Forget what you know about San Francisco’s Silicon Valley. There’s a reason Singapore consistently gets ranked for being one of the best places for start-up visionaries to grow their businesses.
So, if you’re thinking of growing a start-up but can’t be sure if Singapore is the right place to do it, here are several reasons you should take that plunge:
There’s An Exhaustive List Of Government Grants
In its push to becoming a smart nation, the Singapore government announced several financial grants that would greatly benefit start-ups and young businesses in 2017.
One such grant is Startup SG. Announced by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Dr Koh Poh Koon, there are six aspects to the financial grant offered by Startup SG.
In particular, tech start-ups looking for early-stage funding can apply for Startup SG Tech. The initiative is a competitive grant that can be used to expedite the growth and business development of your company.
Find out more about Startup SG and the Startup SG Network in the short video below:
Not convinced? SPRING Singapore too has a financial scheme start-ups can take advantage of. SPRING gives away $5,000 vouchers (capped at eight vouchers per company) to encourage businesses to develop and strengthen various parts of their company’s structure. Read more about the scheme and how you can best make use of it here.
Financial aspects aside, Singapore also ranks fourth globally for its institutional protection of intellectual property in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. So not only are start-ups getting the funding they need, they’re also well-protected.
Singapore’s One Of The Richest Countries In The World
If the movie, Crazy Rich Asians — regardless of how fictional — wasn’t enough to remind you of how rich Singapore actually is, in 2017, the IMF reported that Singapore’s GDP continues to grow steadily throughout the years.
This means that Singapore has what it takes to support new businesses and is a great place for businesses to grow.
What’s more, Bloomberg reported in 2017 that Singapore was experiencing a surge in venture capital investments thanks to venture capital firms and their interest in the start-up scene.
Talented Work Force
According to a 2015 report, Singapore has the highest proportion of high-skilled employment in Asia Pacific.
To add to this, universities like the Singapore University of Technology and Design and the Singapore Institute of Technology have seen an increase in the number of intakes per year in students studying computing and other tech fields.
While the number of students in each school doesn’t necessarily equate to the number entering the tech startup industry, it’s worth acknowledging that the education system is adapting to meet the demands of the growing tech industry.
Smartphone And Internet Penetration Rates Are High
Which, ultimately, is great news for growing tech start-ups looking to gain exposure quickly through various social media and digital marketing means.
In fact, Singapore is so obsessed with the Internet that, on average, Singaporeans spend two hours and six minutes a day just on social media alone.
According to Hootsuite’s annual We Are Social study published earlier this year, 84 per cent (approximately 4.3 million) of Singaporeans are Internet users. The same study also found that 91 per cent of Singaporeans use their smartphones to browse the Internet.
Singapore’s A Great Gateway To The Rest Of Asia
As James Giancotti of Oddup explains in a Forbes article, “Startups are unlikely to become a billion dollar business solely by operating in Singapore. In this regard, targeting the regional market should be Singapore’s top priority and leveraging the ASEAN economic community can be a great advantage.”
Singapore has been coined as the gateway to Asia and by no means should that term be taken lightly.
“Singapore is a major transport, logistics and financial hub, and it has one of the most extensive network of trade agreements in Asia,” said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong while witnessing the signing on a memorandum of understanding between Singapore and the Eurasian Economic Commission in 2016.
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(Featured image: Unsplash)