Mr James Tan, Chairman, ACE
ACE Board Member, Mr Marcus Tan
Benjamin, Chairperson of ACE Youth Sub-Comm
Valued Partners, Ladies and Gentlemen
1 Good evening.
2 Although this is the third run of the Under 35 awards, due to the pandemic, it is only the first time that we are coming together physically to recognise and celebrate the achievements of young and successful ecosystem players. Marcus and Anthony, thank you for joining me on the Selections Panel. We are also grateful to Minister Edwin Tong for his continued support, and I think that you appreciated that he was already mingling with everyone.
3 All Under 35 honourees have made significant contributions to Singapore’s startup ecosystem, taking it to where it is today. Recent news articles have highlighted how Singapore has built a flourishing startup scene within a decade. We were ranked the top Asian country in Startup Blink’s Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2022, as well as the top five cities in Asia in the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 by Startup Genome.
4 By affirming the efforts of young founders and those in our community through this award, we hope to inspire more youths and PMETs to join us in cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit in Singapore. Youths represent our future and engaging youths remains a key priority for ACE. I thank the Youth Sub-Committee led by Benjamin and his capable team for continuing this meaningful initiative and tradition. ACE also works closely with our Post-Secondary Educational Institutions (PSEIs) Sub-Committee to promote entrepreneurship through career fairs, learning journeys, workshops, innovation challenges and our flagship programme BACECAMP.
5 As the national trade association for startups, we are heartened to observe that youths are now actively founding companies, joining venture capital firms, building tight-knit communities, and reporting on key happenings in the ecosystem. It is important to recognise your efforts in uplifting the ecosystem, addressing pain points and improving lives.
6 We are heartened to witness the successes of NUS Overseas College and other innovation and accelerator programmes by corporates and our partners. Singapore now has 25 homegrown unicorns; and ACE wants to help more startups succeed, create more regional and global champions to bring about more good jobs and opportunities for all Singaporeans.
7 A PwC study estimated that startups will contribute up to 2% of our GDP and account for 5% of total employment in Singapore by 2035. Therefore, ACE’s mandate to serve as a strong and effective voice for the ecosystem will become increasingly important. We are committed to bridging communications between startups and the Government, and among all ecosystem players.
8 Recently, we launched our ACE Membership Reboot and a Membership scheme for corporates called CorporACEtion. Through these programmes, we will curate regular networking, learning and mentoring sessions, organise roundtables and dialogues for our startups, and ramp up our market access and fundraising initiatives.
9 We therefore look forward to your strong support so that ACE can continue in our efforts to build meaningful and long-lasting connections, for your exciting business journey and ventures.
10 Once again, my heartiest congratulations to all 10 Honourees. Please enjoy the evening! Thank you.