Enterprise Singapore partners TiE to provide Singapore startups with access to India, the third largest startup ecosystem

  1. Singapore startups can now gain faster entry to India’s vibrant startup ecosystem to form partnerships and co-innovate with Indian startups. This comes after Enterprise Singapore (ESG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), one of the largest global entrepreneurship organisations. The MOU was signed ahead of Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s visit to Singapore.

Accessing India’s burgeoning innovation hub to co-innovate solutions

  1. The MOU with TiE kickstarts the “Singapore – India Incubation Programme” by Startup SG[1], led by Enterprise Singapore, with the support of Trade Associations and Chambers and startup partners. The Programme, which is currently supported by eight partners, aims to foster collaboration between Singapore and Indian startups through jointly-organised networking events, workshops and sessions with in-market mentors. As a start, TiE will be running a startup mission in July with 10 Singapore startups to meet with Indian startups, corporates, mentors and investors to partner and co-innovate solutions in fintech, e-services and deeptech. With a network of 11,000 members globally, India currently constitutes one third of TiE’s global membership.
  1. Mr Tan Soon Kim, Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore, said, “India is an up-and-coming hotspot for global startups and businesses. The growth of India’s startup landscape has been remarkable. The Singapore – India incubation programme aims to introduce ideas and concepts between the ecosystems of both countries and foster collaboration between companies in each other’s markets and in Southeast Asia. Over time, we aim to establish a series of key innovation nodes within India to form an innovation network for Singapore companies to tap on.”
  1. Mr Puneet Pushkarna, Chairman of TiE Singapore, said, “The strategic collaboration between TiE and Enterprise Singapore would strengthen the bridge between India and Singapore’s startup ecosystem, which today are amongst the most vibrant in the world. With 19 chapters in India alone, TiE provides the fattest pipe of entrepreneurial connectivity between the two countries and we hope to enhance market access opportunities for startups on both sides. We are confident that the platform would further proliferate networking amongst innovators and allow for the development and adoption of ideas, flow of capital and implementation of technically challenging solutions for the betterment of the society at large.”
  1. In line with the “Singapore – India Incubation Programme” by Startup SG, Enterprise Singapore will be organising an iAdvisory Seminar: “Startups in India” on 12 June 2018, to help Singapore companies understand the startup landscape in India, opportunities and how to enter the market.
  1. India’s startup ecosystem ranks third globally, with over 4,750 startups. Its key focus areas include e-commerce, fintech, healthtech and edutech. The number of startups in India grew 12% in 2016 and is expected to cross 10,000 by 2020. In 2017, the value of startup funding amounted to approximately US$13.7 billion, significantly higher than the $4.06 billion of 2016 and the $8.4billion of 2015[2]. The growth is fuelled by (1) increased Government support through startup schemes that eased registration and gave Indian startups priority in Government-led projects, and (2) rising middle class which led to a boom in startups tapping into the consumer space. 

Singapore companies finding success in India’s startup scene 

  1. Singapore startups who have successfully established in India include ViSenze, an Artificial Intelligence-based visual search and image recognition solutions provider. Their partnership with India’s leading fashion e-retailer, Myntra, has supported over 6 million Myntra users navigate their store with ease via image recognition. E-commerce platform Shopmatic has helped both companies and individuals bring their businesses online. India accounted for 75% of their global business in 2017.
  1. With the growing startup scene in India, Singapore companies are going into India to tap the opportunities. SingEx, for example, is going beyond its exhibitions business to partner the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion on a “Startup India Yatra” initiative. This initiative offers a series of bootcamps held across campuses and institutions in India to identify budding entrepreneurs and provide support to develop their ideas.

Opportunities in vocational training

  1. At a business event tomorrow, Enterprise Singapore will be signing an MOU with the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) India. The signing will be witnessed by Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations and Minister for Communications and Information, Mr S. Iswaran.
  1. The MOU will facilitate the entry of Singapore vocational training companies into India to support the skills needs of the beauty and wellness, F&B, and construction and facilities management sectors. As a start, Singapore vocational training companies can tap into several of NSDC’s financing schemes, such as soft loan for equipment and equity injection for joint venture projects with Indian training companies.

[1] Startup SG represents the shared interests of the startup community and positions Singapore as a leading startup hub. It provides entrepreneurs with a launch pad and a platform to connect them to the global stage, and access to local support initiatives.

[2]  Yourstory.com: The Yourstory 2017 Startup Funding Report – $13.7 billion invested across 820 deals

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