"With its supportive government, world-class research institutions, and a strong financial market, Singapore has all the ingredients to become a global leader in Deep Tech. It is an ideal hub for founders looking to scale and make a positive impact."
With its pro-business environment and booming digital economy, Singapore is an attractive hub for international startups and businesses. Home to around 4,000 tech startups and more than 220 incubators and accelerators, the ecosystem also has over 400 venture capital managers and an estimated 700 family offices. Singapore was ranked #7 in the Global Innovation Index 2022. An Asia-Pacific financial hub, Singapore is a hot bed of Fintech innovation. In April 2022, Coda Payments, an independent platform for digital content monetization, raised $690 million in funding. In December 2022, crypto trading firm Amber Group closed a $300 million Series C.
The Singapore government has been deepening its National AI strategy since 2019 and is leveraging AI to transform services. Deep Tech received more than $1 billion of investment in 2022 and VC firm iGlobe Partners is raising a $200 million fund to back Deep Tech startups. EFS-Green enables access to green financing for enterprises, and the France-Singapore Digital and Green Partnership (DGP) is part of Singapore’s larger strategy to build a network of international partnerships in the fast-growing digital and green economies.
In June 2022, Meta announced the Meta Immersive Learning Academy. AWS and IMDA launched a Joint Innovation Centre in Southeast Asia at IMDA’s PIXEL Innovation Hub. At the Singapore Week of Technology and Innovation conference in October 2022, Enterprise Singapore and Stellar Lifestyle launched a joint-funding partnership as a testbed for innovative solutions that could be deployed across the country’s mass transit network.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
Singapore is a hub for manufacturing advanced medical technologies. BioNTech acquired a mRNA facility here in November 2022. SGInnovate, an ecosystem builder and investor backed by the Singapore government, launched the Helix Immersion Programme to offer Life Science researchers on-the-job training. mRNA company RVAC Medicine has raised $140 million. In June 2022, Tessa Therapeutics, a clinical-stage cell therapy company, closed a $126 million Series A. In November TauRx Pharmaceuticals, a global leader in research in Alzheimer’s, raised $119 million.
AI, Big Data & Analytics
Singapore will invest $50 million to attract and develop AI talent and open three new centers of innovation. 100 Experiments is AI Singapore’s flagship program to solve industries’ AI problems and help them build their AI teams. AI Singapore provides co-funding to organizations working on an AI-focused innovation. ATxAI took place here in June 2023 and Big Data & AI World will return in October.
Agtech & New Food
Republic Polytechnic launched the first cloud-based Agtech laboratory in an institute of higher learning in Singapore. The facility will support Singapore’s 30 by 30 initiative, which aims to provide 30% of the country’s nutritional needs by 2030. The government has committed $300 million to innovation in future foods, sustainable urban food production, and food safety under the Singapore Food Story R&D Programme. In September 2022, insect-protein producer Nutrition Technologies closed a $20 million equity round.
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Singapore
The Enterprise Innovation Scheme provides tax deductions to help companies innovate and improve their business processes, including for R&D expenses, the cost of acquiring and licensing IP, the cost of registering IP rights, and more. Singapore does not impose capital gains tax and offers multi-year tax holidays to startups in preferred sectors. A personal income tax rate of 22% is a draw for foreign talent.
Ease of Doing Business
Entrepreneurs in Singapore can set up businesses in any sector, trade is not limited, and the currency is stable.## Multiple ministries and R&D funding bodies support research and innovation. Singapore also has various entry options for tech talent and entrepreneurs, such as Tech@SG and EntrePass, a work visa for serial entrepreneurs, highly skilled talent, and experienced investors.
The Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass allows top talent across all sectors to start, operate, and work for multiple companies in Singapore at one time. Local players like SGInnovate also have various schemes that help connect Deep Tech startups with talent.
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