One-stop centre to aid start-ups in international growth
SINGAPORE — Local start-ups with ambitions to expand overseas got a further boost yesterday, with the launch of a new one-stop centre that will help connect them to networks overseas, among other assistance.
Supported by Government agencies International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and Spring Singapore, as well as JTC, the Action Community for Entrepreneurship International Centre (Aceic) will also support overseas start-ups looking to set up shop in Singapore.
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Dr Koh Poh Koon, who officiated the launch, noted the growing number of start-ups and venture capital activity here. The number of tech start-ups here has grown from 2,800 in 2003, to more than 4,300, he observed.
Venture capital activity has jumped eight times in the past five years, with a record high of US$3.5 billion in venture capital invested into Singapore start-ups last year.
“The start-up ecosystem here has grown in depth and diversity over the past decade,” said Dr Koh. “Each year, we see more start-ups, more venture activity, and more success stories.
“The increasing vibrancy of our ecosystem has also captured interest from international investors and entrepreneurs to leverage on Singapore’s position as an Asian scale-up location and entry point into markets in the region. The establishment of the Aceic is therefore timely, to enhance global connections for our entrepreneurs and provide an important platform for start-ups to expand into growth markets in the region.”
Mr Kow Juan Tiang, coordinating group director for infrastructure and technology business at IE Singapore, added: “We see more tech start-ups shift gear to tap into the rising opportunities in Asia, especially in South-east Asia, where e-commerce and digitalisation efforts are taking off.
“It is timely to work with our trade associations and partners to centralise efforts as we help more tech start-ups plug into the regional start-up ecosystem.”
This comes after news on Tuesday that IE Singapore and Spring Singapore will be combined into a single Government agency called Enterprise Singapore, in a move that will help local firms to grow their businesses and expand overseas.
Located at JTC LaunchPad @ One-North, Aceic will help start-ups connect to overseas markets and partners in a targeted manner, said Mr Edmas Neo, executive director for ACE. For instance, if the firm’s focus of specialisation is in the field of cyber security, the centre will look at exchange programmes within Israel, which is famous for its expertise in this area.
Overall, the centre is looking at markets such as Indonesia, Thailand and China, among others. Programmes will also be created to benefit start-ups, such as workshops and business modelling sessions.
The centre will support companies from a diverse range of industries, including engineering, biomedical, and financial technology.
By the end of this year, it aims to bring in between 20 and 25 start-ups from other countries to Singapore, and support at least five Singapore-based start-ups to go overseas.
ACE also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with KPMG Digital Village, an arm of consultancy firm KPMG, to set up a regional co-innovation hub here, to drive innovation between start-ups and enterprises.