9 Incubators, Accelerators and Startup Programs For Singaporean Fintech Venturesby Fintechnews Singapore September 23, 2016
The following list complements a previous article we published in September 2015 which included a selection of some of Singapore’s most notorious incubators and accelerator programs including Startupbootcamp Fintech Singapore – which will open up applications for startups on November 01 -, TCF-PnP Program, InspirAsia, the Joyful Frog Digital Incubator, Fatfish MediaLab, PACT Incubator, FocusTech Ventures, East Ventures, Jungle Ventures, WaveMaker Labs and 10k.
For this selection, we have selected some of the top acceleration and incubation programs, as well as startup competitions, available to Singaporean fintech ventures. Most of these are led by top banks and tech firms and aim at facilitating collaboration between the corporate world and the startup community.
Start Tank by PayPal
Located within PayPal’s Singapore Technology Center, Start Tank is an incubation program providing an innovative environment where entrepreneurs can grow and feed off each other’s energy, creativity and support, as well as access to talent and connections from within the PayPal team and outside.
PayPal’s Start Tank incubation program seeks to nurture and support the creation of a new generation of fintech companies by offering them initial infrastructure, mentorship, direction and encouragement.
It provides over 9 months in Singapore:
- Prime co-working space at PayPal’s Singapore Technology Center located at Suntec City.
- Structured learning conducted by experts in the FinTech industry. Finance and technology topics such as risk, compliance, core payment network, channel partnering etc., will be covered in the curriculum.
- Coaching and mentorship by PayPal executives and external business/technical subject matter experts.
- Access to talent from within and outside PayPal.
- Access to funding through PayPal’s network and VC connections.
- An environment which promotes collaboration and innovation, where startups can grow and feed off each other’s energy, creativity and support.
The Watson Centre at Marina Bay by IBM
Launched in June 2016, IBM Garage Singapore at the Watson Centre at Marina Bay is an incubator designed to bring together organizations of all sizes, business partners and IBM experts to co-create business solutions that leverage IBM’s cognitive, blockchain and design capabilities.
At the IBM Garage, experts collaborate with clients, developers and entrepreneurs to test-drive tools, processes, and procedures to make blockchain real. It aims at creating a bridge between the scale of enterprise and culture of startups, supporting the development of an Open Standards-based blockchain ecosystem, and creating new work opportunities in Singapore.
The Watson Centre at Marina Bay acts as a center of expertise for almost 5,000 IBM cognitive solutions professionals in the Asia Pacific region alone, including researchers, IBM Watson specialists, data scientists, software engineers, agile developers and analytics experts. It will also offer education, hackathons, and customized workshops for a broader ecosystem of innovators including software companies, startups, developers and systems integrators.
The Watson Centre at Marina Bay also hosts IBM Studios – Singapore, a center that blend experience design and digital expertise to support customer innovation.
Innotribe by SWIFT
Launched in 2009 by SWIFT, Innotribe was created to identify emerging trends in financial services innovation and generate discussions about how these trends could impact the industry going forward.
Each year, Innotribe organizes its renowned Startup Challenge, a global startup competition. The selection phases take place during a regional showcases across the world.
Among the benefits of participating in the Innotribe Startup Challenge, startups receive coaching and mentoring from renowned experts from the global fintech scene, they get the opportunity to meet financial industry executives and potential investors, and eventually be one of the finalists startups and have their travel and expenses covered up to 2,000 USD to get to the Innotribe Startup Challenge Grand Finale taking place every year during Sibos, the world’s premier financial services event organized by SWIFT.
Innotribe also has an incubator which aims at identifying new business opportunities for SWIFT and its customers. The program helps startups speed up the time-to-market for ideas with the greatest potential for upside for community and for SWIFT.
InnoChallenge by CIMB Bank
The startup competition program focuses on digital innovations in the financial services industry and is opened to countries across ASEAN, notably in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
This year, InnoChallenge was centered on six areas of banking: loyalty and rewards; identity, security and document management using blockchain technology; remittances; mobile payments; peer-to-peer models; and digital wallets.
Winners of InnoChallenge receive cash prizes.
DBS HotSpot Pre-Accelerator
DBS is undeniably one of the most active banks in Singapore in the field of fintech. Alongside being a partner of the Hub Singapore for PACT Incubator, the bank is also involved in a number of other initiatives, including the DBS Accelerator in Hong Kong, and the DBS HotSpot.
The DBS HotSpot Pre-Accelerator is a program designed to cultivate entrepreneurship in Singapore through experimentation, mentorship and training. DBS does not take equity.
The intensive 2+4 month program includes an award of S$25,000 for zero equity upon start of the pre-accelerator program, first hand advice from seasoned entrepreneurs, DBS executives and partner accelerators, exclusive pitching opportunities on Pitch Day and Demo Day with top investors & accelerators, entrepreneurship workshops and skill enablement classes, as well as a Collaborative co-working space and meeting facilities at One-North.
The Open Vault at OCBC Fintech Accelerator
The OCBC Fintech Accelerator, powered by NEST. is a mentor-driven program designed to help entrepreneurs build the fintech companies of the future, faster and more efficiently. Run from a dedicated space in Singapore, up to eight startups are selected each year to join the full-time 12-week program.
Startups receive guidance and support from leading fintech experts, lectures and presentations developed and delivered by top entrepreneurship professors, access to OCBC’s network, state-of-the-art co-working space in Singapore, introductions to top investors with a proven track record in fintech and tech resources to help systemize and streamline their business.
The FinLab is a program powered by United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Singapore’s Infocomm Investments, aimed at helping innovative startups develop the best solutions to serve customers in the new economy.
Participants get guidance from expert mentors across different subject matters and business areas, the opportunity to work with some of ASEAN’s top financial players and decision-makers, as well as the chance to tap into key overseas markets in ASEAN markets and access UOB and Infocomm Investments’ networks.
The most promising ventures get the opportunity to receive up to S$30,000 in cash investment upon the accelerator program, enjoy up to S$400,000 in credits for cloud hosting, analytics, get office space in Singapore, and get advice on the different programs and grants from the Singapore government.
FinLab organizes a number of Launchpads across the region where local startups can pitch their venture and connect with the community. The next one being will occur in Bangkok, Thailand on October 10, 2016.
Virtual accelerators: geographically agnostic programs for fintechs
Citi Mobile Challenge
Citi Mobile Challenge is a virtual accelerator with a robust curriculum and mentorship program aimed to inspire developers to reimagine mobile banking. Finalists get the opportunity to showcase their ideas during Demo Days and stimulate digital progress in the industry.
Participants enjoy a leading fintech accelerator program that includes exposure to a broad fintech and startup community, as well as robust mentorship combined with a virtual and on-site boot-camp curriculum. Topics typically include Technology, Business, Marketing, Regulation and more.
Citi and leading technology companies share their APIs to give developers an opportunity to create solutions that reimagine the Digital Economy and the way we interact with money.
Citi offers a share of US$100,000 in cash awards to Finalists plus the opportunity to explore a commercial relationship with Citi and with leading fintech companies and sponsors. Citi Mobile Challenge sponsors offer additional awards.
Start Path Global
MasterCard’s Start Path Global partners with startups from around the world to help scale their businesses.
The program enables companies to gain access to MasterCard’s global ecosystem and to break new markets through relationships with MasterCard and its customers. Some key features include:
- 6-month virtual program (take part from your home location) with support from the Start Path Team and access to MasterCard’s global infrastructure;
- 2 immersion weeks at different cities taking place at the launch and 3-month point, and held at different MasterCard and startup hubs around the world;
- No upfront equity in exchange for participation.