Singapore is keen to position itself as tech startup capital of south east Asia, with a solid talent pool, more coworking spaces, government support and a growing funding ecosystem.
Dr Janil Puthucheary, minister for communications and information, told the audience at the inaugural Forbes 30 under 30 Asia event in Singapore: “Forty percent of startup acquisitions in Asia happen here. Given our size that is exceptional.”
“We needed to climb that curve very aggressively. It’s about providing the infrastructure, create a space and various pockets of innovation. We’ve also had a lot of individuals who have had success willing to give up their time for mentorship.”
Away from government, funding is flowing into Singapore from the west. Major VC funds like Sequoia Capital are increasingly looking towards the emerging Asian market and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has decided to set up a $250 million fund in Singapore instead of Silicon Valley, after marrying Singaporean citizen Elaine Andriejanssen in 2015.
During a four-day visit to the city state for Smart Nation Innovations, Techworld didn’t meet any startups that took our breath away, but it is early days and events such as the InnovFest unBound conference will help grow the ecosystem. Despite the Singaporean market being small, scalable ideas could do worse than base themselves in this global city.
Here are just eight of the new breed looking to inspire the next generation of Asian startups.