From time immemorial, Western nations have managed to maintain the status of “startup wonderland” as we commonly hear phrases like “American Dream”, but the narrative has drastically changed with some mighty superpowers emerging from South-East Asia. Among them, our lion city, Singapore, is the significant one to enter the league of startup hubs, giving its Western counterparts a serious run for the money.
Its vibrant economic infrastructure and business-friendly policies through accelerator and incubation schemes make it an ideal haven for emerging business wizards. These virtues are gold for any aspiring entrepreneur who can leverage the enticing tax system, strategic free trade zones and robust intellectual property safeguards to excel in the financial realm.
Advantageous programs like the National Research Foundation’s Early Stage Venture Fund catalyze capital to sponsor startups, drive investments, and propel them to future growth. Armed with effective tools like a business-friendly ecosystem, conducive business growth factors and the best debit card Singapore offers, business organizations can embark upon the journey of memorable entrepreneurship. Among the formidable tools, specialized business debit cards seamlessly control and manage transactions to drive growth with tailored financial solutions.
The slew of initiatives incorporated by the nation’s regulatory bodies for catalyzing the growth of SMEs are aimed at deepening its position as a global Asia node to emerge unaffected by the growing menace of inflation. Let us discover in the following pointers how such initiatives impact the startup ecosystem:
Corporate innovation with supportive platforms:
Three major platforms that the government and support firms back with fresh funds are the corporate venture launchpad, open innovation platform and global innovation alliance. Increased capital support will spur more companies to cooperate with these organizations actively.
Robust intellectual property laws (IP laws):
Improved IP laws form the cornerstone of a protective business environment that safeguards innovative ideas and the exclusive rights of creators and bolsters brand reputation. IP law 2030 is being developed in the nation to benefit deep-tech ventures specifically as it will provide a safety net for them to protect their innovation from any violation while experimenting with high-risk technologies.
Special attention to the deep-tech sector:
Under the fellowship program launched by the National Research Foundation, there is a plan to grant 500 fellowships to assign individuals responsible for assisting various stakeholders in the startup ecosystem to succeed in the deep-tech sector eventually.
Venture debt programmes:
To provide accessibility to the influx of funds, the government has implemented an enhanced venture debt programme to provide loans with an increased cap on loan quantum. Not only this, but the government also promises to share the risk percentage with eligible loan applications from financial institutions.
If we research a bit about recent startup stories that became successful in Singapore, we have many real-life examples of how a few tech giants have trusted their instincts owing to numerous incentives and the reduced tax system of the country.
- Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, along with Larry Page, stepped down from the position of president of Alphabet (the parent company of Google) to invest his funds in his family business, Bayshore Global Management, in Singapore in 2019. Although the billionaire owns shares in the previous company, he is focused on investing funds in his family firm in the city-state.
- Dell Technologies, an American multinational technology company, announced the launch of a research and development center in Singapore to drive innovation in computing technology in Feb 2021. The budget they allocated for this project was nearly US$50 million, and it was the first such facility to be built outside their home country. Known as Edge Computing, this tech center was built to leverage the roll-out of the 5G mobile network in the nation.
- Allen, an Australian law firm, announced in 2020 that its legal accelerator program, Auctus, hired seven startups, of which two of them were from Southeast Asia. Among 120 applications received for their virtual accelerator, fifteen were shortlisted to present their projects before the panel. Two winners from Singapore were inPact.ai, an AI enterprise that builds AI-powered software platforms and Avvoka. This company implements document automation and builds analytical in-house tools for law firms.
Despite the odds stacked against it, Singapore has established itself as a fintech hub, rendering the stacks to resemble a pile of delectable pancakes. No wonder, businesses thrive in this country as strong government support and favorable business policies play a matchmaker here to let the search for a business-friendly environment end for aspiring entrepreneurs.