Entrepreneurs looking for grants can look at Startup SG Founder which provides funding and mentorship support.
For companies involved in technology, there are two schemes available – Startup SG Tech and Startup SG Equity. Startup SG Tech provides a grant for new technology that is in the conceptualization stage. The Startup SG Equity scheme has a different focus. It is not a grant but a co-investment scheme with the Government and third-party investors into the company. The schene also primarily focused on General Tech or Deep Tech companies.
We detail the various schemes below:
Startup SG Founder
Startup SG Founder scheme provides early-stage funding support, mentorship and business networks for first-time entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas.
Accredited Mentor Partners (AMP) has been appointed to evaluate the business ideas based on the uniqueness of the business concept, the feasibility of the business model, the strength of the management team, and potential market value. These partners will act as mentors to assist start-up entrepreneurs with guidance and networking contacts. In some cases, the AMPs could invest in the startup company with up to 50% shareholding.
Enterprise Singapore will match $3 for every $1 raised by the entrepreneur.
Applicants should meet the following criteria:
- Singaporeans/Permanent Residents who are first-time entrepreneurs
- Hold at least 30% shareholding in the startup company
- The applicants must not have registered or incorporated any business entity;
- The applicants must not have received any funding for the proposed business idea from another government organization.
- The company must have at least 51% of the local shareholding and not be incorporated for more than six (6) months at the point of application to Enterprise Singapore
- Approved applicants must dedicate a reasonable amount of their time to the business and must be a key decision-maker in the company. The applicants must also commit full-time to the company and not be in any other employment from the time they accept the terms and conditions of the Letter of Offer.
- Business activities run by the startup company should be conducted wholly or mainly in Singapore
- Evaluation of the uniqueness and viability of the business idea
Startup SG Tech
Startup SG Tech scheme supports the fast-track development of innovative technology solutions.
The grants will be awarded upon the completion of each milestone and could incorporate an equity component where Enterprise Singapore will have the right to exercise a share subscription. This is to align the interest of Enterprise Singapore with the growth-oriented mindset of the entrepreneurs.
The scheme supports Proof-of-Concept (POC) and Proof-of-Value (POV) for commercialization of proprietary technologies. Companies may apply for POC or POV grants depending on the stage of development of the technology.
Applicants should meet the following criteria:
- Registered for less than 5 years at the time of grant application;
- At least 30% local shareholdings;
- Group annual sales of up to S$100 million or employment size of not more than 200
- Core activities to be carried out in Singapore.
The solution should meet the following criteria:
- Clearly demonstrate how technology is applied;
- Be of a breakthrough level of innovation (i.e. distinctly different or new technology which either (i) has the potential to disrupt an existing market; or (ii) to replace, or create, a new market/purpose/niche);
- Lead to or build on proprietary know-how or Intellectual Property;
- Be commercially viable.
Startup SG Tech is a competitive grant where proposals are ranked based on the evaluation of the proposals and only the best proposals are funded. The project has to be entirely new and not commenced at the time of application. The work should also be done by the applicant in Singapore.
The project must either be a POC or POV projects:
For POC project, it has to be at the conceptualization stage and needs to prove its technical viability.
For POV project, it is about bringing the project closer to commercialization.
The eligible company is required to inject some skin into the game by increasing the paid-up capital of 10% and 20% of the grant for POC and POV respectively. The grant cap for POC will remain at $250,000 and POV at $500,000.
The project should fall under one of the following areas:
1) Advanced Manufacturing / Robotics Biomedical Sciences and Healthcare
- Industrial IoT
- Advanced materials
- Augmented reality/Virtual reality technologies for manufacturing applications
- Urban & autonomous mobility
- Life science tools
- Clinical diagnostics
- Medical device and products
- Digital health
2) Clean Technology Information & Communications Technologies
- Water technologies
- Waste management and recycling solutions
- Urban and sustainability solutions
- Sustainable energy generation and management enablers
- Cybersecurity technology
- Infocomm infrastructure and architecture
- Analytics and artificial intelligence (e.g. Machine Learning)
- Edge technologies
- Augmented Reality/ Virtual reality technologies
- Distributed ledger technologies (e.g. Blockchain)
3) Precision Engineering Transport Engineering / Engineering Services
- Silicon photonics
- Sensors and actuators
- Composite technology
- Optics and lasers
- Subsea technologies (e.g. subsea production and monitoring, materials development for high temperature/high-pressure applications)
- Process technologies (e.g. solutions for improved oil recovery)
- Automation platforms
4) Food Science & Technology
- Food packaging technologies
- Food testing solutions (e.g. rapid testing kits)
- Food Safety and Traceability Solutions
- Novel processing technologies (e.g. bio-transformation, AgTech, food waste valorization)
- Novel products in the following thematic areas: elderly nutrition, functional food, protein/meat alternatives
There are three stages for Startup SG Tech application:
- Stage 1 (Registration of Interest)
- Stage 2 (Application and Evaluation)
- Stage 3 (Final Panel Evaluation)
Interested startups should submit a summary of the proposed project to Enterprise Singapore.
If accepted, Enterprise Singapore will invite the applicant to submit a formal application comprising of a full business proposal and cost breakdown. Proposals are assessed for the innovativeness, technical feasibility and commercialization potential.
Shortlisted applicants from Stage II will present their proposals to a final evaluation panel comprising of industry experts.
Startup SG Equity
The Startup SG Equity scheme is for General Tech or Deep Tech companies. Together with independent, qualified third-party investors, the government will co-invest with these investors into eligible startups. SEEDS Capital Pte Ltd and SGInnovate have been appointed to manage the funds under Startup SG Equity.
Below are the investment parameters:
- General tech:
Investment amount: Up to $2 million
Co-investment ratio: 7:3 up to $250K, 1:1 thereafter up to $2 million (only for SC’s investments)
- Deep tech:
Investment amount: Up to $4 million
Co-investment ratio: 7:3 up to $500K, 1:1 thereafter up to $4 million (only for SC’s investments)