Singapore Remains A Top 5 Ecosystem For Startups in Asia – Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking Report 2021

Media Release


Singapore Remains A Top 5 Ecosystem For Startups in Asia – Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking Report 2021


  • Singapore maintains its 5th position in Asia and the leading ecosystem in ASEAN this year.
  • Fintech, Cleantech and Agritech (agriculture) identified as leading sub-sector strengths of the country with strong Government support and talent attraction.


Singapore, 13 October 2021 – Singapore maintains its 5th position in Asia and 17th position globally as a startup ecosystem according to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) 2021. The research, fronted by world-leading innovation policy advisory and research firm Startup Genome, was done in partnership with Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), and Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), the national trade association representing startups.

The GSER report ranks cities against six success factors – Performance, Funding, Connectedness, Market Reach, Knowledge, and Talent. The report utilises a comprehensive quantitative evaluation infrastructure that includes data from over 3 million companies, nearly 300 ecosystems, and surveys from more than 10,000 startup executives across the globe.

Similar to 2020, Singapore performed well in three success factors. Tiered from 1 – 10, Singapore scored well in Funding (8), Connectedness (6), and Market Reach (6). Funding, in particular has been Singapore’s strength. Assessed based on the accessibility, quality and activity of funding, Singapore has performed very well in this area relative to its global rankings. Despite the pandemic, Singapore still drew in S$5.5 billion in capital over the past year, making it the leading city in acquiring venture capital dollars in Southeast Asia.  

On the other hand, Singapore will need to improve in the remaining three factors, Talent (5), Performance (4), and Knowledge (1). The two factors where there is most room for improvement are Performance which captures the actual leading, current, and lagging indicators of ecosystem performance, and Knowledge which measures innovation through research and patent activity. With increased Government funding, such as the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 plan’s S$25 billion investment towards research and development in strategic domains, Singapore is moving forward to create more opportunities in these areas.

This highlights the importance of holistically developing every player within the startup ecosystem in Singapore – from startups and corporations to institutes of higher learning and investors. A strong and well-connected ecosystem will provide a platform for these resources, in terms of ideas, funds, or talent, to be better shared and utilised.

On the launch of the report, Mr Jayren Teo, Managing Director of Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Singapore commented. “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to partner with Startup Genome and ACE for this exciting report. The insights illustrate where we are relative to the rest of the world, and highlights what we as a nation can do to further elevate Singapore’s startup ecosystem. We firmly believe in the potential of Singapore in its journey to become a truly innovative city-state, and will continue to work with ACE on initiatives to facilitate growth and expansion in the country.”

On the next steps for Singapore, Mr James Tan, Chairman of ACE said, “The Singapore Government has provided ample funding and opportunities for development, and we are confident in the level of innovation and the resilient nature of our startups and their stakeholders to uplift the ecosystem.” Mr Tan continues, “Breaking down the silos that have separated them, many of these stakeholders are beginning to think of the big picture – collectively working towards solutions that are beneficial for all parties. Taking the lead from this momentum, we will continue our development efforts, to facilitate a seamless transfer of knowledge and talent to support our startups, and to enhance Singapore’s standing as a thriving and attractive startup ecosystem.”

To read the full Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021, please visit Startup Genome’s website here.


Action Community for Entrepreneurship


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About ACE

Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) is the national voice for the Singapore startup ecosystem, and a key trade association representing the interests of startups in Singapore. ACE has more than 2,000 members, representing over 1,300 startups.

Working closely with the Government and startups, ACE aims to promote entrepreneurship, catalyse new growth opportunities, scale startups and build champion enterprises.

ACE constantly seeks to build a vibrant and sustainable startup ecosystem in Singapore, and focuses on five key pillars: Startups, Corporations, Institutes of Higher Learning, Risk Capital, and Public Sector. As the driving force behind Singapore as an Innovation Island, ACE is creating a virtual and physical space where ideas, knowledge, and capabilities are transformed into value efficiently.

ACE was established in 2003 by the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry, and re-launched as a private sector-led, non-profit organisation in 2014. ACE’s Patron is Dr Tan See Leng, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry.  

For more information, please visit


About GEN

The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates a platform of projects and programs in 180+ countries aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business.

By fostering deeper cross-border collaboration and initiatives between entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurial support organizations, GEN works to fuel healthier start and scale ecosystems that create more jobs, educate individuals, accelerate innovation and strengthen economic growth.

GEN’s comprehensive global footprint of national operations and global verticals in policy, research and programs ensures members have uncommon access to the most relevant knowledge, networks, communities and programs relative to size of economy, maturity of ecosystem, language, culture, geography and more.

To find out more, please visit

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