Over the years, Singapore’s investments in startups, research and innovation have transformed it into a technology and startup hub not only for Singapore, but for the entire South Asian region. East. In 2022, Singapore tech startups raised nearly $11 billion, accounting for around 64% of the deal value in Southeast Asia.
A pillar of this transformation is the Global Innovation Alliance (“GIA“), a technology and innovation-focused network of Singapore and overseas partners in key demand markets and major innovation hubs. Led by Enterprise Singapore (“CompanySG“), the GIA helps Singapore companies venture beyond the domestic market to global markets. Since 2019, nearly 500 Singapore companies have been supported to exploit market opportunities in key innovation hubs and expand globally.
On October 10, 2023, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong spear a new GIA node in New York (“new York“) as part of his work trip to the United States. The new New York node will provide Singapore technology startups with opportunities to collaborate on innovation and connect with business partners to co-develop, test and market their solutions in the U.S. With the addition of the New York Node, the GIA network now operates in 18 cities worldwide, extending beyond the U.S. to China, Indonesia, Japan , the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, among others.
Below, we provide an overview of the GIA and the support it provides to technology startups and small and medium enterprises based in Singapore (“SMEs“). Rajah & Tann Singapore’s leading partners are well placed to help your business on its journey from incorporation to overseas expansion, with our own Rajah & Tann Asia network across all ten jurisdictions of Singapore, from Cambodia, China, Indonesia and Laos. PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as regional offices in Brunei, Japan and South Asia. The Rajah & Tann Asia network is also focused on providing integrated solutions with expertise in various practices to address the multiple-disciplinary issues you may encounter throughout your expansion journey.
The GIA includes two types of programs, managed by a GIA partner on each site:
- Acceleration programs which help Singapore-based startups expand overseas and international startups use Singapore as a springboard to expand in the region. Participants will gain a better understanding of the regulations and business cultures of the new market and gain access to a valuable network of companies and investors.
- Co-innovation programs to help Singapore-based startups connect with overseas partners to collaborate on research and development (R&D) projects. Such projects can lead to the development of new solutions or a customization of a startup’s existing technology for better market fit, as examples of what a startup can achieve through its participation.
Beyond the programs, participants will join a thriving network of GIA alumni, startups and SMEs that have successfully expanded into global markets. Exclusive learning opportunities, sharing entrepreneurial experiences and continued access to GIA’s global partner networks are among the benefits of membership as a GIA alumni.
Node NYC – Accelerator Program
Consistently ranked among the best in the world, New York’s vibrant startup ecosystem is home to more than 25,000 tech startups and a diverse talent pool. The New York node offers an accelerator program to assist with expansion into the New York market, which takes place both virtually and in-person. The virtual component lasts eight weeks and includes:
- group sessions covering a wide range of topics, from legal and accounting setup to marketing;
- individual mentoring, with a selection of mentors adapted to participating startups; And
- business development opportunities, which are also tailored to each company’s objectives for the US market.
The program then moves on to two weeks of market experience in New York, including networking opportunities, meetings with potential clients, partners and investors, and a pitch event aimed at investment and sales. Participants will continue to have access to a network of more than 800 mentors, businesses and investors after the program ends.
More details about the New York Accelerator Program, including eligibility criteria, can be found here.
Opportunities for tech startups and SMEs
As the world’s largest economy, the United States has attracted many Singaporean companies looking to capitalize on its large customer base and growth potential. In 2022, EnterpriseSG helped 190 companies access the US market. Singaporean companies specializing in fintech, biomedical sciences, sustainability and renewable energy have proven particularly advantageous given the huge US market for these products and Singapore’s strength in these sectors. Another competitive advantage is the lower cost of doing business in the Asia-Pacific region, with some Singapore companies finding their niche by building a reputation for high quality, reliability and price competitiveness.
After successfully taking advantage of the business development opportunities offered by the GIA, companies will need additional legal support to establish the infrastructure necessary for expansion in the United States and other countries. Whether you are a Singaporean company looking to enter overseas markets or a foreign company intending to use Singapore as a springboard into the region, Rajah & Tann Singapore is ready to help you as one of the largest consulting firms. full service lawyers in Singapore.
Beyond Singapore’s borders, we also benefit from the strength of the Rajah & Tann Asia network across ASEAN, China, Japan and South Asia. As lawyers with knowledge of Asia, we are in a unique position to provide transparent legal support for your business expansion plans, whether that involves setting up the appropriate vehicle or corporate structure, offering advice and assistance on sector-specific transactions, navigating cross-border investments and joint ventures. , and guarantee compliance with laws on the protection of personal data.