Grants2018-09-07T10:00:54+00:00

Grants For Startup Companies

Singapore does its best to support aspiring entrepreneurs, in getting a better footing in the fierce global competition of businesses, by providing infrastructure, tax incentives, cash grants, or financial schemes.

As a leading startup hub in the region, Startup SG hopes to provide entrepreneurs with the necessary stepping stones they need to connect to the global stage and grant these entrepreneurs access to the support they need.

Startup SG Founder

This scheme provides both a mentorship and start-up capital grant to first-time entrepreneurs with creative business ideas. Alongside Startup SG, SPRING will match $3 for every $1 raised by the entrepreneur. SPRING has appointed Accredited Mentor Partners (AMP) who identifies qualifying applicants based on their uniqueness of business concept, feasibility of business model, strength of management team, and potential market value.

For more information, click here.

Startup SG Tech

This grants early-stage funding to companies for the commercialization of proprietary technology. Startup SG supports both Proof-of-Concept (POC) and Proof-of-Value (POV) grants depending on the technology’s developmental stage. As of August 2017, it has been further enhanced to provide successful applicants with greater ease of cash-flow and the grants will be awarded upon completion of each milestone; unlike previously by reimbursement, thus making it an even more competitive grant.

To find out more, click here.

Startup SG Equity

The government will co-invest with qualified third party investors into a Singapore-based technology startups with intellectual property and global market potential. This scheme hopes to encourage private-sector investments.

For more information, click here.

SPRING SEEDS Capital (SSC), has committed up to S$100 million to groom high potential startups and would like to invite interested parties to submit proposals to be appointed as Co-Investment Partners under the Startup SG Equity Grant.

The appointed partners will identify and co-invest with SSC in innovative Singapore-based startups, predominantly in the following focus sectors:

  1. Health and Biomedical Sciences
  2. Urban Solutions and Sustainability
  3. Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering

For more information on being a co-investor, click here.

Startup SG Accelerator

This scheme provides funding and non-financial support to incubators and accelerators working in strategic growth sectors to further enhance their programs and expertise in nurturing successful start-ups.

The funding support under Startup SG Accelerator covers the following costs:

  • Programmes to nurture startups: Costs of developing programme(s) that help startups develop new products and services, obtain business financing, improve market access, etc.
  • Mentoring startups: Hiring of mentors & experts to provide management and technical guidance to startups.
  • Operating expenses (partial): SPRING Singapore will determine components of operating costs we can support, such as salaries for the incubation team.

Startup SG Talent

The Startup SG pillar highlights schemes fosters promising global talent to set up innovative businesses in Singapore or for startups to attract talent to be part of their team. This pillar includes schemes such as EntrePass, T-UP and SME Talent Programme (STP).

EntrePass is a work pass scheme to facilitate the entry and stay of global entrepreneurial talent in Singapore, which can complement the country’s local skill-sets and contribute to a more vibrant high tech start-up ecosystem.

T-UP or Technology for Enterprise Capability Upgrading is aimed at helping businesses build in-house R&D capabilities by accessing the pool of talent from A*STAR’s Research Institutes. It subsidises up to 70% of the secondment costs of research scientists and engineers for a period of up to 2 years.

SME Talent Programme (STP) for Start-ups is run by Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), where it provides 70% subsidy in stipends paid to interns, and in turn, assists start-ups in building their human capital development capabilities.

Startup SG Loan

These are Government-backed loans, are provided by selected financial institutions who provide start-ups with much-needed working capital, equipment/factory financing and trade financing. These loans include:

  • SME Micro Loans – for companies with 10 or less employees, which can access working capital financing of up to S$100,000 to support their day-to-day business operations;
  • SME Venture Loan – for high-growth companies, which can access alternative financing of up to S$5,000,000 for the purpose of business expansion

Government agencies in Singapore provide the following cash grants for local startups; startups are eligible for these grants and schemes on the basis of qualifying criteria set by the government body administering the grant. The list below is not exhaustive.

Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)

A grant, which supports pre-scoped productivity solutions in line with Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs), for businesses that want simpler solutions for improving productivity. The PSG provides funding support of up to 70% of involved costs.

SMEs can apply for PSG if they meet the following criteria:

  • Registered and operating in Singapore
  • Purchase/lease/subscription of the IT solutions or equipment must be used in Singapore
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding (for selected solutions only)

For more information, click here.

Capabilities Development Grant (CDG)

A grant to help start-ups/ SMEs build their capabilities across 10 key business areas. Companies can use the scheme to subsidize up to 70% of qualifying project costs including consultancy, training, certification, equipment and software costs.

For more information, click here.

Market Readiness Assessment Grant (MRA)

This initiative was administered in hopes to help Global HQ anchored in Singapore to branch out to overseas markets. SMEs will be able to get up to 70% of eligible third-party costs supported under the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant. These costs cover activities such as; Overseas market set-up, Identification of business partner, Overseas market promotion and etc.

For more information, click here.

ACE STARTUP GRANT

Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) and SPRING Singapore has collaborated to provide a government backed grant that supports first-time entrepreneurs who are either citizens of Singapore or Permanent residents of the country. For every S$3 raised by the entrepreneur, SPRING funds the startup $S7 with the maximum amount extending to S$50,000.

SPRING Startup Enterprise Development Scheme (SEEDS)

This scheme provides equity financing for local startups that have an innovative idea or product. This scheme essentially invests the same amount as invested in the startup by a third party investor with a maximum limit of $2 million.

EARLY STAGE VENTURE FUND (ESVF) SCHEME

This scheme is given out by the National Research Foundation (NRF). According to this scheme, the NRF partners with venture capital firms to co-invest in Singapore startups on a 1:1 basis. The investments are made in early stage high-tech companies based in Singapore.

TECHNOLOGY ENTERPRISE COMMERCIALIZATION SCHEME (TECS)

TECS funds startups in their Research & Development phase to develop innovative technology, funding is up to S$750,000. To be eligible for this scheme, startups must be registered for at least 5 years with their primary business activities being carried out in Singapore.

I.JAM (IDM JUMP-START AND MENTOR)

i.JAM is initiated by the Media Development Authority(MDA). This scheme aims to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Singapore for interactive digital media. It extends a micro-funding scheme through a network of various incubators, who are appointed by the Interactive Digital Media Programme Office (IMPO) to invest in the qualifying project of the startup.

SECTOR SPECIFIC ACCELERATOR (SSA) PROGRAMME

The SSA Programme aids startups in the medical and clean technology sector. The programme commits up to $70 million to support these startups through four accelerators that are appointed to co-invest these funds along with SPRING SEEDS on a 1:1 basis.

TECHNOLOGY INCUBATION SCHEME (TIS)

TIS is administered by the National Framework for Innovation and Enterprise (NFIE). This scheme allows incubators registered in this scheme to co-invest in a Singapore startup of up to 85% of the total investment. The maximum amount the NRF invests in each company is S$ 500,000.

Angel investors are high net worth individuals who invest in startups at their seed stage. These investors invest either individually or as a group, this funding source is advantageous to startups that do not have a final business model and require quick access to capital. In Singapore, the angel networks include the following:

BUSINESS ANGEL NETWORK SOUTH EAST ASIA (BANSEA)

BANSEA is an angel investment network that facilitates investment opportunities for members in early stage startups. BANSEA is open to entrepreneurs who have a great idea and require funding to establish themselves.

For more information click here.

SINGAPORE ANGEL NETWORK (SGAN)

SGAN invests in startups usually at the later stage of their financial requirements. This angel network does not target any specific industry and invests in various business sectors in Singapore and other countries as well.

To find out more, click here.

Angel Investors Tax Deduction (AITD) scheme

AITD is for suitable and approved angel investors who commit a minimum of $100,000 in a qualifying startup. The angel enjoys a tax deduction of 50% of the investment at the end of a two-year holding period. Do note that for each year, the eligible investments will be subject to a cap of $500,000, and the corresponding maximum tax deduction will be $250,000.

For more information, click here.

*This list is not exhaustive.

Venture capital funding is most often suited for startups or late stage businesses that have a large capital requirement.

Singtel Innov8

Singtel is Singapore’s largest telecom company. This firms is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore’s largest telecom company who invests in early-stage startups in regions such as; Asia-Pacific, US, and Europe who are in the digital media, internet applications, technology sector etc.

For more information, click here >

Seed Funding – Internet / Mobile / Technology Industry

KK Fund, is a Singapore based funding who specializes in internet or mobile companies in the Southeast Asian region.

Ardent Capital, invests in technology companies in Southeast Asian region with focus on specific regions such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia etc.

Sequoia Capital, This firm focuses on financial, healthcare, energy, mobile and internet startups. Besides investing in these startups, the firm specializes also in incubation programmes that help in the growth of startups as well as the late-stage ventures.

500 Startups, 500 Startups is a seed fund and startup accelerator based which has funded more than 500 startups. They invest in Southeast Asia as a whole.

East Ventures, This firm is based in Tokyo and startups based in Southeast Asia that focus on consumer internet and mobile products.

Golden Gate Ventures: This global venture capital firm targets startups based in Southeast Asia that create internet products.

IMJ Investment Partners: The Singapore-based firm invests in startups in the country as well as other Southeast Asian countries. The firm invests in internet, mobile and software companies. Besides Southeast Asia, the firm invests in startups based in Japan and the United States.

Jungle Ventures: Based in Singapore, this firm invests in the early stage of startups in Asia Pacific markets. The firm focuses on investments in technology, software, e-commerce etc and considers businesses that have the potential to grow in Asia. The firm also organises incubation programmes for Singapore startups.

Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (SVCA)

SVCA aims to promote the development of the venture capitals and private equity industries. This association extends support to entrepreneurs by providing its members with the opportunity to connect with venture capitalists through various events that they organize. This makes it easy for startups to connect with the venture capitalists that they need.

For more information, click here >

Private equity investment are made by firms who wish to acquire ownership of a non-public business. These firms usually only invest in profitable companies who are in a high-growth stage are at their Cash Cow stage of the business. Some of these firms in Singapore include the following:

Navis Capital Partners

Navis Capital Partners invests in Asia, Australia, and Hong Kong. It has a strong presence in South and Southeast Asia which includes Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, etc. Navis invests in industries such as fast moving consumer goods, food processing, industrial products, etc.

Find out more here >

Tael Partners

Singapore-based Tael Partners is a private equity firm that invests in sectors such as shipping and logistics, natural and mining resources, utilities and infrastructure, real estate development, etc. The firm founded in 2007 has offices in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand and is one of the largest private equity firms in Singapore.

Find out more here >

L Capital Asia

This private equity firm specializes in growth capital and invests mainly in consumer product brands, lifestyle retail, lifestyle food and beverages, beauty and wellness, boutique hospitality, etc. The firm, based in Singapore, invests mainly in Asia Pacific, Southeast Asia, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Find out more here >

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