Singapore Enhancing Support for First-Time Entrepreneurs to Boost Startup Pipeline

Sep 2020

Enterprise Singapore (ESG), a government agency that champions enterprise development in Singapore, will be enhancing the Startup SG Founder scheme with the aim of boosting the pipeline of new innovative startups in Singapore.

Launched in 2017, Startup SG Founder supports first-time entrepreneurs through mentorships and startup capital grants. ESG is raising grant support from SGD 30,000 (USD 22,000) to SGD 50,000 (USD 36,500) and providing a three-month venture-building program for aspiring entrepreneurs. Startups are required to raise 3:1 matching (i.e. SGD 10,000 or USD 7,400) as co-matching fund to the grant. Up to SGD 150 million (USD 110 million) has been set aside for this.

To tap the grant, startups must be formed with minimally three Singaporeans and/or permanent residents, of which at least two must be first-time founders, with each participant receiving a monthly stipend of SGD 1,500 (USD 1,100) during its three-month duration.

To help aspiring new entrepreneurs get their foot off the ground, ESG will appoint Venture Builders to provide a three-month Venture Building programme. The programme will provide support for sourcing innovation, commercializing these ideas into scalable businesses, getting product/solution validation from customers and finding capital. Five autonomous universities—Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design, and Singapore University of Social Sciences—have been announced as partners. Apart from the five autonomous universities selected, ESG will be progressively expanding the list of venture builders for its program.

The Startup SG Founder enhancements are part of Singapore’s Unity Budget, which was announced in February. SGD 8.3 billion (USD 6.1 billion) will be allocated over the next three years under the “Transformation and Growth” strategy, which aims to position Singapore’s economy to tap opportunities in a post-COVID-19 world.

(Sources: ESG, KrASIA)