Media Resouces
Mapletree supports Singapore's largest student-led startathon for second consecutive year
21 May 2024

SINGAPORE – Mapletree Investments (“Mapletree” or “the Group”) continued its support for Ground Zero 2024, Singapore’s largest student-led startathon, for the second consecutive year. The week-long event was launched at Mapletree Business City and graced by guest-of-honour Member of Parliament Ms Tin Pei Ling, who spoke with the participating teams, offering encouragement for the competition.

Said Mr Edmund Cheng, Chairman, Mapletree: “Driven by our commitment to make a difference in our local communities, Mapletree is thrilled to support these young innovators as they showcase their entrepreneurial prowess and turn their dreams into reality. We hope this initiative provides a vibrant platform for the students to equip themselves with valuable skills and knowledge.”

Organised by the National University of Singapore (“NUS”) Entrepreneurship Society (“NES”), Ground Zero 2024 unfolds through three progressive phases: Phase Zero, Ground Zero and Beyond Zero; with Phase Zero and Beyond Zero being new additions this year.

Phase Zero serves as the prelude to Ground Zero, consisting of four masterclasses touching on various topics on entrepreneurship, led by esteemed experts from diverse industries. Ground Zero is the event’s centrepiece, where participants form teams to develop their start-up ideas with the help of industry mentors, focusing on one of the four focus areas: e-commerce, sustainability, finance and health & wellness. 

Beyond Zero acts as the finale of Ground Zero, as it extends support to participants beyond the event’s conclusion. NES has partnered with Atlas Incubators, a division within NES and The HANGAR by NUS Enterprise, to provide continued guidance and resources to the winning teams to ensure the success of their entrepreneurial ideas.

The startathon’s flagship pitching competition saw the participation from 77 teams comprising a total of 323 students. The three winning teams: AVA, Sante Impacto, and Rizqx impressed the judging panel with their pitches. They were awarded cash prizes sponsored by Mapletree of S$4,000 (First Prize), S$3,000 (First Runner Up) and S$2,000 (Second Runner Up) respectively. More information on the winning teams and judges can be found in Annex A.

“NES is thankful for the tremendous support received from Mapletree along with our other sponsors, and for the resources and guidance offered to us. Our motivation to organise Ground Zero began with the idea of creating a launchpad for Singaporean youth with bright ideas and aspirations to be entrepreneurs, and to support them in turning their brilliant ideas into reality. I hope that all participants of Ground Zero 2024 have gained meaningful insights during their time here, and we are thankful to be a part of your journey,” said Mr Juan Vernon Ang, Head of Ground Zero, NES.

Ground Zero 2024 was supported by a network of almost 60 mentors, speakers and judges. The event also brought together investors and incubators, who had actively identified promising participants, increasing their opportunity to get their innovations from competition to early-stage commercialisation. As one of the flagship initiatives of NES, Ground Zero 2024 aims to unite like-minded individuals to refine their entrepreneurial skills. 


Photo credits: Mapletree Investments

Mr Wan Kwong Weng, Group Chief Corporate Officer, Mapletree (far right) and Mr Juan Vernon Ang, Head of Ground Zero 2024 (far left), presenting the 1st Place prize to Team AVA on 17 May 2024

Mr Wan Kwong Weng, Group Chief Corporate Officer, Mapletree (far right) and Mr Juan Vernon Ang, Head of Ground Zero 2024 (far left), presenting the 1st Runner Up prize to Team Sante Impacto on 17 May 2024

Mr Wan Kwong Weng, Group Chief Corporate Officer, Mapletree (far right) and Mr Juan Vernon Ang, Head of Ground Zero 2024 (far left), presenting the 2nd Runner Up prize to Team Rizqx on 17 May 2024

Mr Wan Kwong Weng, Group Chief Corporate Officer, Mapletree (second from left) interacting with personnel from The HANGAR on 17 May 2024


Xabryna Kek
Wesley Yim
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications

Senior Executive, Corporate Social Responsibility
Mapletree Investments
Mapletree Investments
Tel: +65 6377 4608 Tel: +65 6807 4195


Headquartered in Singapore, Mapletree is a global real estate development, investment, capital and property management company committed to sustainability. Its strategic focus is to invest in markets and real estate sectors with good growth potential. By combining its key strengths, the Group has established a track record of award-winning projects, and delivers consistent and high returns across real estate asset classes. 

The Group manages three Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) and eight private equity real estate funds, which hold a diverse portfolio of assets in Asia Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom (“UK”) and the United States (“US”). As at 31 March 2023, Mapletree owns and manages S$77.4 billion of office, retail, logistics, industrial, data centre, residential and student accommodation properties. 

The Group’s assets are located across 13 markets globally, namely Singapore, Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Hong Kong SAR, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, the UK, the US and Vietnam. To support its global operations, Mapletree has established an extensive network of offices in these countries.

For more information, please visit


Founded in 1992, NES is the Premier Tertiary Entrepreneurship Organisation in Singapore. NES promotes entrepreneurship at the National University of Singapore to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs. The society is a hub for entrepreneurship with an abundance of learning and networking opportunities. We organise large conferences, hackathons to bring our members closer to the business community. We aim to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship with our growing network of alumni through the sharing of expertise and knowledge. NES has produced an illustrious list of alumni entrepreneurs and changemakers in various industries.


Winning Teams

Category   Details of the team
 First Prize winner 
 Team Name: AVA
 Areas of Focus: Health & Wellness
 Idea: Empowering the visually impaired using centralized data and AI
 1st Runner Up winner 
 Team Name: Sante Impacto
 Areas of Focus: Health & Wellness
 Idea: A non-disruptive smart toilet sensor to identify liver diseases
 2nd Runner Up winner
 Team Name: Rizqx
 Areas of Focus: Finance
 Idea: Fintech Gateway to Shariah-Compliant Investments


Judges of the final pitching competition on 17 May 2024

• Mr Liu Xi Louis
Founder & CEO, FOMO Pay

• Ms Natasha Syed
Founder & CEO, Skilledin Green

• Mr Nick Chung
Head of BLOCK71 Singapore, NUS Enterprise

• Ms Jean-Anne Marie Wang
Investor, TNB Aura

• Mr Georgios Monoarfa
Investor, TNB Aura

• Dr Adam Chee
Associate Professor (Adjunct) Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, NUS

• Dr Samer Elhajjar
Senior Lecturer, NUS