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Durwin Ho, 32

Durwin Ho

CEO of StartupX

While Durwin was an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS), he spent a year at Stanford University under the NUS Overseas College programme. It was during his work experience at Stanford that Durwin, who later earned an MBA at NUS, started his journey in tech and start-ups.

Passionate about impactful technology, Durwin launched Startup Weekend Singapore, a non-profit and volunteer-led initiative, in 2014. So far, it has kick-started the entrepreneurial journey of more than 3,000 innovators from over 70 countries. The platform was the birthplace of local start-ups such as Carousell and Shopback. The teams had first worked on these ideas as participants of the programme.

At StartupX which he later founded in 2018, Durwin works with corporations and governments in Asia to drive sustainable innovations and develop collaborative ecosystems for the next generation of start-ups. It recently launched the Innovation x Sustainability Alliance, a growing community of over 600 sustainability advocates to come together to develop a manifesto for sustainable innovation.

Under Durwin’s leadership, StartupX also co-developed and launched the HyperX sustainability hackcelerator with Temasek to support sustainability-driven start-ups. HyperX is the first global platform supporting sustainable innovations at all stages. At the height of the pandemic last May, StartupX’s first cohort of 23 start-ups graduated. In 2020, StartupX launched its inaugural WASTE 20/20 start- up competition to scout for the most innovative waste-tech solutions from around the world.

Having seen the importance of innovation in the past year, Durwin has developed a playbook for corporations to better understand where they stand in their journey, and also provide them with the building blocks and learning examples to reference and learn from.

(Photography: Joel Low | Art Direction: Audrey Chan | Hair: Ann Lin/Athens Salon | Make-up: Sophia Chia/Makeup Works)