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Corporates are tossing funding and perks to start-ups, but at what price?

Benjamin Cher & Trinity Chua
Benjamin Cher & Trinity Chua12/11/2017 08:00 AM GMT+08  • 7 min read
Corporates are tossing funding and perks to start-ups, but at what price?
SINGAPORE (Dec 11): Ace Turtle, an omni-channel marketing company, is participating in tech giant Microsoft’s accelerator programme. “We wanted to grow [faster], so we joined the Microsoft accelerator to [help us get] more clients and scale,” says N
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SINGAPORE (Dec 11): Ace Turtle, an omni-channel marketing company, is participating in tech giant Microsoft’s accelerator programme. “We wanted to grow [faster], so we joined the Microsoft accelerator to [help us get] more clients and scale,” says Nitin Chhabra, founder of Ace Turtle. “We are in the enterprise space, and I can’t think of any enterprise company that doesn’t work with Microsoft.”

As part of Microsoft’s accelerator programme, Ace Turtle receives credits that allow it to use some Microsoft products and services. The start-up also gets to operate on Microsoft’s cloud platform, which makes it easier for Chhabra to access the tech giant’s enterprise clients.

Distributing goodies to start-ups — everything from office space to funds and exclusive access to their distribution networks — has become de rigueur among corporates. According to KPMG Singapore, at least two in five enterprises in Singapore have an accelerator, incubator, venture fund or some other kind of programme through which it engages start-ups. As The Edge Singapore pointed out in a previous story (“Corporates are outsourcing innovation to start-ups — is the approach paying off?” Issue 807), even locally listed corporates such as CapitaLand and DBS Group Holdings are getting involved.

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