Jane Lo, Singapore Correspondent speaks with Paul Burmester, Head of Innovation & Partnerships of Singtel Innov8, about their role on developing the cybersecurity innovations and talents in the region, and globally in Europe and North America. Interview highlights include discussion on venture capital strategy versus other financial alternatives, mentoring, due diligence, and the investing process. And what success means, in Asia Pacific and other regions.


Paul is leading a team responsible for identifying and engaging with innovative startups globally, supporting their growth and driving engagement, in support of the Singtel Group strategy. The team also build and drive various Innov8 programmes and partnerships to activate and grow awareness in the startup ecosystem, such as the Innov8-Connect programme; ICE71, Asia’s first cybersecurity startup hub and ecosystem; and the Go-Ignite alliance, an initiative that offers startups access to over a billion customers through engagement with the Singtel Group, Telefonica, Orange and Deutsche Telekom.


Paul brings many years of experience from within the technology industry and continues to be amazed and excited by the new innovations and opportunities the industry presents.  His career has seen Paul drive six successful exits, effectively building and/or turning around early stage technology businesses to the point of global market success, lading to over $4.7B in increased shareholder value gained through profitable exits via IPO and/or acquisition.


Amongst his most notable recent successes in the technology sector was the exit of SpinVox, a leading developer of “Speech to Text” technology, that was acquired by Nuance for $103M;  the exit of ViAir, the first company to develop real time mobile access to Exchange and Notes, which was sold to Visto for $65M; Paragon Software, the inventor of SyncML, was acquired by Phone.com for $515M; and Mobile Systems international, the leading designer of mobile phone networks, sold to Marconi for $618M.


Currently based in Singapore, Paul has lived and worked in various countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas. In his spare time, Paul can be found climbing mountains, exploring jungles, diving under the oceans and seeking out new adventures.


Recorded in Singapore on Monday 25 March 2019 in recognition of ICE71 supporting the Cyber Risk Meetup, held at ICE71 on November 1, 2018 - event wrap-up is available here