Getting Started with AI Start-Ups

Day 1 / 25 June

4.30PM – 5.30PM (SGT)


Dr Hu Yiqun

Chief Data Officer, NTUC

Yiqun Hu currently is the Chief Data Officer in NE Digital, NTUC Enterprise. He is a seasonal senior leader focusing on the areas of data, analytics and AI. He has 20 years experience within the data & AI domain. He has built and led the data & AI department in multiple organizations across different industries including payment, banking, energy as well as retail. He has built and led the teams of data engineering, advanced analytics, data science & machine learning to build and deploy data-driven/AI solutions/innovations to impact business. His team was the global winner (1st place) of the global innovation competition of PayPal 2012. He has three patents granted with Microsoft Research Asia, eBay Inc and SP Group. As an AI researcher, he also maintained a successful track record in academia research. He has published 1 book chapter and over 40 scientific papers in the flagship international computer science journals/conferences, i.e. TPAMI/TIP/TMM, CVPR/ICCV/ECCV etc. His research has been cited in 2000+ papers in international scientific publications.

Mr Oliver Tan

CEO & Co-Founder, ViSenze

Oliver Tan is the Co-Founder and CEO of ViSenze, an A.I. company founded in 2012 that bridges content and commerce through visual search and discovery. Under Oliver’s leadership, ViSenze has emerged as a global Retail AI solution provider. ViSenze was named to CB Insights Retail Tech Top 100 list, Gartner Hype Cycle - Retail Tech, 10 Leading AI companies 2020 by Datamation, IDC Innovator 2019, as well as Best Tech Company to Work For 2019 (Singapore) / Top 10 Tech employer in Singapore 2019 (Glassdoor). A true cloud native, ViSenze became AWS Technology Partner of Year (2020), also obtaining AWS Retail Competency (2020) and ML Competency (2021). Before that, Oliver held senior roles leading digital businesses in Asia; including 5 years at a pioneer cyber-security startup (Gartner Magic Quadrant) till its successful exit, and led its biggest win to set-up Singapore's 1st CyberWatch Centre in 2006. He started his early years in direct investments for a Temasek-linked fund before switching to corpdev roles with Singtel and Mediacorp, completing several TMT deals of almost $1 billion in combined value.
William Tjhi

Dr William Tjhi

Head of AI (NLP Hub)

William Tjhi received his PhD from NTU in 2008, with a thesis on unsupervised learning. Since then, he has been practising data science and machine learning in various organisations, including A*STAR, GovTech and Traveloka. William is currently a Head of AI in the Industry Innovation Department of AI Singapore. In this capacity, he has been collaborating with numerous industry players, including several startups, to develop AI solutions. He is also leading the NLP Hub team, which focuses on building open-source NLP resources that are relevant for the local and regional context. In 2019-2020, William spent his sabbatical full-time in an early-stage deep-tech startup. He remains a consultant to this stealth startup to this day. Beyond his day-jobs, William regularly contributes to tech communities, such as Singapore's AI Professional Association and Indonesia's Data Science Indonesia.

Mr Madhu Therani

Global CTO, Near

Madhu Therani is the Global Chief Technology Officer at Near. Madhu is responsible for Near’s product and technology strategy and leads the development of Near’s data intelligence platform and associated products. He is a seasoned tech entrepreneur, a former academic, and has been building software and hardware systems for more than two decades. He has a proven track record of working on large-scale data analysis, machine learning, text analysis, and decision-making models in a variety of domains, including engineering design, product lifecycle management, online search, and computational advertising. He is an alumnus of Carnegie-Mellon University with an interest in real-world applications of AI and Robotics.

Getting Started with Deep Tech Projects

Day 2 / 26 June

4.30PM – 5.30PM (SGT)


Mr Min Htoo

AI Engineer, Talo Labs

Min Htoo is an AI Engineer at Talo Labs where he applies machine learning to tackle unsolved problems in drug discovery. He graduated from the research-intensive CN Yang Scholars Program specialising in Chemistry, at the top of his class, and was named a Koh Boon Hwee scholar. While he initially focused on Organic Chemistry and Microbiology research during his undergraduate studies, he was introduced to the world of machine learning at the end of his 3rd year, when he immediately fell in love with the potential of AI. He conducted his bachelor's thesis project at MIT (USA) in the Coley Group at the intersection of AI and Chemistry, further fuelling his passion for AI. Min Htoo strongly believes that the combination of AI and domain knowledge will enable the next wave of revolutions across industries.
Adrienne Heinrich

Dr. Adrienne Heinrich

AI & Innovation CoE Head, Aboitiz Data Innovation

Dr. Adrienne Heinrich heads the AI and Innovation Center of Excellence at Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), and just recently, at Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI) as well. She also has an expanded role as the Innovation Management lead for Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV). Before that, Adrienne led AI and Machine Learning for personal health and connected care products at Royal Philips. She has a background in Information Technology and has received her PhD on Video Motion Analysis for emerging application areas.

Mr. Arnold Doray

CEO, Terra AI

Arnold Doray is the Chief Executive Officer of Terra AI (, an AI division of Singapore-based company Terra Weather, which specializes in developing weather forecasting systems for mission-critical offshore operations. Since 2007, his team has served the maritime industry worldwide to ensure safe operations offshore. Beyond his professional career, Arnold dedicates his time mentoring the next generation of digital talent. Through AI4IMPACT (, Arnold and his team have enabled thousands of non-programmers learn and develop AI applications for solving real-world social challenges, many related to education sector and small-medium enterprises. Arnold is also the creator of TW-Caffe, an extension of Caffe Deep Learning Framework for time-series forecasting, and Smojo, a simple-but-powerful programming language for AI & data science.

Mr. Jiin Joo Ong

CTO, Garuda Robotics

Jiin Joo is the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Garuda Robotics, where he currently leads the Regulatory, Product, Cyber and AI Engineering teams. He also served as the Project Director of FutureFlight Consortium of companies to develop Singapore’s first Connected Urban Airspace Management ecosystem for Unmanned Aircrafts. He’s an outspoken supporter of utilising telecommunications infrastructure to enable safe integration or Drones with National Airspace, and is currently helping multiple local governments with drone surveillance, traffic management, and emergency response. Jiin Joo has 20 years of experience in distributed systems, cloud robotics & AI, and enterprise software engineering. He started his career in, deployed FTTH services in IDA, and ran Singtel’s largest ever 3rd party developer programme. He has a BSc in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University and a MSc in Computer Science from Stanford University.