Singapore May Increase Funding for Certain Technopreneurs
September 11, 2013 - Singapore
In a report on SGEntrepreneurs titled Singapore NRF Chief Assesses the Technology Incubation Scheme, Professor Low Teck Seng, CEO of National Research Foundation (NRF), shared some insights about the Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS).
The TIS is a National Framework for Innovation & Enterprise (NFIE) initiative of the National Research Foundation (NRF). S$360 million was earmarked for the NFIE programme over 5 years (2008 - 2012) to develop innovative entrepreneurship in institutes of higher learning (IHLs) i.e. universities and polytechnics. In turn, NFIE wants the eligible academic entrepreneurs to turn their R&D results into commercial products for the market place.
As part of the scheme, incubators are selected to provide an environment for the systematic nurturing of young companies before they are ready for venture capital funding. The scheme provides approved technology incubators 85% co-funding (up to S$500,000) in exchange for equity stake in the company. Co-investors then have the option to buy out NRF’s share of the company at the next round of financing i.e. within 3 years of investment.
As of March this year, there are 14 approved incubators to mentor high tech start-ups in Singapore. They are as follows.
-- Silicon Straits – for IDM & Engineering firms
-- Plug & Play Singapore Pte Ltd – for ICT firms
-- Small World Group Incubator – for Cleantech & Engineering firms
-- TechCube8, Get2Volume – for B2B ICT & electronic Engineering firms
-- Clearbridge Accelerators – for Medtech, Engineering (esp. advanced materials) & ICT (esp. computational algorithms)
-- Red Dot Ventures – for IDM, ICT, Biotech, Medtech, Cleantech & Engineering
-- Wavemakers Labs, Jungle Ventures, Incuvest, Stream Global Incubators – for IDM & ICT
-- Golden Gate Ventures – for IDM
-- TNF Ventures – for IDM & ICT, Biotech, Medtech & Cleantech
-- The Biofactory – for Biotech & Medtech
The extensive list may be found via the NRF.
In the report, Professor Low said that NRF will explore increasing quantum amounts (up to S$850,000) for firms in the biotech, cleantech and other tech sectors that require high start up capital requirements.
He also acknowledged the challenge of hiring the right talent and that Singapore is not the cheapest place to hire top tier software engineering talent. He said though, that companies must prove that they have done their best to employ local talent. This is to align with the government’s goal of providing high value jobs for Singaporeans. In the event that incubatees cannot locate the right talent within Singapore, employing via the Singapore work visa would then be allowed.
Analysis by Singapore company registration specialist Rikvin shows that these insights dovetail the recently refined Singapore EntrePass scheme. On top of the focus on technopreneurs and R&D intensive enterprises, one of the new criteria to be fulfilled by applicants is the procurement of funding by a recognized third-party VC or business angel.
Commenting further, Mr. Satish Bakhda, Head of Operations at Rikvin said, “As our economy shifts its focus to encourage more innovation, R&D and technopreneurship, the recent changes to the EntrePass scheme reflect just that. On the domestic front, the TIS will provide support to high-potential entrepreneurs bred in Singapore’s academic institutions. On an international level, the refined EntrePass scheme will attract firms to relocate to Singapore and be a part of a growing high-tech sector.”
Established in 1998, Rikvin has since partnered with thousands of investors, entrepreneurs and professionals in their pursuit to access business opportunities overseas. Rikvin’s areas of expertise include company incorporation, accounting, taxation and other related corporate services. Rikvin is also a licensed employment agency with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and offers a full spectrum of Singapore work visa services for foreign professionals who wish to relocate to Singapore.
20 Cecil Street, #14-01, Equity Plaza, Singapore 049705
(+65) 6320 1888
Source: Business Wire India