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9 tech start-ups undergo govt accreditation to boost visibility

The scheme aims to boost start-ups' visibility among service buyers, giving them a firmer foothold from which to secure business for themselves. 

SINGAPORE: Nine tech start-ups in Singapore are undergoing a Government accreditation process to boost their visibility among service buyers. The accreditation gives firms a mark of approval and accords them priority in winning tenders called by Government agencies and large enterprises.

Service buyers will still ultimately decide if an accredited start-up is suitable for a project. The accreditation basically validates a start-up's ability to deliver their products and services as promised.

The scheme was announced in April and to date, over 20 firms have expressed interest in being accredited. The accreditation status is valid for 18 months, after which a review will be done to see if the statuses are still valid. The accreditation helps service buyers identify small firms worth giving business to and lets the smaller players stand up to the big boys.

Among the nine companies gunning to be accredited by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is Singapore tech firm Tagit, which started in 2004 and offers services to develop mobile applications. Sandeep Bagaria, chief executive of Tagit, said: "Sometimes what we find is that some customers, when they're bidding against the larger players, they may not be as comfortable buying from us as opposed to a larger player. By going through this accreditation, we build a semblance of trust with the customers."

Start-ups which do not succeed in being accredited can re-look their fundamentals and make the necessary adjustments before making another attempt at getting the mark of approval.

Steve Leonard, executive deputy chairman of IDA, said: "The accreditation process is really a fairly structured situation in which we look at the financials of a firm, we take a look at the founders, meaning the quality of the founders, what's their background, what's their capability. We also take a look at the product that they have built, whether it's software or hardware, and we test it.”

Several large enterprises have come on board as partners for the scheme, including Amazon Web Services and Fuji Xerox Singapore. Accredited start-ups can potentially gain access to the customers of these large enterprises who recognise the scheme.

The entire scheme aims to give start-ups a firmer foothold from which to secure business for themselves. 

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