In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city, a group of eager young entrepreneurs from Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD), and Singapore Management University (SMU) were preparing for a rather important time of their lives.
The Create4Good Challenge is a five-year social initiative by the late Mr Kwek Leng Joo. Mr Kwek was the Deputy Chairman of City Development Limited (CDL), and was a philanthropist as well as a supporter of youth and social development. The Create4Good initiative was a sweet marriage between his two passions, and encouraged undergraduates from Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD), and Singapore Management University (SMU) to work together to develop novel solutions for social good. 2017 saw Create4Good’s second anniversary and promised to raise the bar from the year before. The themes of this year’s challenge were Productivity, Environmental Sustainability, and Social Assistance.
As I approached Level 6 of the SMU Administration Building, the tension was palpable. The lift doors opened to reveal a throng of young entrepreneurs with intriguing concepts and prototypes. I made my way into the auditorium and prepared for the presentations. This would be one of my maiden experiences as a representative of DPA, and it was truly heartening to see so many young entrepreneurs dedicating their time and efforts in order to make Singapore that little bit more inclusive.
Having been given only 10 minutes for their presentations, each of the teams would be hard pressed to bring forth interesting aspects of their innovation and convince the judges why they deserved to win the grand prize – a whopping $50,000 – that will help to bring their ideas from a prototype to a self-sustaining initiative.
After 2 hours, which went by in a blur of incredible ideas, the room was buzzing as the judges deliberated the results. Then came the announcement of the winners.
Here, we now bring to you Team Mobearlize and EMMA! The reigning champions of the Create4Good 2017 Challenge!
DPA is especially proud of this moment as Team Mobearlize was had attended DPA’s Disability Awareness Talk Series (DATS) and Interaction Session with our Inclusion Ambassadors on 25 November 2016. DPA provided guidance to the team on how to use the wheelchair. During this process, the Mobearlize team understood potential problems that wheelchair users might face and began fine-tuning the EMMA prototype.
Team Mobearlize and ‘EMMA’ – A retrofitted motorized wheelchair unit that is affordable & convenient for urban environments, and can attach onto any common wheelchair.
The motorized unit is attached onto the front of the wheelchair to produce a 3-wheel configuration. It is controlled through a scooter-like handling and has device specifications which are comparable to current motorized solutions in terms of range and speed.
- Adaptable – Able to attach on common wheelchair designs
- Affordable – Around half the price of other motorized options
- Compact – No increase in floor area of the wheelchair
- Lightweight – Total weight <8kg
- Modular – Easy to stow for transport or storage
You can find out more information on Emma and the team on their kickstarter page here.
If you would like to be in touch with Team Mobearlize, you can email them here.
By Sumita Kunashakaran
About the author: Sumita is DPA’s new Advocacy Executive. Her background in International Relations, and interest in marginalised communities in Singapore, brought her to the Disabled People’s Association in order to understand how the organisation can further engage the disabled community in Singapore by making policies more inclusive, and individuals’ lives more empowered. She believes that a lot more can, and needs to, be done in Singapore so that we are able to be a thought-leader in the ASEAN region and beyond.