SingTel and associates launch Innov8 Sparks to help start-ups expand

Telco group SingTel and its mobile company associates around Asia have launched a new alliance to help start-ups in the region expand outside their respective home markets. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
Telco group SingTel and its mobile company associates around Asia have launched a new alliance to help start-ups in the region expand outside their respective home markets. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Telco group SingTel and its mobile company associates around Asia have launched a new alliance to help start-ups in the region expand outside their respective home markets.

Innov8 Sparks will be set up by SingTel Innov8, AIS The Startup, Kickstart Ventures by Globe, Optus-Innov8 Seed, and Telkomsel "Teman-Dev".

The alliance will lend a hand to eligible start-ups to venture into Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, SingTel Innov8 and Innov8 Sparks said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

Start-ups in the Innov8 Sparks programme will gain access to working space, introductions to local partners and start-up communities, as well as local market information and resources, the statement said.

"Expanding beyond local shores is never easy for start-ups in the region, but the head start provided by Innov8 Sparks will help increase their chances of success," it added.

Innov8 Sparks aims to help start-ups such as ZAP, a rewards platform in the Philippines that was launched with the help of Globe's Kickstart Ventures.

"Entering new markets is especially hard for a start-up. ZAP has benefited from new connections to both investors and partners provided by Kickstart Ventures and other members of Innov8 Sparks," said ZAP chief executive Dustin Cheng.

Kickstart Ventures is Globe Telecom's wholly-owned incubator and investment firm that helps start-ups operating in the Philippines, with a focus on digital companies.

AIS The Startup is a start-up associate of AIS, the leading mobile operator in Thailand. Optus-Innov8 Seed is a collaboration between Optus and SingTel Innov8 to help support Australian technology start-ups at seed stage.

"Teman-Dev" is a developer support initiative from Telkomsel, seeking to build Indonesia's local digital creative industry.