5 reasons Singapore is the deep tech hub of Asia
Deep tech remains the buzzword of 2019, having garnered exponential interest and investment within the global startup landscape. Defined as cutting-edge tech founded on scientific or engineering breakthroughs, deep tech has been singled out for its tremendous potential to solve real-world problems.
A strategic location, strong research and development (R&D) funding, diversity of tech conglomerates and growing talent has made Singapore a highly sought-after base for deep tech startups from all over the globe – and you shouldn’t miss out on the abundant opportunities there.
Here are 5 reasons Singapore is the go-to deep tech hub in Asia for every entrepreneur:
1. Strong government support for deep tech
In 2017, the Singapore government announced plans to pump S$19 billion into R&D efforts across the next five years – a budget larger than that of the UK’s and comparable to that of the United States’.
Large investments will be channelled into sectors such as advanced manufacturing & engineering, as well as emerging tech from fintech, to agritech, to artificial intelligence (AI). Under the Startup SG Equity scheme, the government has set aside S$170 million to co-invest with private-sector investors in Singapore-based tech startups, with up to S$4 million per deep tech startup.
2. A thriving deep tech ecosystem backed by strong IP regime
Ranked as the most innovative country in Asia by the 2018 Global Innovation Index, Singapore’s IP protection regime is among the world’s best. Entrepreneurs can be assured that their high-value innovations will be protected.
The city’s deep tech ecosystem is driven by key players Enterprise Singapore and SGInnovate, who work alongside local and international partners such as venture capitalists and universities. Since its launch in 2016, SGInnovate has invested in over 45 deep tech startups and grown a 23,000-strong deep tech community.
A nationwide Deep Tech Nexus Strategy is in place to strengthen Singapore’s deep tech ecosystem in two key areas: talent, which will focus on building capabilities, communities and networks; and investments, which will enhance early-stage deep tech startups, businesses and collaborative spaces.
3. Growing pool of deep tech talent
In the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index, Singapore is ranked number 1 in the tertiary efficiency category for its attentiveness to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Singapore has exactly the right talent and expertise for your startup to develop your solutions, with its unwavering commitment to academic excellence and scientific research.
Local institutions are also racing to develop these talents. For example, the National University of Singapore is investing up to S$1.5 million to enable graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and research staff to establish startups in the deep tech sector.
A sizeable pool of research scientists and engineers now work in Singapore. The great news is that Singapore is still on the lookout for more talent who do not just carry out innovation work, but also have the skills to translate deep tech ideas into marketable products and services for the world.
4. Tech giants and MNCs in the sector
Tech giants are moving their regional operations to Singapore, citing the city’s cosmopolitan culture and openness to innovations as an attractive place for deep tech collaborations. Singapore emerged as the top destination for AI and robotics investment in 2018, according to fDi Intelligence.
In 2018, private investment firm Marvelstone Group opened the Smart City Innovation Lab – said to be the world’s biggest AI hub – in Singapore’s bustling central business district. The lab will facilitate joint venture projects with banks, corporates and governments, and focus on fintech, blockchain and AI. It will also connect 20,000 global startups and institutions.
5. Packed calendar of deep tech events – SLINGSHOT 2019
Deep tech learning programmes, summits and networking events are organised all year round in Singapore. A key calendar highlight is SLINGSHOT powered by Startup SG, an annual international deep tech startup pitching competition held in November.
Attended by over 5,000 people last year, SLINGSHOT gives global startups a platform to showcase their ideas and gain early exposure to investors, corporates, industry leaders, mentors, and tech-savvy early adopters. SLINGSHOT 2019 is now open for registration, with more than US$1 million worth of prizes, plus term sheets and corporate innovation offers, up for grabs.
Want to take your startup to Singapore, the deep tech hub of Asia? Apply for SLINGSHOT 2019 now.