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Home » Singapore Start-Ups to Connect With Innovation Hubs in India, Australia

Singapore Start-Ups to Connect With Innovation Hubs in India, Australia

by Paul Williamson
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SINGAPORE Tech start-ups in Singapore that are keen to enter markets in India and Australia can now tap Enterprise Singapore’s (EnterpriseSG) new Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) nodes in Mumbai, Melbourne and Sydney.

These new nodes were announced by Singapore Deputy Prime Minister cum Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday, at the opening of Asia’s leading deep tech festival Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH), organised by EnterpriseSG.

The new nodes will facilitate the expansion of Singapore tech startups into India and Australia, and drive innovation collaboration. With these additions, the GIA network will now operate in 21 cities globally. Under the GIA programme, Singapore-based tech start-ups are able to ease their market entry through workshops, mentorships and connections with potential clients and partners.

“These cities are among the top startup ecosystems in India and Australia,” said Heng.

EnterpriseSG will work with in-market partners to fast-track tech start-ups’ familiarity with overseas innovation ecosystems, he said.

“The agency will also connect companies with investors and business partners in areas such as fintech, supply chain technologies, healthcare and medtech, sustainability tech and artificial intelligence (AI),” he added.

Since 2019, EnterpriseSG and their appointed partners have supported over 500 Singapore tech companies through the GIA acceleration programmes, benefitting close to 700 participants. In Mumbai, EnterpriseSG’s in-market partner Startup Reseau will run two cohorts per year – for up to 20 start-ups in total – for its 12-week accelerator programme, with a focus on fintech, supply chain technology and AI.

Meanwhile, EnterpriseSG has appointed Haymarket HQ to run 13-week-long accelerator programmes in Melbourne and Sydney for up to 40 tech start-ups over two years. The GIA programme, which will help further drive innovation and cross-border tech partnerships, is part of Singapore’s efforts to position itself at the global level – and build a global deep-tech ecosystem, he said.

Many major challenges across the world all require deep research and new technologies, he added. “This is true whether we aim to achieve net-zero emissions and make an effective energy transition to tackle climate change, or deal with ageing populations across the world, or combat new viruses and bacteria that threaten human lives and livelihoods.”

A three-level ecosystem-building approach – within Singapore, regionally and globally – is therefore needed to better understand the promises and challenges of deep tech, said the minister. On the domestic front, the Republic has committed S$25 billion to support research and development work between 2021 and 2025.

About a fifth of that is “specifically dedicated to strengthening innovation platforms and capabilities and developing entrepreneurial talent”.

In the realm of AI, for instance, a good ecosystem must empower companies to use AI for capability-building. But at the same time, guardrails are also needed “to harness the growing potential of AI safely and responsibly”, Heng said. To that end, EnterpriseSG and the Infocomm Media Development Authority will establish a sandbox for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises to learn how to adopt generative AI in their businesses.

The sandbox, which is slated for launch in early 2024, “will focus on clear business-use cases for generative AI that are applicable across domains, including marketing, sales and customer engagements”, the minister said. Heng also announced the launch of EnterpriseSG’s Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge, which is in its fifth edition. More than S$3 million has been set aside to support the development of solutions through the challenge.

“Aiming for greater impact, this fifth edition of the challenge will have a regional scope,” he said. “Global corporates with an interest in Southeast Asia will provide challenge statements and work with participants to develop and testbed solutions.”

Emily Liew, EnterpriseSG’s Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Innovation & Enterprise Services) said: “Connectivity is of critical importance when it comes to innovation collaboration. The new GIA nodes strengthen our networks in the Asia Pacific region and will enable more Singapore-based tech startups across various sectors to explore opportunities, seek business partners, and develop new solutions that cater to the market needs.”

Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Founder & CEO of Startup Réseau, said: “The Mumbai GIA node not only serves as an entry point for Singaporean companies to expand into India, but also serves as a medium that creates opportunities for technology transfer, joint ventures, collaborations between industry and academia, as well as attracting foreign direct investment into Singapore.”

Duco van Breemen, CEO of Haymarket HQ, said: “Singapore resembles the economic heart of Southeast Asia, serving as a springboard for companies to expand to larger markets in the region. We are excited to foster our partnership with EnterpriseSG, to help Singaporean companies understand and capture opportunities in Australia, especially within the mining, education, healthcare, agriculture and finance industries.”

The SWITCH flagship event returns to Singapore at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre from 31 October–2 November 2023.

With Singapore being a hub for the Global-Asia innovation community, start-ups, entrepreneurs, investors, innovation teams, community multipliers, MNCs, and government representatives all meet at SWITCH to create positive change in our respective industries and markets.

Just as a physical switch connects different parts of a network to operate well, SWITCH connects innovators, entrepreneurs, government agencies and venture capital to collaborate, co-innovate and make an impact.

Around 15,000 in-person attendees were expected to join SWITCH this year, a 50 per cent increase from last year. This is an all-time record and shows the global community’s recognition of the transformative power of technology and innovation. VNS

Source: Vietnam News

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