Enterprise Singapore Logo
Media Releases
28 Apr 2019 Updated 15 May 2019

Singapore strengthens its startup ecosystem to enhance position as a Global-Asia node for technology, innovation and enterprise

MR No.: 013/19
Singapore, Friday, 26 April 2019

  1. As Singapore sets out to become the Global-Asia node for technology, innovation and enterprise, Enterprise Singapore will be deepening efforts with global and local partners to strengthen the startup ecosystem here. This supports the national Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Plan to build a strong core of innovative enterprises and startups to capture global opportunities and create high value jobs for Singaporeans. 

  2. To offer more opportunities for global startups to land here and tap on Singapore’s vibrant ecosystem to capture growing regional opportunities, Enterprise Singapore today officially opened the global call for entry for SLINGSHOT 2019, with new enhancements (see Media Release on SLINGSHOT 2019).

  3. Startups play an increasing role in driving innovation, especially as growing markets demand new solutions. The OECD predicts that Emerging Asia1  will grow by an average of 6% over the next five years. With Asia poised to account for more than half of global GDP by 2050, Singapore can be the gateway for startups to develop, test-bed solutions and expand into the region. Enterprise Singapore will help startups build track record, and provide access to mentors, funding and workspaces. Importantly, we will adopt a market-led approach, by bringing together academia, government and private sector to collaborate and innovate solutions that are relevant and practical in addressing market needs here, and in the region.

  4. To establish Singapore as a global startup node and maintain our competitive edge in the region, Enterprise Singapore’s strategies are to:
    i) Deepen global connections;
    ii) Catalyse more platforms for co-innovation;
    iii) Strengthen human capital;
    iv) Catalyse financing; and
    v) Create a network of infrastructure to support startups.

  5. Close partnerships with startup enablers are crucial for our ecosystem. Today, Singapore houses over 100 incubators, accelerators and venture builders, and over 150 VCs, who have helped develop a robust base of startups here. Venture funding activity and amounts increased to 353 deals (in US$10.5 billion) in 2018 2, from 160 deals (in US$0.8 billion) in 2012. As of 2017, the number of tech startups has grown to 4,000, employing about 22,000 persons3

  6. Through close to 100 partners, Startup SG4 programmes supported the growth of over 1,160 startups across key sectors such as health, urban solutions, fintech and digital services in 2018. (See Annex 1 for factsheet on Startup SG)
  7. i) Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), a key player in the startup space, separately supported 300 startups across 15 programmes in 20185.

    ii) In addition, SEEDS Capital and SGInnovate co-invested close to S$36.5 million, with our Startup SG co-investment partners, in 52 startups, catalysing about S$118 million in private investments in 20186 . To generate more smart monies into deep tech startups, SEEDS Capital recently appointed seven new co-investment partners for Agrifood tech, bringing their total number of partners to 26. SGInnovate also appointed five new partners, to co-invest in early-stage deep tech startups in fields such as Artificial Intelligence and Medtech.

  8. To encourage open innovation that startups can take part in, we partnered various government agencies to launch 23 calls for proposals to tackle challenges across urban solutions, trade, logistics and construction since between 2017-20187 . 24 calls for proposals are in the pipeline for 2019.

  9. To provide mentorship and startup capital to more first-time entrepreneurs, Enterprise Singapore will appoint 17 new Accredited Mentor Partners (AMPs) under Startup SG Founder, bringing the total number of AMPs to 458 . This is expected to groom close to 200 startups in the coming year. (see Annex 2 for list of newly appointed AMPs)

  10.  Enterprise Singapore will also be working with the Monetary Authority of Singapore to help startups secure investments and funding by increasing match-making opportunities with global investors. One way is through highly curated deal-making sessions. The first of such sessions kicked off today as part of the Global Launch for SLINGSHOT 2019. More than 100 startups networked with close to 50 investors, corporate funds and VCs.

  11. To help startups scale to global and regional markets, Enterprise Singapore and the Economic Development Board worked with in-market partners to expand the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) network to nine cities, including five new ones in 20189, benefitting close to 90 startups. At least four more are slated in 2019, with programmes to be led by established international accelerators.

  12. Said Mr Edwin Chow, Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore, “To enable startups to scale more quickly, we will deepen our engagement with local and overseas partners. Targeted platforms for startups to connect with investors and customers serve as valuable opportunities for startups to access resources such as financing, and opens doors to co-innovation with leading corporates. Moving forward, we will look at initiatives related to growing talent and later-stage financing to build a more robust ecosystem.”

    Annex 1: Factsheet on Startup SG
    Annex 2: List of 17 newly appointed AMPs under Startup SG Founder
    Annex 3: Company Factsheet on Startups featured at Media Briefing 26th April
    Annex 4: Media Briefing Deck: Startup Landscape in Singapore



    1 ASEAN, China and India

    2 Source: Pitchbook

    3 Source: Department of Statistics

    4 A comprehensive array of initiatives to support Singapore-based startups with resources, mentorship and connections to business networks.

    5 Its Singapore-centric regional startup network also expanded by six times to 30,000 startups across 16 cities in 2018.

    6 Through Startup SG Equity.

    7 Supported through our gov-PACT initiative, launched in April 2017.

    8 In 2018, 114 startups received structured mentoring from 28 AMPs under Startup SG Founder and were awarded grants amounting to S$3.4 million for their business development.

    9 The five are Berlin, Munich, Paris, Tokyo and Suzhou.

    For media enquiries, please contact:

    Enterprise Singapore

    Ms Ong Shi Man  
    Corporate Communications
    Tel: +65 6279 3849    Mobile: +65 9783 4851
    Email : ong_shi_man@enterprisesg.gov.sg

    Ms Cheng Kiat Loon  
    Corporate Communications
    Tel: +65 6433 4465    Mobile: +65 9799 0904
    Email : cheng_kiat_loon@enterprisesg.gov.sg

    About Enterprise Singapore

    Enterprise Singapore is the government agency championing enterprise development. We work with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise.

    We also support the growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and startups, and build trust in Singapore’s products and services through quality and standards.

    Visit www.enterprisesg.gov.sg for more information.