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New Virtual Programme Helps Emerging Entrepreneurs in Singapore

Enterprise Singapore is collaborating with a venture capital firm in Singapore to launch a new virtual programme that will support aspiring entrepreneurs. Called 500 Ignition Singapore, the initiative assists entrepreneurs to create their start-ups from scratch.

This programme is ideal for those who do not have business experience or may have had experience as small business owners. Entrepreneurs of selected start-ups in the city-state will be mentored through all the steps involved in creating innovative ventures. Start-ups with an innovative idea or technology can search for relevant problem statements to propose solutions to, and access co-development, test-bedding and market opportunities with major organisations.

While the applications for the first cohort of 500 Ignition are already closed, individuals can apply for its second cohort from today until May 21. The 12-week programme includes helping them assemble founding teams, discover and secure potential opportunities, connecting them with an industry expert for mentorship, choosing the right co-founders, and providing them with shared resources to facilitate long-term growth.

The programme will take place in three stages. In the first stage, participants will be divided into teams to learn the best way to gather insights and to craft captivating value propositions for their products and services. The second stage will be about helping start-ups develop a minimum viable product (MVP) that enables them to create a version of a product with enough features to attract early-adopter customers. In the third stage, the teams will learn various components that contribute to the success or failure of a start-up, such as marketing, sales, etc.

The 500 Ignition Singapore programme is currently running in Cambodia and similar programmes will be run across ecosystems with emerging start-up talent. This initiative aims to stimulate new job creation and engage more young generations to be entrepreneurs.

Singapore has been bullish about diversifying its start-up ecosystem. According to the Research Innovation Enterprise 2020 plan, new economic activity in Singapore is being catalysed by R&D investments and the start-up ecosystem is getting increasingly vibrant. Singapore is already home to more than 3,600 technology start-ups and 100 start-up enablers. It ranks first in Asia and 10th in the world for best start-up nations. In the information and communications technology sector, it boasts two unicorns – privately held startup companies valued at over one billion dollars.

In its annual report, Enterprise Singapore indicated a desire to strengthen Singapore’s start-up and innovation ecosystem. Last year, 2000 start-ups gained access to funding, incubation and mentorship. Its investment arm SEEDS Capital co-invested S$ 51 million into 65 start-ups, catalysing S$ 356 million in private investments.

Beyond growing local enterprises, Enterprise Singapore aims to establish Singapore as a leading global hub for start-ups, global trading and infrastructure. Their networks, partnerships and business ecosystem put them in an ideal position to contribute expertise and solutions to the region and beyond. Their position as a hub above the rest also relies on the continued trust the world has in Singapore’s products and services.

In line with their strategy to grow Singapore into a Global-Asia node for technology, innovation and enterprise, the organisation works closely with partners to build an ecosystem in Singapore that is conducive for start-ups to flourish. Many of these partners are global players that provide market access opportunities to start-ups to scale in Asia and beyond.

A senior executive involved in the initiative said the past year has witnessed significant disruption across myriad sectors and hence fresh ideas are needed to meet ever-evolving demands. As a private entity, they are eager to partner with Enterprise Singapore in the endeavour to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the foundation and mentorship needed to launch a business.

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