Nine startups apply to IDA scheme that helps homegrown firms bid for Gov projects

SINGAPORE - Homegrown technology startups will be considered first over more established firms for government projects under a new scheme and nine startups have already applied for this.

Called Accreditation@IDA, the scheme was launched in April and is run by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA). The scheme helps startups without a track record or financial muscle - and would otherwise not meet the stringent criteria to apply for government tenders - get a foot in the door. Government agencies can skip the usual tender process and sign a contract with any accredited startups that meet their criteria.

A review panel comprising newly-hired technology and financial consultants will accredit startups. IDA's assessment criteria for companies include their operational capabilities, financial standing and product reliability.

To qualify, companies also need to be based here and have an annual revenue of less than $10 million. Their products have to be unique with a big impact, like those that address major issues in education and transportation.

The nine startups that have applied are in the fields of providing data analytics, mobility and security solutions. The accreditation status will be valid for 18 months.

Over the next two years, government agencies are expected to start on some 60 data analytics and security projects that could be relevant to startups.

"We set up the Accreditation@IDA to help startups win real projects from government and industry buyers, where accredited companies will be considered first for various innovation-focused government projects and industry collaborations," said IDA executive deputy chairman Steve Leonard.