IMDA’s accreditation programme for Singapore-based tech product companies to expand its scope

IMDA’s accreditation programme for Singapore-based tech product companies to expand its scope

Photo credit: IMDA (From IMDA's Twitter)

From 3 November 2017, the Infocomm Media Development
Authority’s (IMDA) Accreditation@IMDA
programme will be re-branded
as “Accreditation@SG Digital (Accreditation@SGD)” to enable accredited
companies to be better recognised overseas through a Singapore branding.

Accreditation@IMDA was launched in July 2014 to help
promising Singapore-based tech product companies to win projects, grow and
compete in the global market. Being accredited opens up more opportunities for
their products and solutions to be showcased and commercialised. For buyers
from the Government and large enterprises, the accreditation process provides
an independent third-party evaluation of the companies’ claimed product core
functionalities and ability to deliver.

As of end October 2017, 23 companies had been accredited in
areas such as video analytics, data analytics, robotics and energy management.
More companies are currently undergoing the evaluation process. Within three
years, the Accreditation@IMDA programme has created a pipeline of over $80m for
its accredited companies, comprising over 600 government project opportunities
from over 80 agencies, of which over 120 projects have been won to-date. Fifteen
accredited companies had secured $68 million in new growth capital during or
after accreditation. Three accredited companies had successful exits through
acquisitions (Deep Identity and Kai Square) and IPO (Anacle).

To support the digital economy strategy and industry transformation,
the programme will expand its scope by:

Expanding the pool of
accredited companies

IMDA aims to expand the pool of accredited companies beyond
start-ups and young SMEs to include later stage SMEs and deep technology
foreign companies.

The programme has garnered growing interest from local and
foreign companies. The programme will expand to accredit later stage SMEs that
are pivoting to leverage disruptive technologies to drive growth.

IMDA is working with the Economic Development Board (EDB) to
anchor best in class foreign high-tech companies to complement Singapore’s
local enterprises and ecosystem. By congregating a critical mass of high growth
tech product companies in Singapore, IMDA expect more global investors and high
tech talent to be attracted to Singapore’s ecosystem, creating synergies and
positive spinoff.

Curate a supply of
tech companies in the 4 frontier technologies

Under the Infocomm Media Industry Transformation Map (ICM
ITM) released
 by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), a key thrust
area is to invest and build capabilities in four frontier technologies, namely
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Analytics; Cybersecurity; Immersive Media
and Internet of Things (IoT). (Dr. Ibrahim outlined the four frontier technology
focus areas in his speech at the Infocomm Media Business Exchange (imbX)
opening ceremony in May this year
). Accreditation@SGD will work with EDB,
SG Innovate and other industry accelerators to expand the pipeline and pool of
promising high growth tech companies in these 4 tech pillars.  

Accreditation@SGD will work with various agencies and
enterprises to supply relevant accredited companies to support the
implementation of their Industry Transformation Maps.

Opportunities will be created to pitch and meaningfully
engage key stakeholders through platforms such as CIO forums, focused workshops
and events. To-date, accredited companies have been enabled to reach out to
more than 250 key decision makers in more than 100 government agencies and
enterprises. Strategic partnerships are also forged with leading enterprises in
various verticals sectors to create recurring engagement and ideation platforms
for accredited companies to support their digital transformation.

Customised account
management and ecosystem support

Accreditation@SGD provides customised and sustained
assistance, in areas such as technical advisory, financial modelling,
facilitating fund raising, pitch coaching and business advisory. This is to help
companies at the initial period where the growth challenges are the highest,
i.e. where they have to build track records, raise funds and take steps to
eventually break out of the attrition zone.

IMDA uses a data-driven approach to identify potential red
flags in companies’ growth journey through tracking their pipeline, sales
conversion, project delivery and cashflow, as well as feedback from potential
buyers on their products. This approach provides IMDA with information to work
with the companies on making nimble pivots in areas that they need to address,
such as product positioning, productisation to create new business
opportunities or business model.

Beyond that, IMDA is working with various partners to
further accredited companies’ growth, including: 1) Enterprise partners (e.g.
DBS, UOB, OCBC, Great Eastern) for internationalisation; 2) Go-to-Market
partners (e.g. S&I, Crimson Logic, Deloitte) for access to large local/global
projects; 3) Venture capital (VC) firms (e.g. Heliconia, GGVC, SPH Ventures, ST
Engineering Ventures) for funding; and 4) Other financial/consulting / legal
partners (e.g. SGX, Invoice Interchange, KPMG, Deloitte, Duan Morris) to
support their growth / working capital, consultation and legal needs.

The accreditation evaluation performed by Accreditation@SGD
is often used by the VC partners to complement their due diligence. We
proactively work with accredited companies to identify the right profile of VC
partners to shorten the duration and increase the success of their fund

Three leading local banks (DBS, OCBC Bank and UOB) came
on board
in May 2017, to provide accredited companies with increased access
to innovative projects to build their track record in the banking sector.

To enable accredited companies to leverage capital markets
for expansion, Accreditation@SGD and SGX signed
an MOI
in May 2017, to create a streamlined pathway where accredited
companies can tap on IPO sponsors, law and audit firms (collectively, “market
professionals”) in their IPO journey which includes facilitating pre-IPO
funding, advising them on listing processes and preparing them for IPO listing.

commercialisation of R&D through accredited companies

IMDA will also be working with GovTech, A*STAR’s I2R (Institute
for Infocomm Research) and IHLs (Institutes of Higher Learning) to explore commercialisation
of R&D through IMDA’s portfolio of accredited companies to support their
product development roadmap.