Grab, IMDA to pilot programme for S'pore start-ups eyeing overseas expansion

Ride-hailing giant Grab and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will pilot an accelerator programme targeted at Singapore start-ups looking to venture overseas.

Grab Ventures Ignite (GVI), as the Singapore entity is called, will focus on start-ups eyeing expansion in Vietnam.

It will be held alongside the GVI Vietnam programme to enable start-ups from both countries to exchange ideas and learn from one another, both parties said yesterday.

GVI Vietnam is a six-month scale-up programme for start-ups based in that country.

Grab and IMDA will evaluate Singapore start-ups based on a range of criteria, including core team strength, existing standing in the local market, the potential fit with Vietnam and readiness to expand.

Two start-ups will be selected for the full 14-week GVI accelerator, which will include training and mentorship by Grab leaders, immersion trips to Grab markets in Indonesia and Vietnam, and a chance to pitch to regional investors to raise funding.

The two start-ups will also join another three selected start-ups for a three-day boot camp designed to help build their capabilities to develop customer-centric products and services.

All five businesses will be able to network with their Vietnamese counterparts during the boot camp, which will be hosted by Grab, IMDA's Pixel innovation space and Digital Industry Singapore (DISG).

DISG is the joint office of the Economic Development Board, Enterprise Singapore and IMDA that engages with the technology sector.

Participants of both the boot camp and the full 14-week GVI accelerator programme will receive cloud credits of up to US$100,000 (S$142,700) each, access to a co-working space, and other equipment and facilities at Pixel, as well as mentoring from experts in customer-centric innovation.

GVI's partners include Vietnam's National Innovation Centre, which is under the country's Ministry of Planning and Investment; regional venture capital firm Gobi Partners; co-working space developer Toong; law firm YKVN and cloud provider Amazon Web Services.

Applications for the Singapore GVI accelerator programme are open until April 10.

THE BUSINESS TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2020, with the headline 'Grab, IMDA to pilot programme for S'pore start-ups eyeing overseas expansion'. Subscribe