To grow high-potential start-ups in Clean Technology (Cleantech) and Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME), SPRING Singapore (SPRING) has appointed seven sector-specific accelerators who will incubate and/or co-invest in these start-ups. This was announced by Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), S Iswaran, at the launch of the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing and Pro-AM Conference 2016 at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on 17 May 2016.
These seven partners are EnchantVC, Green Meadows Accelerator, JCS Venture Lab, Jungle Ventures, TNB Ventures, TRIREC and Wavemaker. They will focus on supporting deep-technology start-ups in Cleantech and AME, with the latter including areas such as additive manufacturing (i.e. 3D printing), advanced materials, nanotechnology, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT) for consumers and smart cities, advanced engineering and more.
These sectors have immense potential for growth and offer a wealth of opportunities for start-ups. They also generate significant economic and social impact ranging from raising manufacturing productivity with cutting-edge innovation to enhancing environmental sustainability. Significant growth has been observed in deep-technology sectors, with the number of such Singapore-based start-ups almost doubling from about 2,800 in 2004 to 5,400 in 2014. These start-ups employed 30,000 workers, or close to one per cent of the workforce, as of 2014.
SPRING’s appointment of these seven accelerators will further support and catalyse smart financing options for start-ups in the above sectors. Besides having financial and investor knowledge, these accelerators will value-add by offering resources such as mentorship, connections to business networks and advice to help start-ups shorten their learning curve and go-to-market.
SPRING SEEDS Capital Pte Ltd (SSC), the investment arm of SPRING, and the selected accelerators will co-invest in high-potential start-ups by matching dollar for dollar, with a maximum joint investment quantum of up to S$4 million per start-up. The quantum is drawn from the S$75 million co-investment fund set aside for growing start-ups in these emerging sectors as announced during Budget 2015.
Edwin Chow, Group Director for Industry Development and Innovation & Start-ups, SPRING Singapore, said, “We would like to thank our co-investment and incubation partners for their strong support towards grooming high-potential start-ups. By partnering them, we hope to accelerate commercialisation for entrepreneurs in emerging and deep-tech sectors who might need more time and support to go to market. However, funding alone is not the only success factor for start-ups to take off as infrastructural support, and access to networks and markets are important too.”
“To strengthen the eco-system, SPRING has been working closely with investors, incubators, research institutes and tertiary institutions. Last year, we co-invested $13 million in 17 early-stage companies, catalysing $36 million from private investors. We will continue our efforts in providing suitable infrastructure and facilitating access to market opportunities for start-ups.”