Facebook, IMDA to launch start-up accelerator in Singapore in February

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Facebook’s new expanded office space at Marina One, West Tower. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The new office will also house Facebook's Singapore and regional teams, and occupies about 200,000 square feet of space across four floors. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The new office is also home to Facebook's first partner centre in Asia. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Selected start-ups in the region can soon benefit from a new free six-month accelerator programme that Facebook is launching together with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Called Startup Station Singapore, this programme announced on Tuesday (Oct 2) will provide selected start-ups with access to mentorships by industry leaders, short training modules and co-working spaces.

It is set to take off in next February and applications are open from now till Dec 7.

In a joint release, IMDA and Facebook said this programme aims to accelerate the businesses of startups in new and cutting-edge ways.

Startup Station Singapore will also provide these businesses with connections to investors and access to a regulatory sandbox facilitated by the IMDA, which allows them to develop new ideas through the use of data in a live environment.

Mr Alvin Tan, head of public policy (Asean) at Facebook, said: "Through our partnership with IMDA for Startup Station Singapore, we will be able to give start-ups the infrastructure and access they need to refine and scale their business models."

The programme is Facebook's first data innovation start-up programme in Asia and the second in the world after France.

Startup Station Singapore was announced as Facebook officially moved on Tuesday into its new expanded office space at the West Tower of Marina One in the Marina Bay area.

The office will house Facebook's Singapore and regional teams, and occupies more than 24,000 sq m of space across four floors. Facebook, which first set up shop in Singapore a decade ago, now has more than 1,000 employees here.

The opening of the office was attended by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, as well as Mayor of Central Singapore Community Development Council Denise Phua.

Facebook's Vice-President of Asia Pacific Dan Neary said: "Singapore is a key to our continued growth in the region, and we are honoured to work with and support some incredible partners in the public and private sector to drive Singapore's economic, innovation and community goals."

Earlier last month, Facebook announced it would be spending $1.4 billion to construct its first data centre in Asia in Singapore.

The centre will be located in Tanjong Kling, in the western part of Singapore. This 11-storey centre will span 170,000 sq m and support hundreds of jobs, the company said.

Facebook's expansion in Singapore comes at a time a trying time for the social media giant, following its announcement last Friday of a breach that affected almost 50 million users.

The breach allowed attackers to exploit a previously unknown vulnerability found on Facebook's "view as" feature, which allows users to see what their Facebook profiles look like to others, to gain unauthorised access to user accounts.

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