New one-stop financial technology office for startups launched

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat (right) speaking to Mr Rudy Lim, manager of the SPH Media Fund, during his tour of a start-up co-working space at JTC LaunchPad @ one-north on Friday (April 1).
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat (right) speaking to Mr Rudy Lim, manager of the SPH Media Fund, during his tour of a start-up co-working space at JTC LaunchPad @ one-north on Friday (April 1).ST PHOTO: CHONG KOH PING

SINGAPORE - Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Friday (April 1) announced the launch of SG-Innovate to help innovative start-ups commercialise and a new one-stop office to promote Singapore as a financial technology (fintech) hub.

SG-Innovate - an initiative that Mr Heng first unveiled in his Budget 2016 speech last week - will provide a way of connecting budding entrepreneurs with the smart money from venture capitalists, industry mentors and the global markets, he said.

"We want to encourage our students and researchers to the their research findings and ideas to commercialise them," he added.

Mr Heng was speaking to the media after his visit to start-up co-working spaces at the National University of Singapore and one-north, in Bouna Vista.

Mr Steve Leonard, chairman of Infocomm Investments Private Limited (IIPL) and executive deputy chairman of Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), will be the chief executive of SG-Innovate.

The company will come under the National Research Foundation, a department within the Prime Minister's Office.

Mr Heng also announced that a new financial technology (fintech) office will be set up to provide one stop service for start-ups in this sector. The office is a partnership between SG-Innovate and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Fintech businesses intending to set up in Singapore can seek advice on various fintech and technology-related government grants and schemes.

"Innovation will be critical to our future," said Mr Heng, "these innovations will be important in transforming our economy and create better jobs for our people and an economy that is more vibrant."