Focused on helping the start-up ecosystem thrive and grow in the region, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Dr Koh Poh Koon announced efforts made by the Government to strengthen support for start-ups in Singapore, during his speech at the Parliament on March 3.
The Government aims to provide support to start-ups in three key areas: branding, funding and talent attraction. Also the start-up support schemes will be unified under a single brand “Startup SG” which would include:
Through this branding, it will be easy for budding entrepreneurs to identify the relevant schemes for their needs. The Government will work with other stakeholders to strengthen the “Startup SG” brand.
Under the Start-up SG Equity scheme, the Government’s co-investment portion for deep-tech start-ups will be doubled from S$2 million to S$4 million. The proportion of Government’s co-investment funding support for supported investments will be increased from 50% to 70%.
“As part of the Start-up SG Equity scheme, the Government will enhance its co-investment support for promising start-ups in deep-tech areas like medical technology, clean technology and advanced manufacturing, to catalyse private sector investment for this group,” Dr Koh said.
Also a work pass scheme for foreign entrepreneurs keen on starting a business in Singapore “Entrepass” will be enhanced to create a more conducive environment for promising global talent.
Establishing Entrepass would broaden the evaluation criteria for global startup founders with an established track record, while extending the validity of each EntrePass from the current one year to two years, after the first renewal at Year 2.
Currently applicants are required to have a paid-up capital of at least S$50,000 in their start-ups. But Dr Koh said this requirement will be removed, in order to welcome global entrepreneurs with good ideas to come in at an earlier stage.
“The number of start-ups in Singapore has more than doubled, from 22,000 in 2003 to 48,000 in 2015. There have also been significant increases in the number and aggregate valuations of start-up exits,” Dr Koh was quoted by Channel News Asia. “Notable successes include live customer support chat solution provider Zopim and online marketplace Lazada, which were acquired for about US$30 million in 2014 and US$1 billion in 2016 respectively.”
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