Private sector to help identify and nurture tech start-ups with strong potential

Start-ups can contact accredited mentor partners at
Start-ups can contact accredited mentor partners at SCREENGRAB FROM STARTUPSG WEBSITE

SINGAPORE - The private sector is chipping in to help the Singapore government identify technopreneurs and tech start-ups that can contribute to the country's future growth.

Seventeen companies will formally mentor start-ups in areas such as artificial intelligence, cyber security and digital health, and match them with the right Government funding programmes.

Spring Singapore announced yesterday (May 11) some 17 accredited mentor partners (AMPs) under the Startup SG scheme, first unveiled in March (2017) to streamline the administration of all government funding programmes.

The AMPs include Singapore-based private investment firm Focustech Ventures; The FinLab, a joint venture between UOB and a unit of the National Research Foundation to groom start-ups; and Israel-based incubator Trendlines Medical Singapore.

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They will identify and recommend start-ups with unique tech ideas and viable business models to Spring Singapore for possible government funding. Start-ups are advised to contact the AMPs too at

Mr Edwin Chow, Spring Singapore group director of Industry & Enterprise, said that the Singapore Government wants to send a signal that there is "no wrong door" when it comes to getting help.

"We want to move away from an agency-centric way of providing help and funding to start-ups," said Mr Chow.

Spring Singapore is the central administrator of Startup SG, which has a five-year budget of $220 million for equity in deep-tech firms and to provide grants to first-time entrepreneurs.

For instance, the Government will co-invest 70 per cent in qualifying start-ups, and first-time entrepreneurs can get a $30,000 grant.

Mr Chow said the "whole of government" approach is in line with recommendations by the Committee on the Future Economy, released in February, to involve the private sector in identifying and grooming tech start-ups to secure Singapore's future economic growth.

Startup SG is part of plans to grow the number of high-potential start-ups with operations in Singapore to 8,000 over the next 10 years, from the current 4,800. The current batch includes ride-matching service provider Grab and e-tailer Lazada.