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14 Nov 2019 Updated 14 Nov 2019

London added to network to link local startups to UK market

The Business Times Sharanya Pillai

ENTERPRISE Singapore (ESG) has added London to its Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) network for startups and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to connect to the UK market, the government agency announced at the Singapore FinTech Festival and Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SFF x SWITCH) conference on Wednesday.


The GIA, a joint initiative between ESG and Singapore's Economic Development Board, is a network of Singapore and overseas partners in 13 cities to help local firms venture abroad, while attracting international startups to Singapore.


ESG has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UK accelerator IoT Tribe, which will run two GIA programmes supported by ESG.


One of the programmes is IoT Tribe SG Plus, a market acceleration programme for Singapore startups and SMEs looking to expand into the UK and Europe. It will comprise workshops, networking opportunities and a one-week immersion in London for participants to meet potential clients.


The other programme, IoT Tribe SG, is designed for Europe-based startups to come to Asia, leveraging the talent and the ecosystem in Singapore.


Both programmes start in the first quarter of 2020, with up to 10 participants for the inaugural cohorts.


Edwin Chow, assistant chief executive for innovation and enterprise at ESG, said: "With London added to our GIA network, startups and SMEs will now get access to a leading startup and financial hub. We encourage our startups and SMEs to use these networks as part of their growth."


ESG has also added three new partners to the GIA network: DayDayUp (DDU) in China, Plug and Play Asia-Pacific in Indonesia and Leave a Nest in Japan.


DDU is a business community of Chinese and global innovators in Beijing. Through the collaboration with ESG, DDU will run a GIA Acceleration Programme for up to 20 Singapore startups and SMEs over a year, to help them access the Chinese market.


Similarly, in Jakarta, ESG, the Info-Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) and global accelerator Plug and Play Asia-Pacific will enter a partnership to run a GIA acceleration programme, with market acceleration and innovation workshops.


In Tokyo, science venture accelerator Leave a Nest and its Singapore subsidiary will run a GIA Acceleration Programme to assist Singapore deep-tech startups and SMEs in accessing the Japanese market.


Beyond expanding the GIA, ESG jointly launched the Open Innovation Network (OIN) with IMDA on Wednesday. The OIN is an online directory featuring open innovation challenges from corporates, government agencies, trade associations and chambers, and ecosystem enablers calling for tech solutions.


Tech innovators, including SMEs and startups, can then use the OIN to search for relevant problem statements to which to propose their solutions.


Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.


Find out more about our Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) and GIA Acceleration Programmes here.

Find out more about our Open Innovation Network here.