IE S'pore tech tie-ups pave way into China market

Trade agency International Enterprise (IE) Singapore has signed two memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with tech partners to help Singapore companies gain access to China's innovation ecosystem.

The partnerships - one with start-up accelerator AIRmaker and NTUitive, the innovation and enterprise arm of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and the other with Chinese media platform 36Kr - will help local tech companies understand the China market, test-bed their products, as well as partner Chinese companies to implement solutions.

IE Singapore said China is emerging as a conducive ground for tech companies to grow as the Chinese government pushes for greater innovation and entrepreneurship. Beijing and Shanghai were recently ranked fourth and eighth respectively, in terms of having the best start-up ecosystems in the world.

Mr Yew Sung Pei, assistant chief executive of IE Singapore, said: "China has always been a market of interest to our Singapore companies, not only because of its sheer size, but because of the innovativeness and entrepreneurial spirit of the domestic market.

"Through our partnerships with AIRmaker, NTUitive and 36Kr, we hope to ease market access for our tech companies, (and) connect them to the right networks and partners to learn from bigger players. This will eventually grow a stronger pool of Singapore tech companies and build our local tech sector."

AIRmaker, an accelerator focused on Internet-of-Things, healthcare and AI (artificial intelligence), will coordinate and conduct market access programmes to connect Singapore deeptech and medtech firms to the China ecosystem.

Starting with eight to 10 companies working on AI solutions, it will provide resources, such as co-working spaces, market network, support and training to facilitate growth in China.

IE Singapore and AIRmaker will also work with NTUitive to bring the varsity's research innovations on board.

In addition, the trade agency will partner 36Kr to provide Singapore tech start-ups with curated accelerator programmes, networks and opportunities to connect to in-market mentors, investors and partners. China's top tech blog, 36Kr has spun off into media, co-working space, venture fund-raising and financial services.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2017, with the headline 'IE S'pore tech tie-ups pave way into China market'. Print Edition | Subscribe