Singapore – leading startup hub in Asia

26. Juni 2023

Innovation Dynamics: Why Singapore matters

Singapore origin as a financial centre began 200 years ago, being chosen as a trading post to connect the East and West. It served as a place where goods were imported, stored, and then re-exported. Today, the small, highly developed country is believed by some to be on its way to becoming the leading startup hub in Asia (Startupgenome, 2022). The city-state and island country has a strong economy and a stable political system and is perceived as a launchpad for entrepreneurs across Asia-Pacific.

Considering its unique geographic location between India and Hong Kong it is not surprising that Singapore has a highly diverse cultural environment. Although being a small country with a population of 5.4 million people, it is considered a main source of talent in Asia, due to its strong educational and research institutions.

Further arguments, such as an advanced technological infrastructure, business-friendly tax policies and a high volume of government funding schemes to support entrepreneurs, are the reason why today over 37.000 international companies have settled in Singapore. Correspondingly, Singapore is mentioned within the same breath as prominent names such as the Silicon Valley or London.

What does the market landscape look like in Singapore?

The market landscape in Singapore is characterized by its openness to foreign investment and trade, as well as its highly developed infrastructure and efficient business environment. Unlike many other countries, setting up a business in Singapore is speedy, straightforward, cost-effective, and can be done digitally. Parallelly, the government is committed to helping the countries tech sector grow.

Singapore has a diversified economy with a strong focus on international trade, finance, and manufacturing. Based on this the country is a major hub for shipping and logistics in Southeast Asia and is home to many large multinational corporations. Particularly its financial sector is well-developed, with a number of major banks and financial institutions headquartered in the city-state. Nevertheless, it is not only players from the financial sector that draw the picture of the city ecosystem, but also large international corporations including Dyson and BioNTech have set up headquarters in Singapore (Startupgenome, 2022).

What is the startup ecosystem like?

The startup ecosystem in Singapore is vibrant and diverse, with a strong focus on technology and innovation. The country has a highly developed economy and a business-friendly environment, making it an attractive location for startups to launch and grow.

One of the key advantages of the startup ecosystem in Singapore is the government’s strong support for entrepreneurship. It has implemented several initiatives and programs to encourage the development of startups, including tax incentives, grants, and funding. This support has helped to create a favourable ecosystem for startups to thrive.

Singapore is also home to many accelerators and incubators that provide startups with the resources and support they need to grow. These organizations offer a range of services, including mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to funding.

Multinational corporations such as Facebook, General Electrics, and L’Oréal, and local success stories like ST Engineering and ZIG ventures, have been eagerly exploring the startup landscape to establish innovation hubs and launch competitions in search of fresh and ground-breaking solutions.

In addition, Singapore has a strong network of privately backed mentors and investors who are actively involved in the startup ecosystem. These individuals provide valuable guidance and support to startups, helping them navigate the challenges of building and growing a successful business. In fact, venture capitalists have driven significant growth in funding by increasing investments from 3.5 billion in 2016 to 16.5 billion in 2022.