35 promising young individuals from Singapore on Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list

(Clockwise from left) National sprinter Shanti Pereira, GetGo co-founder Johnson Lim and Neu Battery Materials’ Mr Kenneth Palmer and Mr Bryan Oh are some of the Singaporeans on the Forbes list. - PHOTOS: ST FILES, NEU BATTERY MATERIALS

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): An innovative idea to tackle the problem of toxic batteries has propelled entrepreneur Bryan Oh onto a coveted ranking of the region’s most promising young people – the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list for 2024.

Oh was working as a management consultant when he realised his problem-solving skills could be used for a bigger cause.

He launched Neu Battery Materials in 2021 with long-time friend Kenneth Palmer after noting that the boom in electric vehicles was resulting in more toxin-leaking lithium batteries in landfills.

The start-up has since developed the world’s first patented lithium battery recycling process using electrochemical separation.

Its efforts have seen Oh and Palmer included on Forbes’ ninth annual list of promising young talent in the Asia-Pacific region.

Oh told The Straits Times: “It’s a big honour... and this is a testament to me and Kenneth.

“Our recycling process has the ability to drastically reduce emissions, and our next step is to scale up and build a commercial recycling factory.”

Oh and Palmer are among Singapore’s 35 representatives from 27 entries on the list. Multiple people who co-founded the same company are grouped together as one entry in the list.

The entire list features 300 entrepreneurs and leaders under 30 across the Asia-Pacific.

There are 30 entries selected for each of the 10 categories: The arts (art and style, food and drink); entertainment and sports; finance and venture capital; media, marketing and advertising; retail and e-commerce; enterprise technology; industry, manufacturing and energy; healthcare and science; social impact; and consumer technology.

Singapore has entries across the 10 categories.

The Republic’s 35 representatives include 11 people who are not citizens, but who are based here.

The 24 Singaporeans include sprint queen Shanti Pereira, Rakuten Ventures senior associate Regina Ho and GetGo co-founder Johnson Lim.

The founders of three enterprise technology companies also made the list, including Mr Benjamin Long and Mr Kristoffer Jacek Soh, both co-founders of Beep.

Among the other Singaporeans listed are Nigel Giam, co-founder of digital marketing agency Corsiva Lab; Kit Yong, founder of agriculture tech start-up Forte Biotech; and Evan Heng, founder of tuition centre chain Zenith Learning Group.

Zenith Learning Group offers tuition services to students aged seven to 18 through its two brands: Zenith Education Studio (secondary school/junior college) and Zenith Academy (primary school).

The company, which was founded in 2019, has also ventured into education technology by building an e-learning application called Zendora that allows primary school pupils to learn English, mathematics and science.

Zenith raised US$1.4 million (S$1.88 million) in a funding round in July 2023 led by investment firm Trihill Capital and East Ventures.

Heng said: “It has been an incredibly fulfilling journey over the last five years. We aim to expand the scale of our impact by continuing to expand rapidly in Singapore and eventually to the rest of South-east Asia.”

India leads the Asia region with 86 entries, followed by China and Japan at 32 each, Singapore at 27, Australia at 26 and Indonesia at 18. - The Straits Times/ANN

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