ACE Launches Newly Renovated Ideation Centre and World Bank Group Study On Singapore’s Startup Ecosystem At ACE Community Day 2021


Media Release



ACE Launches Newly Renovated Ideation Centre and World Bank Group Study On Singapore’s Startup Ecosystem At ACE Community Day 2021



● The ACE Startup Gallery has been launched at the newly renovated Ideation Centre, showcasing the startup ecosystem’s milestones over the years.

● The ACE Community Day 2021 also witnessed the World Bank Group study on Singapore’s startup ecosystem.


Singapore, 30 March 2021 — Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), the national advocate for Singapore’s startup ecosystem, launched its newly renovated Ideation Centre today, which aims to provide more ground-up support to startups. At the same event, ACE witnessed the launch of the World Bank Group’s latest study entitled Evolution and State of Singapore’s Start-up Ecosystem: Lessons for Emerging Market Economies. The study analyses Singapore’s startup ecosystem, with the aim of facilitating policymaking in emerging markets.

Amidst the progressive reopening of the economy, ACE Community Day 2021 brings together ecosystem partners to celebrate Singapore’s startup ecosystem resilience and recovery, identifying ways for it to emerge stronger. It also marks the official opening of the ACE Startup Gallery at LaunchPad @ one-north, which details the development of Singapore’s startup ecosystem over the years. Housed in the newly renovated ACE Ideation Centre, the space is now optimized for events, especially foreign delegations as it acts as a one stop information centre for all things startup related. Singapore based startups can also use the space to connect and network.

Distinguished guests at ACE Community Day 2021 include Dr Tan See Leng, Second Minister for Trade and Industry and ACE patron, Mr Alvin Tan, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Industry Cluster Group of JTC, and Mr Tan Boon Kim, Executive Director of Enterprise Singapore.


World Bank Group: How Policymaking Created The “Silicon Valley” Of Asia

The World Bank Group study reports on Singapore’s startup ecosystem’s successes and challenges to distil findings relevant for policymakers in emerging markets. Agile and responsive government leadership, a strong university network, global linkages as a regional business hub, industry specialisations into deep-tech, and substantial investments from venture capital and public sector entities have been identified as vital engines for the ecosystem’s growth. Encouraging diverse stakeholders like government entities, universities, investors and commercial partners to invest in ecosystem development has been a characteristic strength of the local scene, the study observes.

Singapore’s startup ecosystem is flourishing: the island leads Southeast Asia in venture capital and private equity and is ranked as the world’s 14th most developed ecosystem. Over S$60 billion has been invested into research and development. S$43.3 billion has been funnelled into science and tech industries, specialising in deep tech and fintech sectors. Today, 184 accelerators, incubators, and intermediaries and 3,600 tech startups exist in the city.

“We are delighted that Singapore has become the leading startup ecosystem in the region,” says Mr Dominic Ang, CEO of ACE. “It is edifying to see how ACE’s contributions over the years through advocating, catalysing and enabling the community have resulted in promising outcomes. However, challenges remain – for example, the World Bank has noted that overseas expansion and talent retention may pose a barrier for Singapore’s startups in the future.”

“To address these challenges, ACE has embarked on several initiatives such as creating the ACE International Centre (ACEIC) to facilitate international exchanges; holding regional Meet the VCs sessions; Market Advisory Clinics, and many more. Locally, ACE works closely with Singapore startups to support its growth and expansion through programmes like BACECAMP and 1-1 mentorship sessions. We cannot afford to become complacent because of our early successes, given the highly dynamic and evolving nature of the global startup ecosystem.”


ACE: Nurturing Local Entrepreneurship For 18 Years

The event saw the official opening of the ACE Startup Gallery, located at the newly renovated Ideation Centre at LaunchPad @ one-north in collaboration with JTC and the support of Enterprise Singapore. The gallery details the history and development of Singapore’s startup ecosystem, and key milestones ACE has met. For 18 years, ACE has been the key advocate for the local entrepreneurship scene, acting as the cornerstone integrating the five pillars of Singapore’s startup ecosystem: startups, corporations, IHLs (Institutes of Higher Learning), risk capital and public sector partners.

ACE’s key achievements include: the creation of startup communities in the form of the ACE International Centre and ACE Connected Ecosystem; supporting the creation of startup hubs like JTC’s LaunchPad @ one north and LaunchPad @ Jurong Innovation District; launching BACECAMP, an intensive one-month structured mentorship and learning programme for promising early-stage startups; and organising the National Youth Entrepreneurship Awards and EDGE, the youth entrepreneurship wing of ACE.

“It’s wonderful to see how far we have come in such a short time,” says Mr James Tan, Chairman of ACE. “Our openness to global competition has turned the startup scene into one that is resilient in the face of change. Singapore has raised promising startups such as Patsnap, Carousell, Gush and StaffAny, all of which have expanded into the region, some globally. The challenge now is to build on these successes and to nurture the next generation of champions. Our work does not stop.”

JTC’s Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Industry Cluster Group, Mr Alvin Tan, says, “The 2 LaunchPads at one-north and Jurong Innovation District have supported more than 1,300 startups in advanced manufacturing, biomedical sciences, infocomm technology, media, urban solutions, electronics and engineering industries. Today, the LaunchPads are synonymous with the vibrant startup community and houses the highest concentration of startups in Singapore. We are encouraged by the success of some familiar names such as Carousell, Motional (previously known as nuTonomy), ShopBack and JTC will continue to work with partners such as ACE to further strengthen the startup ecosystem and build a collaborative community.”

ESG’s Executive Director of Innovation and Enterprise, Mr Tan Boon Kim, says, “A nurturing and enabling start-up ecosystem is critical across different stages of a start-up’s development – from providing a strong foundation for take-off, to giving them the right boost in their expansion plans. Nurturing the ecosystem requires commitment from multiple parties and ACE has been a key partner in this effort. It is heartening to witness the growth and contributions of ACE to the start-up community over the past 18 years. For example, ACE has facilitated 847 internships in 168 Singapore startups through the Global Ready Talent Programme over the past 2 years. We look forward to working with ACE and the rest of the startup community to further strengthen our ecosystem.”


Please click here to access the World Bank Group study: Evolution and State of Singapore’s Start-up Ecosystem: Lessons for Emerging Market Economies.


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Notes to the Editor

For all media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Clara Low (


About Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE)

The Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), a national private sector-led organization, plays a key role in building a dynamic and sustainable startup ecosystem in Singapore. Established in 2003 by the Ministry of Trade & Industry, ACE is supported by the government under the patronage of Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State Ministry of Trade & Industry.

ACE’s mission is to lead strategic community efforts to promote entrepreneurship, scale startups and build champion enterprises. ACE supports startups across all stages through three strategic core functions:

(i) driving co-innovation between startups and enterprises;
(ii) helping startups to scale and internationalize;
(iii) building an access hub of connected ecosystems across countries.

ACE enhances global connections for Singapore-based entrepreneurs and provides a platform for startups to expand into regional markets. Supported by Enterprise Singapore and JTC, ACEIC facilitates opportunities for both local startups seeking regional growth and international startups setting up bases in Singapore. Global networking and community building, business and funding networks, co-working spaces as well as a market access programme are part of the services offered. Today, ACE’s international network reaches twenty key markets and gateway cities.

For more information, visit
For collated resources for startups during COVID-19, visit
For ACE COVID-19 Seminar Series, visit



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