SINGAPORE: A new programme was launched by Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran on Wednesday (Nov 7) to support the growth of promising start-ups in Singapore.
Called SG:D Spark, the programme - by the Infocommunications and Media Development Authority (IMDA) - aims to address the challenges faced by businesses in the infocomm media sector and support them through selected Government grants and access to industry community partners.
It is aimed at Business to Business and Business-to-Consumer customers.
Under the programme, start-ups will be able to access and leverage existing TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) manpower programmes to support and scale their businesses. They will also get priority processing of grant applications by IMDA as well as access to community events and professional service firms and industry mentors, among other benefits.
The industry partners and Institutes of Higher Learning that will support these companies include Facebook and the National University of Singapore.
IMDA Chief Industry Development Officer Howie Lau said the programme aims to close certain gaps that start-ups face such as getting access to funds and talent, and leveraging multiple resources.
“(The programme is about) helping them to get access to potentially new customers - including the Government as a customer, get access to talent and helping them with a community of support services as well - whether it's legal, whether it’s with accounting or others.”
“Companies that we're looking at - AI, blockchain, Internet of Things. But at the same time any of the start-ups that are there that have a very strong tech-innovation angle can apply,” added Mr Lau.
The programme was launched at the inaugural Singapore Digital Techblazer awards, held at Resorts World Sentosa Convention Centre, to recognise Singapore’s most innovative companies.
Eight companies were given the awards in three categories, including having the most potential in Singapore and abroad as well as being the best adopter of digital technology. IMDA said it received 331 applications for the award.
They include M-DAQ Pte Ltd for their Aladdin solution - which allows online merchants to price items in their customers' local currencies and allow payment to be received in the merchants' desired currency through a fixed conversion rate.
Mr Iswaran said infocomm media is a key driver of Singapore's economy, and needs to be developed further to serve new demand.
"Through the support from subject matter experts within the community together with Government tools, we aim to provide the resources, knowledge and network that are essential to the companies’ growth,” he said.