GOVERNMENT SCHEMES FOR STARTUPS
The startups & SMEs are the powerhouses of Singapore. They employ almost two-thirds of the Singaporean workforce. Business- requiring infrastructure, tax incentives, cash grants, or financing schemes; everything that a new company desires, Singapore has it. In fact, the Government has recently rolled out several initiatives to drive the nation towards a thriving start-up ecosystem.
There are several schemes that the Government has introduced for startups which will be discussed below
1. ACE Startups Grant (ACE)
Formerly known as The Action Community for Entrepreneurship promotes entrepreneurship in Singapore. Though the operations of ACE have been placed in the hands of the private sector, the program still benefits from receiving government-funded support, The maximum of S$50,000 is funded for entrepreneurs. You must be a first time entrepreneur to apply and there are a lot of stipulations attached to it.
2. Accreditation (IDA)
Infocomm Development authority leads the IDA. It provides the opportunity for startups to secure contracts with larger companies. This is a valuable opportunity because big companies would typically ignore smaller companies due to the belief that their products are unreliable. The scheme has a tiresome process which makes the companies think if they should apply for the scheme.
3.A* Star Scholars
It acts as a pipeline of talented scholars for startups. The government research agency A*STAR supervises 18 R&D entities
4.Early Stage Venture Fund
The National Research Foundation operates the Early Stage Venture Fund. It partners with venture capital firms to invest in startups by matching them on a one-to-one basis It’s estimated that S$100 million has been injected into startups so far
5. JTC LaunchPad @ one-north
The LaunchPad, casually known as Block 71, is a startup group in Singapore that holds up to 750 startups. Investors, incubators, accelerators, and other startup support services also reside in the setting. JTC as well as ACE share co-management duties for the location.
6.MOOC Pilot for Data Sciences & Analytics Training
The training offered in this program is not restricted to small companies, but startups are provided with the opportunity to benefit in gaining knowledge about data science and analytics.
7.Productivity and Innovation Credit
This initiative was not specifically created for startups, but PIC offers huge benefits for small companies. The tax deduction and cash payout scheme are specifically designed for small and medium businesses that heavily invest in productivity or technology. Startups also tend to allocate the money to pay for their staff’s laptops and other needed IT equipment. The scheme is commonly used to pay for R&D costs, which can either be performed in Singapore or overseas.
8.Sector Specific Accelerator
The government agency, SPRING Singapore created the SSA initiative as a means to lend support to Singapore ventures
This scheme uses technology as a means to provide benefit to the Singapore residents. The broad initiative aims to focus on areas such as transportation, health care, communications, and energy
10. Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme (TECS)
TECS is an initiative that provides funding to R&D projects for early-stage startups. Funding is provided to startups that focus on developing technology that can be offered in the marketplace. The program is divided into two grants, which is dependent on the maturity level of the technology involved. The total amount a startup can receive from the program is capped at S$750,000
11. Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS)
TIS is an initiative led by the NRF, with a focus on helping early stage startups. In combination with partnering venture capital firms, the initiative matches up to 85 percent of the VC’s investment, capped at S$500,000 per company
12.Workforce Development Authority Subsidies
WDA is a government agency that sponsors up to 90 percent of course fees for company employees who want to enhance their skillsets at designated centers of learning.
The fund’s aim is to work with entrepreneurs who seek to invent new market categories or transform and disrupt existing ones. It exclusively focuses on ideas with a potential to scale
14.Rikvin- One-stop M& A Consulting service provider
Although some of these programs above require the state providing money directly to startups, many of them are operated by private investors.
Rikvin Capital is Singapore’s leading private funding specialists. This is a non-traditional source of funding that could be exactly what your business is looking for when you are affected by Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) or have no track record with financial institutes.
The above is just a brief overview of all the assistance start-ups get when they incorporate in Singapore. Additional benefits available to all companies in Singapore include low corporate tax rates, tight intellectual property rights regime, skilled manpower, and good connectivity to emerging markets of Asia.