Corporates are a key stakeholder in the startup ecosystem. Through innovation challenges, corporate innovation labs and Corporate VCs (CVCs), the corporates give opportunities to startups in the form of awards, equity, brand association, access to IP and distribution channels, or possible collaborations such as going into a Proof of Concept (POC) together.


Corporates in South-East Asia

CVCs usually involve businesses directly investing corporate funds into external startups. However, in Southeast Asia, many CVC firms are involved in the investments of independent firms, usually as limited partners.

CVC firms deployed US$972.7 million in Southeast Asia for the first eight months of 2018, reported by Tech in Asia. Globally, CVC activity hit US$57.1 billion in 2019, with 3,234 CVC-backed deals closed.


Corporates in Singapore

Corporates increasingly adopt open innovation for access to ideas and resources, and to develop viable solutions in a shorter timeframe. Through open innovation, corporates can tap on the ecosystem of startups and SMEs for a wider pool of ideas and develop innovation capabilities through collaboration. In return, startups/SMEs will get support and funding from the corporates to develop and test their products’ market fit. Some of the open innovation challenges supported by the Singapore government are:

  • Environmental Services IoT Challenge – For data-driven environmental services operations
  • Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge 2020 – For startups, SMEs, IHLs and RIs to tackle sectoral challenges for adoption at scale across the industry  
  • Built Environment Accelerate to Market Programme (BEAMP) 2020 – The programme is set up to bring inventors and companies together to fast-track the innovation process to solve real world industry challenges

According to Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), more than 20 banks and insurers have set up innovation labs in Singapore, and that corporates prefer setting up labs or hubs over CVCs to be more involved in the innovation and commercialisation efforts.

Corporates recognise Singapore as a vibrant innovation hub for startups in the region and therefore keen to engage the startup ecosystem to learn about disruptive technology, engage with and co-innovate with startups.

ACE, being the heart of Singapore’s startup ecosystem, is keen to bring Corporates into our ecosystem to enrich it with win-win co-innovation possibilities.




Corporate Membership

ACE has a 1 year membership programme for corporates to kick-start their journey with the startup ecosystem. Tailoring to the different needs of the corporates, ACE offers 3 different types of Corporate Memberships. 


ACE Corporate Innovation partner

Corporates who are interested in partnering with the startup community through open innovation. ACE organises an ecosystem plug-in, innovation workshops and other bespoke programmes to help corporates to engage directly with startups.


ACE Corporate Member

Corporates who are interested to use ACE’s platform to market and engage with the startup community. ACE will organise a workshop and help corporates to disseminate their relevant marketing materials through the different ACE channels.


ACE Community partner

Corporates who are interested to get involved in the startup community. ACE will notify corporates of relevant ACE community engagement events, allowing corporates to attend and interact with startups.


Corporate Innovation Challenge



Dedicated innovation challenge for corporate members.

  • Innovation Enablers Network – The IEN aims to provide a platform for corporates to solve problem statements through co-innovation with startups. Learn more about IEN here.
  • Startup Scouting Programme – Conduct an ecosystem landscape scan and a tailored startup scouting programme.


Corporate Innovators Networking


The “must go to” once a month thematic networking session for corporate innovators. Organised by ACE every third Thursday of the month, the community has more than 100 innovators and growing.


Digital Transformation Exchange


Quarterly sectorial focused seminar where key startups showcase trends and solutions in the industry to kick start a corporate’s or SME’s digital transformation journey.



The Bridge Challenge by The Coca-Cola Company, powered by ACE aims to identify and collaborate with high potential startups with emerging technologies that disrupt the consumer industry.

Startups have the opportunity to co-innovate, validate, and commercialise solutions with The Coca-Cola Company. They also received feedback and inputs on their solution from The Coca-Cola Company and ACE mentors. 20 promising startups were matched. 

Startup Investment Pitch 2019 aims to co-innovate, validate, and scale with emerging tech startups in the fintech industry promoting financial inclusion for the informal sector in Southeast Asia.

Reaching out to ACE’s regional network, the event matched 10 startups for the challenge. With further shortlisting, 3 startups were selected for point-of-contact discussions.

Digital Transformation Exchange: DigiExpo was held in partnership with Rolls Royce. Together, we created and refined the problem statement and attracted a pool of startups that are at the forefront of technology. 

15 startups were matched for the problem statement challenge and 8 were selected to pitch on Demo Day. Additionally, 3 startups got selected for potential proof-of-concept at EPIC 2019. 

Digital Transformation Exchange: Innovation in Food & AgriTech took place in May 2020 in collaboration with Enterprise Singapore, ACE and Padang & Co. 

Numerous cutting edge solutions such as new biodegradable polymers and natural food preservation films were showcased, spurring interest, and possible collaboration between the startups and corporates.

Digital Transformation Exchange: MedTech was a successful event ran together with Roche. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company and has one of the highest R&D spend in the world across all industries. They were looking to co-innovate with startups globally. 

15 MedTech startups were matched and 10 startups pitched on Demo Day. Additionally, 3 startups got selected for potential proof-of-concept at EPIC 2019. 

ACE-Mitsui Startup Meetup 2019 was looking to co-innovate with IoT, Food & Nutrition, Infrastructure & Construction and Drone startup companies in Singapore. 

A closed-door innovation workshop was conducted for relevant startups to showcase and network with the Mitsui delegation. 60 key stakeholders in the ecosystem participated in this event. 

…and more!



If you are a corporate that wishes to meet relevant tech startups in the regional startup ecosystem, contact us at!

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