Technopreneurship building momentum in Singapore: ST Digital Life Forum

Technopreneurship in Singapore is now beginning to build momentum in what is the second coming of tech start-ups after the first dotcom wave in the late 1990s subsided.

This year, some 80 to 100 companies are getting funding under the Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS) of the National Research Foundation (NRF), said Mr Leslie Loh, managing director of homegrown venture capital firm Red Dot Ventures.

Mr Loh was speaking at The Straits Times' inaugural Digital Life Forum 2013 and the second annual DL Awards held at St Regis Hotel on Tuesday.

The firm is one of the 10 venture capital firms approved by the Government to identify potential start-ups for investments under TIS, The scheme was launched in 2009 to encourage technology incubators to invest in and nurture early stage high-tech start-ups based in Singapore.

The number of local start-ups benefitting from the fund has almost doubled the 50 companies that received funding last year. Under the scheme, NRF will provide co-investment funding of up to 85 per cent in each company, capped at $500,000 per company.

The remaining portion of at least 15 per cent will have to come from the firm's incubator or incubator manager.

Mr Loh was joined at the forum by several other IT veterans including Mr Karl Chong, co-founder of Groupon Singapore and Mr Ryan Lee founder of mini-speaker maker XMI, on a panel discussion entitled "Thriving Technopreneurship: Can Singapore Make It Happen?".