Govt agency, US firm to nurture start-ups in S'pore, San Francisco

Silicon Valley-based venture firm and seed accelerator 500 Startups and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) have entered into a two-way partnership to nurture the growth of start-ups in Singapore and San Francisco, ESG said in a press statement yesterday.

500 Startups is the latest partner to join ESG's Global Innovation Alliance (GIA), a network of Singapore and overseas partners in major innovation hubs abroad. GIA is a joint initiative between ESG and the Economic Development Board.

500 Startups and ESG have teamed up to run Global Launch, a new acceleration programme under the GIA.

500 Startups will run the programme in San Francisco, where it will support Singapore-based start-ups in establishing a presence in the city. Up to 20 start-ups will be selected to be part of this 16-week programme, with the first cohort set to begin in November.

Global Launch will conduct a week-long series of workshops that will help the start-ups develop their market strategy for the United States. This will be followed by a two-week intensive boot camp in San Francisco, where they will be coached on sales, marketing and pitching.

The start-ups will then take part in networking and business pitching opportunities, and showcase their ideas to investors in an open house.

In the process, 500 Startups will provide guidance on business development, briefings on business and technology trends, marketing support to the start-up ecosystem partners and mentorship.

Separately, 500 Startups will also run a 16-week programme to support global start-ups that want to establish a presence in Singapore as a means to expand in Asia. The programme is expected to begin in January next year with 10 start-ups.

Participants will go through workshops on doing business in the region, curated mentor matchmaking and targeted business facilitation to connect with industry professionals and multinational corporations.

500 Startups chief executive Christine Tsai said the firm is thrilled to deepen its involvement in the Singapore ecosystem. It has long supported South-east Asian start-ups through its 500 Durians fund.

"Singapore's vibrant start-up ecosystem has nurtured an exciting pool of start-ups chomping at the bit to scale globally. This strong innovation culture and talent make it a great gateway for founders who want to access the South-east Asian market.

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Singapore's vibrant start-up ecosystem has nurtured an exciting pool of start-ups chomping at the bit to scale globally. This strong innovation culture and talent make it a great gateway for founders who want to access the South-east Asian market.

500 STARTUPS CHIEF EXECUTIVE CHRISTINE TSAI, on the firm's partnership with Enterprise Singapore.

"We are excited to build a bridge through this programme between Silicon Valley and South-east Asia to help start-ups enter their next phase of global expansion," she said.

ESG chairman Peter Ong said the partnership with 500 Startups can help Singapore start-ups seek new partnerships and investors in Silicon Valley.

"We also welcome US-based start-ups to use Singapore's established ecosystem as a springboard into the growing South-east Asia region. The two-way exchange will strengthen Singapore's position as a global-Asia node for technology, innovation and enterprise," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2019, with the headline 'Govt agency, US firm to nurture start-ups in S'pore, San Francisco'. Print Edition | Subscribe