SINGAPORE (Feb 11): A key to a vibrant and innovative economy appears to lie with start-ups, small nimble players looking to disrupt the incumbents with technology. Government agencies ranging from the Singapore Economic Development Board to SG Innovate to Enterprise Singapore are in the game, offering an aegis of grants and schemes to grow the start-up community and small companies.

In what has become a regular feature of the annual Budget speech, the start-up community can look forward to new kinds of grants. For example, in the most recent 2018 Budget, the National Research Foundation and Temasek Holdings announced that they would launch a joint-venture fund with $50 million each. The fund will focus on investing, building and growing start-ups with viable business models powered by science and technology generated from publicly funded research in Singapore.

The 2018 budget also saw the integration of IE Singapore and SPRING Singapore into Enterprise Singapore, along with a new Enterprise Development Grant. This allowed start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to tap one agency to build up their capabilities, innovation and productivity as well as gain access to overseas markets with some costs defrayed by the agency.

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