71 SG launches programme to help start-ups enter China

Local start-ups can now get a leg-up when it comes to entering Chinese markets, thanks to a new initiative by home-grown firm 71 SG.

Its Start-up Development and Learning Programme launched yesterday provides overseas market access and intelligence as well as networking and funding opportunities for Singapore companies.

The aim is to "help start-ups understand the new market swiftly by connecting them to potential customers, partners and investors," said 71 SG in a statement yesterday.

The programme, backed by International Enterprise Singapore, willculminate in a five-day technology and business workshop in Wuhan, China, to be held at the end of March next year.

It is targeted at digital professionals and entrepreneurs interested in the fields of technology, business and investments in China.

Highlights include meeting with representatives of different government bodies to understand local laws, as well as networking with multinational corporations, angel and venture capital investors and successful companies in China.

"As a local start-up, we understand the difficulties of launching a company not only in Singapore but other markets as well," said 71 SG director Eric Kng.

He added: "71 SG aims to bridge the gap between local start-ups and investors, partners in China to open and widen opportunities for local small and medium-sized enterprises that are looking to branch out."

The firm's business is focused on linking Singapore entrepreneurs with capital and connections. Its China headquarters is in Wuhan, which has a population of 10.6 million.

The firm noted that the city - with a gross domestic product of more than $227.7 billion last year, marking a 8.8 per cent year-on- year growth - is well supported by the Chinese government in the start-up arena. "This makes it an ideal space for Singapore start-ups to establish a strong China presence," said 71 SG.

Last year, 71 SG co-organised its first pitch day in Wuhan, helping six Singapore start-ups enter the competition and interact with potential investors.

The company plans to expand into other cities in China, mainly Shanghai and Beijing, as well as Thailand in the coming year, it added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2016, with the headline '71 SG launches programme to help start-ups enter China'. Print Edition | Subscribe