Singapore, 24 July 2014 – Jamey Merkel, CEO and Co-Founder of Kluje.com–pronounced “KLOO-JAY”—an online service platform that helps homeowners and agents find better contractors, has recently been awarded as the regional winner for the Best Start Up Award for South East Asia at the Talent Unleashed Awards.
The Talent Unleashed Awards is a technology-based accolades program developed by global IT&T recruitment and technology services specialist, Talent International, and judged locally by Patrick Grove, CEO and Founder of Catcha Group, as well as Joel Neoh, Head of Groupon in Asia Pacific.
The award aims to discover and support extraordinary technology talent in the Asia Pacific region that shows potential to change the world by revolutionising industries and driving innovation.
Said Sir Richard Branson, “The Talent Unleashed Awards program reminds me of how important it is to bring out the best in people – something I’ve always been passionate about. It’s not just the individual’s responsibility to shine, it’s our responsibility to foster growth and this is certainly true in the technology sector.”
Started with his initiative to provide an easy way to find reliable and professional contractors in Singapore, Kluje.com founders Jamey Merkel and Andrew Esmonde-White established Kluje.com in late 2013. In just six months it showed rapid and dynamic growth, recognized by being named one of Singapore’s top 20 startups by Singapore Business Review and also being named a top 50 startup in Asia (out of 500) at Echelon 2014.
Shared Jamey, “It is such an honor to be awarded as the best startup in Talent Unleashed in South East Asia. I believe technology has a big role in driving social change. I hope Kluje.com’s participation in Talent Unleashed will encourage more technology professionals as individuals as well as startups to keep innovating to make our society better.”
The Talent Unleashed regional winners will next be judged in a final round by global judges Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group and Steve Wozniak, Apple Co-Founder, to win a five-day business-mentoring workshop at the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship in South Africa in November this year.
Steve Wozniak praised the local start up scene, “When we think of great startups and where they began, you can’t help but look towards the United States and Silicon Valley where I first started, and the history-making achievements there. But more and more we’re seeing interesting startups flourish outside of Silicon Valley in places such as the UK and India but also in Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, Finland, and Brazil to name just some”.
Along with the countdown to the finals, Kluje.com is not resting on its laurels but moving its business to the next level by preparing to develop a mobile app for homeowners, property agents, facility managers and contractors to manage jobs and bids on the go. The app will be built in-houseby technology startup accelerator, GHX, and will be launched shortly.
The final winners for the Talent Unleashed Awards will be revealed concurrently at events taking place in Auckland, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore on July 31st 2014.
Kluje.com was founded to provide homeowners with a reliable and easy way to find contractors for their home improvement projects, routine maintenance, or just a few odd jobs around the house.
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GHX (Gilcrux Holdings) is one of the world’s most innovative investment holding companies. Founded by serial entrepreneur, John Fearon, GHX holds his equity in a growing number of exciting startups and established businesses. Spread across many industries, all entities in the GHX portfolio have in common to add technology to traditional businesses (financial services, insurance, invoice factoring, site back-ups, contracting hiring) to accelerate market penetration and improve on consumer experience in a cost-effective and fast growing manner.