Enterprise Singapore and German Accelerator partner to boost start-up collaboration between Singapore and Germany

On 9 July 2018, Enterprise Singapore and the German government-backed German Accelerator Southeast Asia (GASEA) announced a two-way partnership to support Singapore start-ups’ entry into Germany, and facilitate German start-ups’ setup in Singapore. The collaboration will involve various accelerator programmes for curated start-ups and follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by Enterprise Singapore and German Accelerator at the Germany-Singapore Business Forum in April 2018.

Enterprise Singapore will appoint start-up multipliers, like Startup SG and EntrePass, to ensure that start-ups in Singapore have access to a wide range of proficient global talent to support their tech innovations. Enterprise Singapore will prioritise the appraisals of EntrePass for the promising start-up talent incubated by such partners.

The aforementioned moves were announced at the launch of the GASEA office on 9 July and mark German Accelerator’s first office in Asia. Enterprise Singapore Chairman, Mr. Peter Ong; Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Singapore, Dr. Ulrich Sante; and over 100 businesses, start-ups, VCs and educational institutes attended the launch.

Mr. Peter Ong stated that to maintain its competitive edge, Singapore’s start-ups need to be connected to global innovation hubs and construct a robust and efficient talent pool. Enterprise Singapore will continue to partner with companies like the German Accelerator to boost Singapore’s start-up ecosystem. This will be done by facilitating co-innovation efforts and helping start-ups identify business partners in key hubs like Germany.

Boosting market access and partnerships in deep tech innovation

GASEA, with the support of Enterprise Singapore, will develop landing pads for Singapore start-ups. A two-phase programme, spanning up to nine months, will also be initiated to support Singapore’s deep tech start-ups.

The first phase will cover preliminary tech evaluation and product-market fit assessments. Start-ups will move to the second phase once they have been deemed suitable for the market. They will be housed in co-working spaces within the market and will be connected to local mentors and suitable German Mittelstand (medium-sized companies) to discuss possible collaborations.

Germany has a stellar track record in manufacturing and environmental technology. It is also the world’s third-largest goods exporter; machinery and automobiles being among its top exports. Singapore start-ups can partner with German Mittelstand in these areas to co-innovate solutions and use Germany as a reference market to enter Europe. The nimbleness of Mittelstand companies will afford them more flexibility to adopt new and innovative solutions. 

Partnering Singapore to access Asia

The GASEA office in Singapore will help German start-ups enter into Singapore and Asia through a five-month programme, customised for each start-up according to their industry needs. Eight German start-ups have been brought to Singapore: Ecosus (agritech), Fractal Blockchain (regtech), iNDTact (high-performance sensor technology), Rytle (logtech), Start-up Guide (publishing), Silexica (deep tech), tiramizoo (logtech) and Wealthstone (fintech).

Enterprise Singapore will connect them to Singapore companies and MNCs to co-create and testbed solutions that can be applied here, and subsequently, to Asia.

Mr Claus Karthe, Founder, and CEO of German Accelerator Southeast Asia stated that Southeast Asia’s large, youthful and digitally savvy middle-class presents a tremendous opportunity. And, as Southeast Asian governments encourage innovation, mobile capabilities and digitisation, the ecosystems comprising research institutes, government agencies and industries are open to cooperation and supporting foreign start-ups.

Calling for proposals to deepen collaboration on co-innovation projects

To further propel the collaboration between start-ups and SMEs from both Singapore and Germany, a second call for proposals launches on 1 August 2018 as part of the Germany-Singapore SME Funding programme.

Through this initiative, Enterprise Singapore hopes to support more co-innovation projects that tap complementary technologies and capabilities for the development of solutions for both Asian and European markets.

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