technology startup that builds indoor vertical farms and farm management software to make food production more localized and data driven. Alesca’s indoor vertical farms use 90 to 95 percent less water, fertilizer and land compared to conventional farming methods and no chemical pesticides. The company develops everything from the LEDs to the farm management software, and their farms and precision agriculture solutions have been deployed across China, the UAE and Singapore with large-scale projects underway in the Middle East and Africa. Alesca was named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer as a leader in the field of controlled environment agriculture and hyper-local farming.

Alan She

Alan is a scientist and inventor passionate about developing technologies that will have a lasting impact on humanity. He founded Dynacyte in 2021, a Singapore-based biotechnology startup powering bioprocesses with artificial intelligence. He has been a visiting researcher in scientific research institutes in Asia and North America, in areas of laser energetics and advanced energy. He was a Draper Fellow, and completed his physics undergraduate at Oxford and PhD at Harvard. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, checking in on science fiction and playing the drums and trumpet.

Martin Wittau
German Federal Association for Sustainability

Based in Berlin since 1989, Martin’s work at the German Federal Association for Sustainability focuses on the general promotion of democratic governance, development cooperation, science and research, arts and culture and education for sustainable development in all sectors. He began his career as an aide to Elmar Pieroth, during Pieroth’s tenure as Berlin Senator for Finance and Economy & chairman of the prime minister’s advisory council for East Germany’s transition to a social market economy. Originally a native of Baden Württemberg, Germany’s first-ever state ruled by the Green Party, Martin has an MA in economic and social history from the University of Freiburg.

Ragnar Sass
Salto Network & Pipedrive CRM

Ragnar is a serial startup entrepreneur passionate in building fast-growing startups. He started Salto Network to connect high potential startups with the best experts & advisors, and to disrupt the startup success lifecycle. He focuses on strategic investments aligned to his experience and personal values, specifically startups in B2B+Saas, and moonshot ideas in cleantech, climate, food & agritech. In November 2020, the Estonian-born CRM startup Pipedrive, which he co-founded in 2011, received a majority investment from US-based Vista Equity Partners at a valuation of US$1.5billion.

If you missed applying, get in touch with us to explore other ways of working together, or try again next year – this is a multi-year program toward building the first Permacolony by 2025.

Also, if you’re keen to learn about the developments of Moonshot: Permacolony, follow us here or on our socials!

Stay tuned for more updates of startups on the mission to prototype positive futures.

Onward Permacolony 2025!

In case you’ve not been following, Moonshot: Permacolony is a multi-year program that leads to the building of a Permacolony by 2025. Coined by the Audacity community, ‘Permacolony’ is a 100% sustainable and scalable community with high standards of well-being. The term is inspired by permaculture principles and Martin Seligman’s PERMA model for wellbeing. As a colony, we thrive in the spirit of collaboration and ground-up community building.

One response to “Moonshot: Permacolony 2021”

  1. […] making an impact seems to be catching on. We are thankful for the friends in the AUDACITY network who readily said yes when asked to contribute their […]

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