Ac­cel­er­a­tors to look out for in sin­ga­pore

Sin­ga­pore Busi­ness Re­view talked to in­dus­try ex­perts to round up the most promis­ing ac­cel­er­a­tors in the city.

Singapore Business Review - - CONTENTS -

When an en­tre­pre­neur has an idea for a new busi­ness, there are spe­cial pro­grammes that of­fer men­tor­ship and fund­ing to jump­start their ven­ture. Ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­grammes are of­fered for a cer­tain pe­riod, with vary­ing ar­eas of fo­cus, and in­vest­ment/eq­uity stake. In­creas­ingly, this new trend is emerg­ing in the busi­ness ecosys­tem. Straight from lead­ing ven­ture cap­i­tal firms, here are eight of the most promis­ing ac­cel­er­a­tors in the city. They are ar­ranged in no par­tic­u­lar or­der.

• Or­a­cle Startup Cloud Ac­cel­er­a­tor Du­ra­tion: 6 months, with two-year ex­ten­sion op­tion for the Or­a­cle Cloud cred­its, 5 to 6 per batch

Ar­eas of fo­cus: IT In­vest­ment/eq­uity stake: Zero in­vest­ment due to Or­a­cle pro­vid­ing fa­cil­i­ties, ex­per­tise, tech­ni­cal ad­vice, and cloud ser­vices ac­cess.

Star­tups can gain ac­cess to Or­a­cle Cloud ser­vices’ 420,000-strong global cus­tomer net­work. It be­lieves in a pay-it-for­ward model where star­tups are pro­vided key re­sources to sup­port suc­cess with­out need­ing to grab eq­uity. Alumni in­clude fare­, a data sci­ence and an­a­lyt­ics firm that pro­vides dy­namic price locks to hold air­fares for un­de­cided trav­el­ers; Niy­oyo So­lu­tions, a Fin­tech startup fo­cussed on al­ter­nate pay­ment mech­a­nisms.

• En­tre­pre­neur First (EF) Du­ra­tion: 3-9 months, 100 in­di­vid­u­als per batch Ar­eas of fo­cus: Deep tech­nol­ogy, sci­ence,

en­gi­neer­ing In­vest­ment/eq­uity stake: $5,000 per month per founder for 3 months; $25,000 per com­pany af­ter 3 months. Com­mit­ment to in­vest in seed round and Se­ries A fund­ing with EF in­vest­ing $55,000, part­ner Sgin­no­vate in­vest­ing $45,000, and Spark­labs giv­ing $40,000 as cap­i­tal

EF (En­tre­pre­neur First) wants to bring out­liers to­gether and form teams from in­di­vid­u­als that join in their net­work so busi­nesses can be built to­gether from the ground up. It brings strangers to­gether to work and es­tab­lish busi­nesses through pro­gramme cour­ses.

Its no­table alumni in­clude Lon­don-based startup Magic Pony, a startup that uses ma­chine-learn­ing tech­nol­ogy to im­prove the qual­ity of im­ages and video footages, which was ac­quired by Twit­ter for US$150M on June 2016. The ac­qui­si­tion is ex­pected to boost Twit­ter’s live and video ser­vices such as Periscope and Vine.

For Sin­ga­pore’s first co­hort, no­table alumni also in­clude Tran­sce­les­tial Tech­nolo­gies that raised $2.5m in seed to build a laser com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work us­ing satel­lites and Mi­crosec, who raised $1.5m work­ing with IOT se­cu­rity.

• muru-d Du­ra­tion: 6 months, 10 star­tups per batch from 15 coun­try pool Ar­eas of fo­cus: Dig­i­tal and deep tech­nol­ogy star­tups across all ver­ti­cals In­vest­ment/eq­uity stake: S$75,000 in in­vest­ment with ac­cess to global net­work of men­tors, alumni, in­vestors, and part­ners in­clud­ing a guided trip to Sil­i­con Val­ley

Backed by Aus­tralian telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant Tel­stra, muru-d re­cently launched its third wave of star­tups where 4 out of 10 were from Sin­ga­pore, in­clud­ing Care­pod, which aims to make travel more pet-friendly, and SUP.AI, an Ai-pow­ered mes­sen­ger and so­cial net­work­ing app. Its no­table alumni in­clude Apvera, a ven­ture that of­fers se­cu­rity in­tel­li­gence ser­vices that has raised over $1.6m in seed fund­ing, and send­helper, a mo­bile do­mes­tic ser­vices provider for house­holds.

• NUS Start-up Run­way Du­ra­tion: De­pends on stage of jour­ney. Ar­eas of fo­cus: Tech­nol­ogy-re­lated

In­vest­ment/eq­uity stake: NUS En­ter­prise bun­dles: Startup SG Founder grant of $30,000 with $20,000 cash fund­ing to first­time en­trepreneurs; Lo­tus-nus grants $25,000 to so­cial en­ter­prises; NUS Alumni Startup Cat­a­lyst is a $10,000 val­i­da­tion grant to alumni; and Over­seas Launch­pad re­im­burses up to 70% of ap­proved ex­penses for ex­pan­sion to over­seas mar­kets.

NUS Startup Run­way of­fers a suite of ini­tia­tives and ac­tiv­i­ties tai­lored to sup­port star­tups at any point of their en­treprenurial jour­ney from pre-in­cu­ba­tion, in­cu­ba­tion, ac­cel­er­a­tion, to global scal­ing. They pro­vide in­cu­ba­tion sup­port, ideation and val­i­da­tion ini­tia­tives, ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­grammes, ac­cess to NUS tech, com­mu­nity and even ac­cess to over­seas mar­kets. It has nur­tured star­tups like Carousell, Shop­back, and has pi­o­neered Mod­ern Ag­ing Sin­ga­pore, the first elder mar­ket fo­cused ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gram.

• DBS Hotspot Pre-ac­cel­er­a­tor Du­ra­tion: 3-month pro­gramme, 10 teams per batch with 8 weeks of boot­camp and work­shops Ar­eas of fo­cus: Fin­tech

In­vest­ment/eq­uity stake: DBS and NEST of­fer 3 months free sup­port, with war­rant sys­tem al­low­ing both to po­ten­tially in­vest in startup af­ter pro­gramme. $25,000 (US$18,000) with zero eq­uity.

The startup, which of­fers a col­lab­o­ra­tive work­ing space, fields a lineup of ex­ec­u­tive men­tors in­clud­ing Adam Lawrence, manag­ing di­rec­tor for IBM Global Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices; Gina Heng, CEO of Marvel­stone Group; and Alex Hutchin­son of Deloitte Dig­i­tal, among many other in­dus­try ex­perts that will help star­tups grow their brand. Its no­table alumni in­clude In­ncee and Sushivid.

• Paypal In­cu­ba­tor

Du­ra­tion: 9 months, 3 to 5 per batch Ar­eas of fo­cus: Fin­tech In­vest­ment/eq­uity stake: No spe­cific break­down of in­vest­ments, not prof­it­driven.

Se­lected star­tups can gain ac­cess to

Paypal’s ex­pan­sive list of con­tacts and cap­i­tal, a cowork­ing space in Sin­ga­pore Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre, in­dus­try ex­per­tise and men­tor­ship by Paypal ex­ec­u­tives, and ac­cess to fund­ing and in­fra­struc­ture. Paypal In­no­va­tion Lab is a strate­gic ini­tia­tive to take Sin­ga­pore to the next fron­tier in dig­i­tal com­merce and pay­ments, and is not prof­it­driven. In­au­gu­ral batch in­cludes In­voicein­ter­change, a P2P in­voice trad­ing mar­ket­place named one of the top 40 Fin­tech com­pa­nies in Sin­ga­pore by the Mone­tary Au­thor­ity of Sin­ga­pore (MAS). In March 2017, Tenx raised $1m from fa­mous in­vestors such as Fen­bushi Cap­i­tal with Bo Shen and Vi­ta­lik Bu­terin.

• Startup Boot­camp Fin­tech Sin­ga­pore Du­ra­tion: 3 months, 10 to12 star­tups per batch Area of fo­cus: Fin­tech In­vest­ment/eq­uity stake: $25,000, 6% eq­uity Star­tup­boot­camp boasts of a global reach that links star­tups to key in­for­ma­tion, com­mu­ni­ties, in­dus­tries, and in­vestors essen­tial for global ex­pan­sion. It pro­vides star­tups ac­cess to cor­po­rate part­ners, in­dus­try men­tors, and its global net­works. The ac­cel­er­a­tor is also a part of Rain­mak­ing, a global co­op­er­a­tive of en­trepreneurs whose vi­sion is to cre­ate pos­i­tive change through en­trepreneur­ship, run­ning star­tups and projects in more than 40 coun­tries.

Each year, Rain­mak­ing fa­cil­i­tates more than 1,250 startup events with 100,000 par­tic­i­pants glob­ally. Its no­table alumni in­clude Jumper. ai, which of­fers a uni­fied AI in­ter­face for pay­ments and trans­ac­tion for e-com­merce shops, and Boundlss, an Aus­tralian-based AI health bot that won Best In­surtech Startup of the Year award.

• The Fin­lab Du­ra­tion: 100 days, around 10 star­tups per batch

In­vest­ment/eq­uity stake: $120,000 in cash and ser­vices such as ex­hi­bi­tions, net­work­ing, and of­fice space for 6 months; post-pro­gramme sup­port; con­vert­ible note with a val­u­a­tion cap

• Ar­eas of fo­cus: Fin­tech, SME and com­mer­cial bank­ing space, reg­u­la­tory tech­nol­ogy, data an­a­lyt­ics, AI and ma­chine learn­ing

A joint ven­ture be­tween Sgin­no­vate and United Over­seas Bank Ltd, The Fin­lab en­ables se­lected com­pa­nies to ac­cess men­tor­ship and en­trepreneur­ship sup­port from both pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors as well as a wide net­work of con­tacts. This carves out a path to faster busi­ness growth and eas­ier en­try to larger mar­kets in Asia. Alumni in­clude Trans­ficc, Turnkey Lender, Took­i­taki and Hel­l­ogold.

Thefin­lab team Paypal In­cu­ba­tor team with star­tups muru-d Sin­ga­pore co­hort three Startup Boot­camp Fin­tech Sin­ga­pore team

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