Singapore reveals plans to be the next Silicon Valley


Singapore is working to grow into Southeast Asia's largest start-up hub in an attempt to match the success of Silicon Valley in the US.

With venture capital funding in the city, which reached S$1.71 billion (Singapore dollars) in 2013, exceeding those in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong last year, investors state that the technology ecosystem in the area is rapidly expanding.

Within the past few years, the Singapore government has helped boost the city's start-up culture by investing around S$100 million in early-stage start-ups as part of the S$16 billion it has promised for scientific research and development.

Similar to the programmes offered in Israel, the Technology Incubation Scheme is just one initiative implemented by the Singapore government and provides co-investment of up to 85 per cent of capital in start-ups, up to a cap of S$500,000. Technology incubators then provide the final 15 per cent and, after three years, the incubator can buy out the government's stake.

Leslie Loh, head of Singapore venture capital firm Red Dot, believes that the government's interest and funding will boost confidence in the city's start-ups. He said: "In the past, I might have funded two or three start-ups a year. Now I've been doing one a month."

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