I have been living in Singapore for two and a half years. This is recognized as one of the top startup ecosystems in the world, with a thriving community of entrepreneurs and a supportive business environment. In this blog post, we will explore the factors that have contributed to Singapore's success as a startup hub and highlight some of the most promising actors in the ecosystem.
The Singapore government has been a strong supporter of the startup ecosystem, providing funding, infrastructure, and regulatory support to help entrepreneurs succeed. The government has launched several initiatives such as the Startup SG scheme, which provides grants and mentorship to early-stage startups, and the SGInnovate program, which supports deep tech startups in areas such as AI and robotics.
Government lead venture catalyst
- SGInnovate: https://www.sginnovate.com/
- A*Star: https://www.a-star.edu.sg/enterprise
- GovTech: https://www.tech.gov.sg/
In addition, the government has set up several co-working spaces, accelerators, and incubators, such as BLOCK71, to provide startups with affordable office space and access to mentorship and networking opportunities.
- Block71: https://singapore.block71.co/
Singapore has a highly skilled and diverse workforce, with a large pool of talent from around the world. The country's top-notch education system and favorable immigration policies make it easy for startups to attract and retain top talent.
The government has also taken steps to encourage entrepreneurship among young people by introducing entrepreneurship education in schools and universities. This has resulted in a growing number of young entrepreneurs starting their own businesses.
- NUS GRIP: https://nus.edu.sg/grip/
Singapore has a strong investment community, with a growing number of venture capitalists, angel investors, and corporate investors. In recent years, there has been a surge in investment activity in the city-state, with several billion dollars invested in startups across a range of industries.
- ebdi : https://edbi.com/home/
- vertex venture: https://www.vertexventures.sg/
Early Stage Accelerator
- Innovate360: https://innovate360.sg/
- Angel Central: https://www.angelcentral.co/
- Auk Industries: https://auk.industries/
The presence of major global players such as Softbank, Sequoia, and Accel Partners in Singapore has also helped to attract investment and provide startups with access to global markets.
Singapore is home to several promising startups in various industries, from fintech to biotech to e-commerce. Some of the most notable include:
Grab: Southeast Asia's leading ride-hailing and logistics platform, valued at over $16 billion.
Carousell: An online marketplace for buying and selling secondhand goods, with over 30 million listings across eight markets.
There are many more actors in the ecosystem as well to contribute to the startup success:
- Open Innovation Platform: https://www.openinnovation.sg/imda
- Innosparks: https://www.stengg.com/en/innosparks/#/
Other useful Associations:
- Singapore Fintech Association: https://singaporefintech.org/
After my experience in both Hong Kong and Singapore startup ecosystem, I can see Singapore has come a long way in a relatively short period of time, thanks to a combination of government support, a talented workforce, and a strong investment community. With its favorable business environment and strategic location in Southeast Asia, Singapore is poised to continue to attract entrepreneurs and investors from around the world, driving innovation and growth in the region.