As the gateway to Asia’s vibrant tech and start-up scene, Singapore is a favoured destination for microbusinesses and start-ups looking to springboard into the region’s burgeoning markets.
This technology capital – which has attracted 80 out of the world’s top 100 tech firms such as Alibaba, Google, Amazon and Facebook (Forbes) – has been ranked third in the world for its innovation and R&D by the Bloomberg Innovation Index 2018. (CNA)
One of the major challenges that start-ups face is access to capital. In this handy guide, find out how the various investment schemes and grants support the different stages of growth of your Singapore-based company.
- Startup SG Tech Grant
If your business is part of Singapore’s technology start-up ecosystem and registered with ACRA, you would automatically be part of Startup SG’s network, a government-led umbrella comprising start-ups, investors, incubators and accelerators.If you are developing proprietary technology, fast-track your progress with the Startup SG Tech grant, which supports both Proof-of-Concept (POC) and Proof-of-Value (POV) projects. To qualify for the grant, you will need to be working on a breakthrough tech solution that either has the potential to disrupt an existing market, or create a new market or niche.
- Startup SG Founder
Are you a first-time entrepreneur with an innovative business idea? Under the Startup SG Founder scheme, Enterprise Singapore, the government agency championing enterprise development, is prepared to match SGD 3 for every dollar that you raise.Besides capital support, you will get to receive mentorship from Accredited Mentor Partners (AMPs). From legal and publicity support to market access advice, go to market quicker with these extra resources.
- Financial Sector Tech & Innovation (FSTI) scheme
Another scheme for Proof-of-Concept (POC) projects is the Financial Sector Tech & Innovation (FSTI) scheme administered by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). To inspire a vibrant and collaborative FinTech ecosystem, MAS is providing funding support of up to SGD 200,000 to spur experimentation and innovation.If you are a technology provider looking to develop novel solutions for the financial sector, this grant may just kickstart your growth!
- Business Improvement Fund (BIF)
Are you looking to enhance tourism in Singapore with a new app or product? To encourage technology innovation and adoption, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is prepared to fund up to 70% of your project under the Business Improvement Fund (BIF). To apply, your project must enhance the core capabilities of tourism companies, or help companies explore new areas of growth by tapping on automation tools and technologies.
- Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF)
Heard of HungryGoWhere or Ninjavan? These are just two examples of start-ups receiving seed funds under the National Research Foundation’s (NRF) Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF) initiative.As its name suggests, the ESVF is focused on start-ups in the Series A stage and beyond. (TechinAsia) It matches the investments that approved venture capital firms make in early-stage tech companies on a one-to-one basis.
- Startup SG Equity
Start-ups in nascent and strategic industries such as Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering, Health & Biomedical Sciences, and Urban Sustainability & Solutions have benefitted from co-investments from Startup SG Equity of up to SGD 4 million (funds managed by SEEDS Capital). (SME Portal) If you are a new Singapore-based start-up with strong intellectual content, high-growth potential and a paid-up capital of at least SGD 50,000, tap on these funds to scale your business fast.
- Start-Up Tax Exemption Scheme
As a newly formed business, you may not register a profit in your very first year. As a show of support for all start-ups, just 25% of your first SGD 100,000 earned will be subject to tax. For the next SGD 100,000 earned, just 50% of it will be subject to tax. This start-up tax exemption applies to the three Years of Assessment (YAs) of your business. From the fourth year, save big on your tax bill as up to SGD 102,500 of your company’s income would be tax-free.
Besides these 7 assistance schemes, all companies in Singapore will get to enjoy low corporate tax rates, skilled labour, and exceptional connectivity to emerging regional markets.
At Reliance Consulting, we help entrepreneurs build their dream companies. Whether you are looking for answers or assistance on company incorporation in Singapore, chat with us to get started today. Where necessary, we will arrange for a Business Grant Advisor to speak with you when you incorporate your first start-up with us!
- Startup SG Tech Grant