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Important Grants for Tech Startups in Singapore

It appears to be the case that 99% of the companies in Singapore are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which makes up 47% of the GDP. The reason why the city-state has attracted a significant amount of both local and foreign investment for such a long time is due to its pro-growth and pro-business environment.

And due to the surprisingly fast development in technology section backed by government policies enforcing growth of technology and innovation industry as its core competencies, more and more tech startups seem to be rapidly established every single year in Singapore since there are a large number of grants in the city-state which can finance ideas from startups as well as support them to grow faster.

Knowing the situation, we decided to write this blog to help tech startups to know more about what grants are available for you to register. Let’s go through some of the most common and useful grants in Singapore for tech startups with us!

What Activities Can Be Covered by Grants?

There are many different grants that cover many stages of development that a business has to go through. However, to make it easy to follow, we breakdown the developing process into crucial stages with different suggestions of common grants: Proof of concept and proof of value, getting investment, hiring, business development, doing research, going oversea and growing capital.

How can grants affect your business? As a startup founder, it is definitely essential for you to get finance for your proof-of-concept (POC) and proof-of-value (POV) since it can be considered as the beginning of one’s journey to success.

Let’s assume you have a great idea of a new device. A grant can sponsor a technical viability study of this idea (POC) that will show if there is existing technology which would help your product, and what features can be included. If you already ensured the viability of the project, you can apply for a grant to finance a working prototype, to assess its commercial value (POV) by comparing the cost of production and the price people are ready to pay for it.

Moreover, the more you develop your business, the more you need these grants since the resources of your business are limited as a new enterprise. For instance, expenses when expanding your company abroad can be considerably covered with grants or when you want to hire citizens with support funding.

Some of The Most Common Grants for a Tech Startups

As mentioned above, we will suggest to founders some of the most common and useful grants according to the stages as following:

1. Proof of Concept and Proof of Value

FSTI Proof of Concept Grant

It provides funding support for experimentation, development and dissemination of nascent innovative technologies (POC).

+Authority: Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

+Target: A technology or solution provider with at least one financial institution regulated by MAS

+Benefit: Support up to 70% qualifying costs, capped at $200,000 for an Investigative project or Tech equivalence trial

+How to apply: Download and submit application form and proposal to [email protected]

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, click here

Startup SG Tech

Startup SG Tech supports POC and POV for commercialisation of innovative technologies. Companies may apply for POC or POV grants depending on the stage of development of the technology/concept.

+Authority: Enterprise Singapore (ESG)

+Target: Startup companies who wish to receive early-stage funding for commercialisation of proprietary technology and meet certain conditions regarding years in business, percent of local shareholding, place of core activities, among others.

+Benefit: Maximum $250,000 for POC and $500,000 for POV

+How to apply: The applying process comprises 3 stages: registration of interest, application and evaluation, and final panel evaluation

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, follow links below

Eligibility

How to apply

2. Getting investment/Financing

Start-up SG Equity

The government will co-invest with independent, qualified 3rd party investors into eligible startups.

+Authority: SEEDS Capital Pte Ltd (an investment arm of Enterprise Singapore) and SGInnovate + independent qualified 3rd party investors

+Target: Eligible general tech and deep tech startups

+Benefit: Investment capped at $2mil for general tech and $4mil for deep tech

+How to apply: Submit a two-page executive summary and the following supporting documents for first-level assessment: business plan, financial statements or management accounts, business ACRA, and background of potential co-investor.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, follow below links

Eligibility

How to apply 

Startup SG Founder

Startup SG Founder provides mentorship and startup capital grant of S$30,000 to first-time entrepreneurs

+Authority: Enterprise Singapore through Accredited Mentor Partners (AMPs)

+Target: First-time entrepreneurs (Singapore Citizens or PRs only) with innovative business ideas that can qualify for pre-set criteria.

+Benefit: Mentorship and startup capital grant of S$30,000

+How to apply: Apply to Enterprise Singapore through working with AMPs.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, click the links below

Eligibility

How to apply

3. Hiring

[email protected] under Start-up SG Talent

[email protected] aims to help fast-growing companies access the critical talent they need to grow and scale their business in Singapore and the region.

+Authority: Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore

+Target: Digital or technology companies received funding from a programme-recognised investment firm and secured more than US$10 mil in the past 36 months

+Benefit: Up to 10 new Employment Passes over 2 years with coverage for first renewal for company’s core team hiring

+How to apply: the process generally includes applying for [email protected] endorsement, and applying for individual EPs for your employees 

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, click here

Career Support Programme (CSP)

CSP encourages employers to hire eligible Singapore Citizens Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians. CSP is valid from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2021

+Authority: Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Employment and Employability Institute

+Target: Companies legally registered or incorporated in Singapore, with a Unique Entity Number (UEN) registered with ACRA

+Benefit: Up to $42,000 salary support for hiring eligible Singapore Citizens

+How to apply: Submit “CSP Notification Form” with necessary documents through WSG Feedback Portal using Organization Login

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, click here

4. Business Development

Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)

EDG supports projects that help you upgrade your business, innovate or venture overseas, under three pillars:

  • Core capabilities: covering business strategy development, financial management, human capital development, service excellence, strategic brand and marketing development.
  • Innovation and Productivity: covering automation, process redesign, product development.
  • Market access: covering merges and acquisitions, overseas marketing presence, pilot project and test bedding, standards adoption.

+Authority: Enterprise Singapore

+Target: Eligible companies who wish to grow further and satisfy conditions on percent of local shareholding and financial viability to carry out the project.

+Benefit: Up to 70% of qualifying project costs namely third party consultancy fees, software and equipment, and internal manpower cost.

+How to apply: Submit required documents through Business Grants Portal with your CorpPass.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, click here

Productivity Solution Grant (PSG)

PSG supports companies in the adoption of pre-scoped IT solutions and equipment that enhances productivity.

+Authority: These solutions have been pre-scoped by various government agencies such as Enterprise Singapore (ESG), National Environment Agency (NEA) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

+Target: SMEs registered in Singapore that is going to adopt the pre-scoped IT solutions for use in Singapore.

+Benefit: Up to 70% funding support for readily adoptable solutions found on Tech Depot

+How to apply: Accessing the list of supportable solutions, getting a quotation from a vendor, submitting an application on Business Grant Portal.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, click here

5. Doing Research

Industry-wide Technological Infrastructure or Utility

This is under The Financial Sector Technology and Innovation scheme, which is valid till March 2020. The Industry-wide Projects track seeks to build industry-wide technological/ utility infrastructure and/or improve efficiency and boost productivity.

+Authority: Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

+Target: Singapore-based financial institutions (FIs), market or professional organisations or associations, industry consortiums, and non-FI solution providers or companies

+Benefit: Up to 70% of level of funding support for qualifying expenses

+How to apply: Contact directly at [email protected]

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, click here

6. Going Overseas

Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant

MRA grant will boost SMEs to take their businesses overseas

+Authority: Enterprise Singapore

+Target: Eligible SMEs registered in Singapore meeting conditions regarding minimum local shareholding and size (number of employees)

+Benefit: Up to 70% of eligible costs (until March 2020), capped at 20k for 2 applications per fiscal year, limited to one activity (market entry, trade fair,…) per one application

+How to apply: Submit required documents through Business Grants Portal with your CorpPass.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, click here

LEAD International Fairs & Mission

This helps Singapore companies to reach out to global customers, obtain feedback on products and services, and explore opportunities in overseas markets.

+Authority: Enterprise Singapore

+Target: Trade Associations and Chambers in Singapore and SMEs registered in Singapore with qualified core business activities

+Benefit: Support of up to 50% or 70% of eligible expenses, depending on the number of times your company has participated in the event

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, click here

7. Growing Capital

Listing Grant under Grant for Equity Market Singapore Scheme

Listing Grant, under Grant for Equity Market Singapore Scheme which is valid for 3 years from 14 Feb 2019, encourages potential issuers to list on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) by co-funding part of the eligible expenses.

+Authority: Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

+Target: Issuers with an Initial Public Offering, excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts and Business Trusts, on SGX

+Benefit: 70/20/20% co-funding for eligible expenses, capped at 1mil/500k/200k SGD for New Technology Sectors/High Growth Sectors/All other sectors.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, click here

Above are some of the most common grants that a Tech Startup can have access to. If you have an intention to establish a tech company in Singapore to greatly benefit from these grants, we offer you top-notch company formation services to make your dream become a reality. Contact us now!

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