SME Talent Programme for Startups

11 things you need to know about STP for Startups

We received a lot of questions from startups regarding the SME Talent Programme (STP) for startups. While we try our best to answer their question as soon as we can, here is a quick guide to help you navigate through the application process of STP and keep a lookout on things you should take note of before they apply.

What is STP?

The SME Talent Programme (STP) offers up to 70% funding support to help you defray the cost of the monthly stipend when you engage students through internships

What are the benefits of applying for STP?

The objective is to make internships meaningful for the student with each company offering the student mentoring opportunities with a supervisor as well as structured learning objectives based on requirements set by the respective educational institution.

How long is the application process?

The application process typically takes 2 to 3 weeks depending on the completeness of the application submitted

What are the application criteria?

The application criteria include:

  • Company is a Technology based Startup
  • Have a minimum of 30% local (Singaporean or Singaporean PR) share-holding
  • Incorporated in Singapore
  • Less than 5 years from date of incorporation at time of application
  • Have less than 50% ordinary shares owned by other corporate entity
  • Willing to pay and attend a HR capabilities workshop
  • Able to pay interns the minimum monthly stipend* of $800 to ITE and Polytechnic students, and $1000 to University students.

Are there anything I can do to increase my chances of applying to STP successfully?

  1. Sign up for HR Capability Workshop 
  2. Check you have attached ALL compulsory supporting documents:
    1. ACRA BizFile
    2. Financial Report (Audited) or In lieu of audited report, provide us your latest Management Accounts: Profit & Loss Account, Balance Sheet, Cash Flows etc.
    3. Resume of key management team/founders listed in your application
    4. Any invoices or contracts with a major client as prove of business revenue
  3. Check and ensure the following three criteria are ‘Yes’. Your company will be ineligible to apply as startup if any of the following criteria is not fulfilled:
    1. Is your Company less then 5 years from date of incorporation at the time of application?
    2. Does your Company have less then 50% ordinary shares owned by any other corporate entity?
    3. Is your company a technology startup?
  4. Complete the Company Evaluation Question in summary essay format. No bullet points are allowed. You may find suggested answers in the form to assist your submission. To assist in your approval process, answer in similar accordance to the example provided in the form.

Do I need to be STP approved before I can hire intern?

Yes, you will need to be a STP approved startup before you are eligible to claim from STP.

What kind of interns can I hire?

  • Interns must be Singapore Citizen or Singapore P.R
  • Full-time students from ITE, NYP, NP, RP, SP, TP, NTU, NUS, SUSS, SIT, SMU, SUTD and SIM GE
  • Full-time Students Singapore-based private institutions with the 4-year Edutrust certification and overseas institutions with internationally recognised AACSB/EQUIS accreditations are also eligible
  • Post graduate programme interns (i.e Masters/PhD) will not be eligible for grant support
  • The minimum stipend is $800 per month for Polytechnic and ITE and $1,000 for University Students which must be stated in the official school placement letter from the school to your company prior to them joining your company

Will I be matched to intern(s) or I will need to find my own intern(s)?

Company will need to source for their own intern from the various Institute of Higher Learnings (IHLs). To assist on the matching, all ACE STP approved companies can visit the ACE-STP internship job portal at to post all their internship position for FREE

  • For first time users of Glints, they can sign up for the new account using their company email address
  • For existing users of Glints, they can contact Bryan Lee at to add their company email address to the portal

ACE will market the site to the IHLs for them to share with their students on the list of internship opportunities

How do I claim from STP?

Claims for the stipend will be reimbursed at the end of each internship once the company and the intern has completed the necessary feedbacks and provided all the supporting document on the STPNet

If I have applied to STP previously, can I apply again?

All STP Approved Companies qualifies as a sponsoring company to award STP Internships at up to 70% support for a period of 3 years or when the STP ceases, whichever is earlier

How many interns can I hire?

25% based on the number of full time employees in the company. Companies looking to hire more interns can write to

If you still have more questions on STP, do reach out to us at!