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Enterprise Singapore forms partnership to allow faster access to India’s startup ecosystem

According to a recent announcement, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), one of the largest global entrepreneurship organisations. With a network of 11,000 members globally, India currently constitutes one third of TiE’s global membership. The MOU was signed ahead of Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s visit to Singapore.

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.

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.

The ESG-TiE collaboration kickstarts the Singapore-India Incubation Programme by Startup SG, led by Enterprise Singapore, with the support of Trade Associations and Chambers (TAC) and startup partners.

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,” Mr Tan added.

Currently supported by eight partners, the Programme 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 ten Singapore startups to meet with Indian startups, corporates, mentors and investors to partner and co-innovate solutions in fintech, e-services and deep tech.

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.”

“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,” Mr Pushkarna said.

In line with the Incubation Programme by Startup SG, Enterprise Singapore will be organising an iAdvisory Seminar titled “Startups in India” on 12 June 2018, to help Singapore companies understand the startup landscape in India, opportunities and how to enter the market.

At the same time, Enterprise Singapore also inked 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.

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.

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