HIC Innovation Challenge

Heartland Innovation Challenge: The need to help heartland enterprises innovate and grow their business

Heartland enterprises today are facing challenges such as competition from shopping malls and e-commerce, and an aging workforce Many of these enterprises are operating in very traditional formats and have high resistance to change. According to the SCCCI survey in 2019 82 micro-enterprises in the retail industry reported little to no revenue from online sources, and there is a need to raise digitalisation adoption and identify new business channels for the heartland enterprises

Beyond these, heartland enterprises should also innovate products and services and develop new business/retail formats to grow the business and seize new opportunities

While programmes such as the Heartlands Go Digital initiative aims to digitalize and bring these heartland enterprises online, they still lack the capabilities to stay competitive in their physical storefront and against existing sellers on the digital platform

To bring together heartland enterprises and tertiary students from ITE, Polytechnics and
Universities to collaborate and co-create new and innovative products, services, channels, and/or
business formats

Heartland Innovation Challenge mechanics:

To address the ‘how to’ problem through a structured 3-month innovation process to tap on resources from experts and IHLs mentors and students to develop business capabilities through workshops on conceptualisation prototyping, digitalisation, marketing, and pitching The teams were assessed on the innovativeness of product concepts and feasibility of commercialisation.

Some views on the Matching Sessions:

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