In the past, Singapore’s start-up scene would not have sparked much interest in investors. However, funding and strong support from the government have completely turned things around in the span of few years. From obscurity to a leading destination in Southeast Asia for tech entrepreneurs and venture-capital firms, Singapore’s success can be traced to the following key factors.
In the 2016 Budget, Singapore has set aside up to $4 billion dollars under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE2020) plan to support budding entrepreneurs and drive commercialization of technology.
The Singapore government has introduced numerous schemes to help tech start-ups access funding needed to hit the ground running. These funding schemes include cash grants, government-backed equity financing schemes, business incubator schemes, debt financing schemes, and tax incentives.
Some of the schemes are the Technology Enterprise Commercialization Scheme (TECS) and iSTART: ACE, which is catered specifically to tech start-ups in Singapore.
The one-stop government entity was created to support deep-technology and science start-ups. SGInnovate aims to help start-ups access investment capital, connect them with industry mentors as well as aid them in finding research talents. It plays an accelerator-type role to help start-ups realise and commercialise their innovations.
Blk71 is a building that houses more than 100 start-ups, tech incubators and venture capital firms. It is often referred to as the world's most tightly packed entrepreneurial ecosystem. Tech start-ups were housed in this common location in hopes of increasing synergy and economies of scale. The programme was so successful that the government has already made plans to renovate Blk73 and Blk79 to accommodate more start-ups.
STABLE AND PRO-BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
Singapore’s government is committed to helping businesses succeed and has been actively investing in local technological innovation. Singapore’s reputation as a business-friendly country is well documented.
- Robust technical and financial infrastructure
- Access to foreign investments
- Ease of setting up a business
- Stable political, climate and rule of law
- Huge mobile and online penetration