New $10m scheme to help big S'pore firms create new ventures

EDB pilot to spur companies to go into growth areas to keep ahead of disruption

Discussing the corporate venturing ecosystem in Singapore are (from right) Mr Samuel Hall, CEO, Rainmaking Venture Studio; Mr Badrinath Ramanathan, managing partner, Singapore, McKinsey; Mr Mario Aquino, managing partner, FutureLabs Ventures; Mr Pete
Discussing the corporate venturing ecosystem in Singapore are (from right) Mr Samuel Hall, CEO, Rainmaking Venture Studio; Mr Badrinath Ramanathan, managing partner, Singapore, McKinsey; Mr Mario Aquino, managing partner, FutureLabs Ventures; Mr Peter Cho, manager director, Singapore Centre Lead, BCG Digital Ventures; and Mr Choo Heng Tong, executive vice-president of new ventures and innovation, EDB.PHOTO: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD

A $10 million pilot programme to support large and established Singapore-based companies to venture into new growth areas beyond their existing core businesses was launched yesterday.

The Corporate Venture Launchpad programme will enable such companies to keep ahead of competition and disruption with innovative products, services and business models, said the Economic Development Board (EDB).

Run by EDB New Ventures, the board's corporate venture building arm, it was first announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in Budget 2021 in February.

Under the programme, eligible companies will work alongside appointed venture studios, to incubate new business ideas in a phased approach.

Dr Beh Swan Gin, EDB chairman, said that large local and multinational companies in Singapore are embracing innovation and entrepreneurship to keep ahead of competition and disruption.

"As companies pursue opportunities in sectors that are new for them, the creation of these ventures have the potential to become a growth driver for the Singapore economy.

"The Corporate Venture Launchpad programme seeks to spur companies to create new ventures from Singapore that can scale to become globally competitive businesses. These corporate ventures will complement our vibrant start-up ecosystem, to create exciting job opportunities and new entrepreneurial career pathways in Singapore," added Dr Beh.

The pilot programme, which will run for one year, has an expected capacity to support up to 20 companies through concept validation sprints.

Such sprints involve applying venture-building methodologies to develop ideas into an investible business, with a plan that is backed by data and validated through in-depth testing with the market within three to six months.

EDB New Ventures will support up to half of the cost of each concept validation sprint.

High-potential ventures launched from this programme could receive further risk-sharing capital and value creation support beyond the sprints to see through their early stages of growth.

Mr Choo Heng Tong, executive vice-president of new ventures and innovation at EDB, said that while companies have the capacity to innovate, much of their focus is often on optimising core business operations.

"Building ventures with an agile and autonomous entrepreneurial team will allow them to effectively search and build new growth areas," Mr Choo said.

Companies interested in the launchpad programme can visit EDB's website for more details. Applications are open as of yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2021, with the headline 'New $10m scheme to help big S'pore firms create new ventures'. Subscribe