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Introducing the 2023/24 Cohort of The GEAR Startup Residency Programme


The GEAR Startup Residency Programme, powered by Rainmaking APAC, is a 6-month accelerator programme that supports early-stage startups to accelerate solution and business validation in a live testbed environment and opportunity to solve real business challenges and co-create new solutions with Kajima.


Launched in September 2023, the programme provides startups exclusive access to the wider built environment network to amplify their connections and impact the industry. The startups were selected based on Kajima’s defined problem statements that these startups can solve with their unique solution, track record and the team‘s technical capabilities respectively.


Find out more about our startups below.



Dr. Uzair Javaid, Co-founder & CEO


Founded in 2021 by Dr. Uzair Javaid and Kevin Yee, Betterdata is pioneering synthetic data generation technology to help data science and engineering teams easily access and share sensitive customer data. Headquartered in Singapore, Betterdata works with universities, regulators, and enterprise customers across Asia-Pacific, and is backed by notable investors including Investible, Franklin Templeton, and Plug and Play.


Q: What is the problem you're trying to solve?

A: There are currently over 130 countries in the world that have passed some form of privacy law. This rapid shift in data protection regulations has made it difficult for data science and engineering teams to access customer data when they have to train AI models for their business use cases. Traditional approaches like data anonymisation and encryption are there, but they cannot be used to train AI models.


Q: How will your solution solve that?

A: Betterdata uses in-house deep synthesis technology that transforms real customer data into synthetic customer data that looks, feels, and functions similarly. Since synthetic data is artificially generated with our proprietary AI models, it does not belong to real customers anymore and can be easily shared in compliance with global data protection regulations.


Q: Tell us a fun fact about the team!

A: Both Co-founders are ethical hackers. I was able to reverse engineer the encryption algorithm of Ethereum blockchain to get access to over 600 user wallets and Kevin successfully generated artificial human fingerprints to unlock smartphones.





Stevan Lukic, Co-founder & CEO

Civils.ai is a venture capital-backed AI software company helping those working in construction know everything about their projects and build their own automations for repetitive and boring tasks. Over the past two years since starting the company, their software has been used on 86 projects in over 7 different countries around the world, supporting clients such as Arup, AECOM, and WSP.

Q: What is the problem you’re trying to solve?

A: On construction projects it’s quite normal for there to be thousands of documents being sent around and updated. Working in the industry myself, I found that I could spend 50% of my time simply searching for information, comparing between document versions and worst of all redesigning if I worked from outdated information. This is a massive waste of time and resources for the industry which is faced with labour shortages and sustainability issues.


Q: How will your solution solve that?

A: Fortunately, AI is extremely good at solving this problem. We’ve developed a solution where project reports, specifications, drawings, design regulations, O&M manuals can all be stored in a form in which an AI can read and understand. This allows our solution to instantly search through and understand all the information on a project. Tasks such as flicking through documents to answer construction questions, finding relevant documents, writing reports and even tracking changes can all be automated for a human operator.


Q: Tell us a fun fact about the team!

A: Although we have been through many highs and lows, the closest me and my Italian co-founder Mirko (COO) came to splitting up is when I ordered a Hawaiian Pizza at a restaurant. Being from Naples, he could not understand why I would order such a monstrosity!





Chang Qing Yang, Co-founder & CEO


ConcreteAI is a Singapore-based construction technology company. They bring real-time data and critical insights to the construction industry through AI and IoT-based technologies to drive higher productivity and empower sustainability. Founded by a group of engineers, ConcreteAI’s mission is to simplify construction processes with innovative technologies.


Q: What is the problem you’re trying to solve?

A: Early-age cube testing is often used in construction to assess concrete readiness before proceeding. However, it requires testing hundreds of cube samples per project and standard cured cube test does not represent the in-place concrete strength due to differences in temperature, volume and curing environment. This results in extra waiting time and resource wastage that leads to the potential risk of project overrun. If it takes around 20 days to build a floor, almost 5-7 days are wasted if we were still relying on standard-cured cubes.


Q: How will your solution solve that?

A: ConcreteAI’s IoT solutions enable projects and precast to monitor and simulate in-situ concrete to track the temperature and strength development in real-time. The technology reduces waiting times for casting cycles by over 30%, ensures in-situ quality assurance, and boosts confidence in the adoption of new concrete mix designs.


Q: Tell us a fun fact about the team!

A: ConcreteAI kicked off as the team’s final-year university research project. And the first deployment with the client is a super simple prototype; think wires, a breadboard, all snugly packed into a transparent lunchbox.





L: Timothi Ellim, Co-founder & Technical Director, R: Jonathan Eng, Co-founder & CEO


Hephaestus Technologies is a B2B software company that specialises in 3D visualisation solutions for Interior Design & Home furnishings. Their company was founded in 2021 with the core belief that 3D solutions can empower consumers in their decision-making process by providing further contextual information that existing 2D solutions are unable to. They strive to continue developing user-friendly 3D solutions that will encourage further adoption of the technology and eventually spread to other industries.


Q: What is the problem you’re trying to solve?

A: Current interior designer workflow processes are time-consuming, costly, and are not conducive for collaboration with their end-customer. The time and economic cost to produce high-quality visuals can often result in delays and higher costs in projects. This is further compounded by the lack of real world digital assets whereby additional time is taken to source for furnishings that faithfully replicate the digital design. This ultimately can impact on a customer's experience and ultimately affect the likelihood of giving referrals that can account for up to 90% of an ID's customer acquisition channel.


Q: How will your solution solve that?

A: Our Interior Design software aims to address these issues by providing real-time rendering in our software to reduce turnaround time, as well as provide simple no-code design tools to improve ID-client collaboration and reduce the number of iterations required. Our software also further aims to provide a catalogue of real-world digital assets to simplify the procurement process when selecting home furnishings. Together, these will help save time and money for the interior designers whilst being providing a better customer experience for our clients, increasing the likelihood of receiving referrals.


Q: Tell us a fun fact about the team!

A: Our company name was inspired by Greek mythology. Hephaestus is the blacksmith that made all the tools for the other gods and we liked that parallel of creating tools for other people as a B2B business.





Rishab Patwari, Co-founder & CEO


At Hivebotics, their mission is to transform the next 100 years of work through innovations in hardware, software and intelligence. They are focused on trying to automate dirty, dangerous and demeaning tasks that still require humans. They started about 1.5 years ago and spin-off from the National University of Singapore. For their first product, they are developing an autonomous commercial toilet cleaning robot to help janitors improve their productivity and quality of life. Their robot is one of the earliest in the world that will clean toilets bowls, urinals, sink and floor all in one. Hivebotics is currently working towards launching their first version by 2024 and become the first to deploy this tool in Asia.


Q: What is the problem you’re trying to solve?

A: There is a huge shortage of manpower in the cleaning janitorial sector. In particular, toilet cleaning poses the greatest challenge as 50% of cleaners refuse the job if it involves cleaning toilets. Companies are struggling to cope with the combined forces of rising minimum wages and restrictions on foreign labour, which is making the available pool of toilet cleaning staff smaller and smaller. There is no other alternative other than automation as companies cannot find sufficient manpower to fulfill their existing contracts.


Q: How will your solution solve that?

A: Our robot comprises of an autonomous base with a robot arm mounted on it, which will autonomously navigate to different toilet features and perform cleaning of toilet bowls, urinals, sinks and the floor. With our robots, human cleaners simply need to handle extreme cases and standardise the toilet environment, while the robot does the heavy lifting independently. This increases their productivity and quality of life.


Q: Tell us a fun fact about the team!

A: Hivebotics is a young but driven team, backed by industry veterans. Both founders come from business families and have an engineering background with the team's advisor panel, including an ex-Head of APAC for Sodexo, the world's largest cleaning company. The team is currently expanding to strengthen the engineering and product development, and members with strong domain expertise are joining the company to strengthen its delivery.




Tan Chee How, Co-founder


The team at Spinoff Robotics are driven by a bold vision to make aerial robotics accessible to all. They are on a mission to bring disruption and to revolutionise the way infrastructure assets are cleaned for a more sustainable, safe and productive world. Their team comprises of 4 PhD founders with a wealth of aerial robotics expertise to realise their vision.


Q: What is the problem you’re trying to solve?

A: Existing methods for accessing, cleaning, and maintaining tall structures, using ladders, scaffoldings, and mechanised platforms, are not only time-consuming and laborious but also expose crews to the hazards of working at heights and toxic chemicals. At Spinoff Robotics, we’re introducing a safer, cost-effective, and highly efficient solution that shows promising results in boosting high-elevation cleaning productivity.


Q: How will your solution solve that?

A: Our proprietary aerial robotics for automated high-elevation cleaning eliminates the need for humans to work at precarious height, yet able to perform the task of targeted and attentive cleaning with the right amount of pressure. Our patented algorithm automatically adjusts the drone’s position for precise fluid targeting and pressure control. The drone is connected to a ground power and water source, and can operate continuously, ensuring uninterrupted cleaning efficiency.


Q: Tell us a fun fact about the team!

A: The founding team comprises of Ph.D. students and researchers from the Aerial Innovation Research (AIR) Lab at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). We share a genuine passion for leveraging our aerial robotics expertise to tackle real-world challenges.


It all started with a crazy idea – why not take the state-of-the-art aerial robotics research we were cooking up in university labs and turn it into something practical? Now, here's where the fun kicks in: we made it official and incorporated our company on May the 4th. No, it's not because we're secretly Jedi enthusiasts (though lightsabers are pretty cool). It's our way of infusing a dash of geekiness into our journey. May the 4th is more than a date for us; it's a symbol of our commitment to making a dent in the world, one aerial innovation at a time.





Second from left: Jerome Lombardi, Co-founder & CEO, and team


A spinoff of the National University of Singapore based in Europe and APAC, UrbaX stands at the vanguard of construction technology, pioneering the development of sustainable, durable, high-performance binders essential for the modern construction industry. Their solutions are deployed as coatings, fillers, and green cement in prefabricated units. Leveraging a unique community-based platform model, UrbaX’s commitment centers on engineering building materials that remain robust in all situations, from extreme climates to industrial or marine settings.


Q: What is the problem you’re trying to solve?

A: On one hand, current building materials are not fit for changing climates, leading globally to an increasing lack of infrastructure integrity and recurring costs. On the other hand, mainstream Portland cement and petrochemicals-based building solutions account for 1/3 of final energy use and CO2 emissions globally, destroying our natural habitats and biodiversity. There should be no compromise between sustainability, performance, and competitiveness. UrbaX offers green and affordable binder substitutes that are twice as efficient, effective, and long-lasting.


Q: How will your solution solve that?

A: UrbaX is the first company to successfully industrialise durable, eco-friendly binders that meet the highest possible performance, cost-competitiveness and sustainability requirements. Made from low-value and waste materials and pioneering a nanoengineered approach to material performance, the UrbaX classes of products range from weatherproofing and infrastructure protection, waste encapsulation, and use as green cement in prefabricated units. We balance design practice and in-house production to develop, license, and sell a new generation of binders impervious to time.


Q: Tell us a fun fact about the team!

A: I am glad to say that UrbaX gathers an exciting mix of world-class scientists, engineering geeks, and seasoned industrialists from seven different nationalities. In a matter of minutes, we can go from the atom to discussing industrial workflows and global waste value chains: it is someday staggering. You will also find at UrbaX marathon enthusiasts, electric guitar virtuosos, wine lovers and sommeliers, and true artists. The most successful startups mix friendships and business to build teams, which is what we strive to build as a company culture: UrbaX is here for the long run.




Natalia Mykhaylova, Founder & CEO


WeavAir offers a remote audit solution, composed of predictive software that makes use of satellite imaging data and multi-sensor IoT devices that measure 20 different metrics to create digital twins in real-time at 95% accuracy and enables better and faster decisions leading to ROI of less than 2 years – it helps operators save operation and maintenance costs, energy, and improve air quality, while reducing carbon emissions, downtime as well as climate and insurance risks.


Q: What is the problem you’re trying to solve?

A: Currently, most warning and control system solutions for assets like buildings and fleets can only diagnose a limited set of metrics and indicators, and have gaps in data accuracy and decision support systems. Because of limitations in the data, current systems cannot offer full insights since systems and equipment are influenced by many factors which are not tracked.


Q: How will your solution solve that?

A: WeavAir solution is composed of 3 components: WeavDetect, WeavPredict, and WeavConnect. Our solution is innovative compared to other solutions on the market because it provides: 1) holistic tracking of over 20 different factors in real-time, 2) 200x faster diagnosis of core factors, 3) predictive AI models and decision support system to trained on over 10 years of data, and 4) improved diagnostics accuracy (95%) without the requirement to recalibrate and system.


Q: Tell us a fun fact about the team!

A: WeavAir was started by a team of passionate engineers, computer scientists, lawyers and financial industry professionals, who identified a massive untapped opportunity to better protect corporations and governments against climate and ESG risks. I spent the last 14 years working as an engineer to develop a new solution to monitor and reduce emissions while making the operations safer, preventing incidents using predictive analytics. I discovered a lot of need for such a system in the market when interviewing potential customers, which inspired her to build a strong team and start a company.


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