Singapore has a growing reputation as Southeast Asia's premier startup launch pad. Its business - and innovation - focused environment is home to around 3,600 tech startups.
Government commitment to innovation
Singapore is ranked the world’s 7th most innovative country, thanks to a thriving ecosystem of startups, incubators, accelerators and investors and a government invested in innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Singapore Government’s commitment to innovation – articulated in its Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 plan – emphasises the commercialisation of technology, delivered through a system of enterprise-oriented agencies.
As well as tax incentives for startups and SMEs, the government has a range of innovation funding programs. These include the US$1 billion Technopreneurship Investment Fund, which offers up to US$2 million per startup, attracting entrepreneurs from across the APAC region and other parts of the world.
The Technology Incubation Scheme and Early Stage Venture Fund also invest in emerging companies, leading to the formation of 165 startups in medtech, cleantech and advanced manufacturing between 2011 and 2015.
Singapore is an ideal location for startups working in the fintech, medtech and edutech areas as well as ICT firms in big data, e-health and biomed.
BASH (Build Amazing Startups Here)
The Singapore Landing Pad is located at BASH, Singapore’s largest integrated startup space.
BASH is positioned in the centre of the Singapore startup ecosystem and is part of the larger innovation community including other stakeholders and technology innovation hubs centred around Fusionopolis, Biopolis and Research Institutes such as the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technology University.
Large pool of VC funds
Singapore is a highly active and growing venture capital (VC) centre in Asia, with multiple early stage VC funds and angel investors. The Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association reported that Singapore-based private equity (PE) and VC fund managers invested more than US$9 billion in 2015.
In 2014, Singapore-based fund managers accounted for more than 55 per cent of total PE and VC investments into Southeast Asia. Singapore-based companies received more than $2.7 billion in PE and VC funding in the same year.
A hub for international business and research
Singapore is one of the world’s leading business and financial centres. The World Bank's Doing Business Report ranks Singapore as the world’s most business-friendly country for its open market and regulatory efficiency.
With 3,500 multinational corporations (MNCs) using Singapore as their regional headquarters, the city has a vibrant business community where key decision makers and a deep pool of international talent are accessible.
Singapore’s position as one of Asia’s leading R&D centres is strengthened by the presence of these MNCs, many of which undertake major research projects in Singapore and across the Asian region.
Access to Asia’s growing economies
Singapore is located within, and has excellent access to, some of the fastest-growing services markets in the world. Its deep business relationships with booming Asian markets mean Landing Pad participants will benefit from access to affluent consumers and multinational corporations to scale their business.
Locating a startup in Singapore also allows entrepreneurs to reach international customers. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Singapore 2014 report, around 14.9 per cent of early stage businesses in Singapore say more than 75 per cent of their customers are based overseas.