Technopreneurs In Singapore To Receive $50 Million Boost

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean announced today a $50 million investment by the government into early stage tech start-ups based in Singapore.

AsianScientist (Sep. 25, 2013) – Mr. Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Research Foundation (NRF), launched Techventure 2013 this morning at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Center.

“What we hope to achieve with Techventure 2013 is to inspire and excite our entrepreneurs and technologists, and also to create an ecosystem and a buzz,” Mr. Teo said.

The two-day conference and exhibition, which was attended by over 700 delegates and more than 80 exhibitors, brought together researchers, innovators, venture capitalists, incubators, technopreneurs and business executives from a range of industry sectors such as infocommunication technology (55%), medical technology (21%) and clean energy (8%).

Mr. Teo said that Singapore was seeing encouraging results from its investments into the start-up ecosystem. He highlighted two early successes from the efforts of the NRF and SPRING Singapore – in collaboration with more than 20 incubators and accelerators – to support the growth of more than 500 start-ups.

“First, EndoMaster, whose founders from two of our local universities pioneered a new form of medical operation – from ‘keyhole’ to ‘no hole’ for surgery in the stomach and intestines. EndoMaster brought its prototype to market with support from the Technology Enterprise Commercialization Scheme. We are happy that HOYA, a Japanese optics technologies company, has invested in EndoMaster, which is an indicator of its market potential,” said Mr Teo.

“Second, Clearbridge Biomedics, which adopts an innovative approach to detect and isolate tumor cells from blood samples. Its technology arose from research done in the National University of Singapore. Clearbridge was incubated by an NRF-supported incubator and supported by SPRING’s Biomedical Sciences Accelerator. The company recently managed to secure S$9 million from private and government-supported VC funds.”

Mr. Teo noted that a challenge for start-ups was limited early stage financing in the region. To address this funding gap, he announced a new $50 million co-investment fund by the Singapore government to catalyze the early stage investment ecosystem. This is in addition to an earlier $50 million co-financing round in 2008.

In addition, SPRING has recently appointed three private-sector translators to help small companies identify, develop and commercialize intellectual property, he said.

“Rather than Government trying to pick winners, we will continue to work with more private sector players to support and promote technopreneurship in Singapore. They are often the best validators of a company’s market potential, and also have the necessary resources and networks that can help to bring a start-up to the next stage of growth,” he said.


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning science and technology magazine that highlights R&D news stories from Asia to a global audience. The magazine is published by Singapore-headquartered Wildtype Media Group.

Related Stories from Asian Scientist