Temasek, six portfolio firms partner Microsoft in start-up programme

Singapore investment company Temasek is partnering tech giant Microsoft to support start-ups and help them scale up.

Temasek and six of its portfolio companies will collaborate with Microsoft on its start-up accelerator programme in four technology and innovation hubs: Seattle, Berlin, Tel Aviv and Bangalore.

The companies involved are real estate developers CapitaLand and Ascendas, venture lending platform InnoVen Capital, cyber-security provider Quann, engineering group ST Engineering and investment company Fullerton Financial.

As part of the Microsoft Accelerator programme, start-ups will be able to tap subject matter experts, mentors, pilot programmes and marketing support from Temasek and its portfolio companies.

Temasek said it and its portfolio companies have identified urban solutions, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, fintech, cyber security, healthcare, IT and digital media as key focus areas.

Mr Ong Beng Teck, managing director of Temasek's Enterprise Development Group, said in a posting on the firm's website that the programme is a "win-win partnership".

He added: "For the start-ups, this provides them with the opportunity to work with established companies to pilot and validate their products and technologies."

Microsoft Accelerator general manager Scott Coleman said it looks forward to growing and deepening its partnership with Temasek.

He said in a blog post: "Temasek and its portfolio companies' strong interest in innovation, disruption and global investment will be served via connections with start-ups currently in the programme, as well as through our highly successful alumni that our four-year programme has accelerated to date."

Mr Ng Kok Siong, CapitaLand's chief corporate development officer, said the company's portfolio of real estate assets "offers a living lab to start-ups, where they can validate their ideas and prototypes".

CapitaLand will explore investments in start-ups that complement its business, he added.

Mr Ajay Hattangdi, group chief operating officer of InnoVen Capital, said the firm, which provides venture debt to start-up companies, is invested in the development of the entire venture ecosystem.

"We like Microsoft's philosophy of working with other corporates and the interesting platform they've built for start-ups and corporates to work together for mutual growth and benefit," added Mr Hattangdi, who is also InnoVen's chief executive for India.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2016, with the headline 'Temasek, six portfolio firms partner Microsoft in start-up programme'. Print Edition | Subscribe