Enterprise Singapore announced the appointment of 14 new Accredited Mentor Partners (AMPs) to the Startup SG Founder scheme, in our continuous efforts to groom startups in Singapore. The appointments take effect from 1 May 2020. This brings the total AMP partner network to 57. Majority of these AMPs come from various deep tech industries including agritech and advanced manufacturing.

The partners were selected based on the quality of their programmes, the strength of their management teams, and their operational sustainability (refer to Annex for the list of newly appointed AMPs). In 2019, 74 startups received structured mentoring from 43 AMPs and were awarded grants amounting to S$2.22 million for their business development.

Ms Lim Seow Hui, Director of Startup Development at Enterprise Singapore, said, “The innovations and technologies developed by startups are key in pushing the boundaries on solutions available within the market. We have seen startups stepping up to find ways to tackle issues arising from COVID-19. In this current climate, it is therefore imperative that we continue to collaborate with and support startups in their growth by working with strong ecosystem partners, like our appointed AMPs, who have the right capabilities and networks to guide startups through this challenging period.”

For example, TuSense Pte Ltd, a Startup SG Founder grant recipient, has developed a novel, non-invasive and cost-effective MedTech device, which collects biological specimen from cough to identify the bacteria causing pneumonia. In light of COVID-19, the startup has decided to adapt the downstream diagnostic process of its solution to detect viral DNA, in addition to bacteria. This will allow the company to support viral pneumonia detection, including COVID-19 virus, in the near future.

Startup SG Founder aims to provide mentorship and startup capital grants to first- time entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas. Appointed AMPs will identify eligible startups based on the uniqueness of their business concepts, feasibility of business models, strength of their management teams, and their potential market value. Successful applicants will receive advice, learning programmes and networking contacts from the AMPs.

These new partners have already been actively supporting the local startup ecosystem, with some assisting startups weather the storm of COVID-19 in their own ways. For example, Cocoon Capital, a newly appointed AMP, recently partnered Openspace Ventures and 500 Startups to aggregate all promotional activities offered by startups across Southeast Asia region under a single website, supportstartups.com. Through the initiative, they hope to leverage the strength of the ecosystem to generate more business opportunities for the startups.

Mr Will Klippgen, Managing Partner of Cocoon Capital, said, “Cocoon Capital remains committed to supporting founders who dare to change. We’re proud to have co-founded the #SupportStartups Initiative with Openspace Ventures and 500 Startups, which aims to uplift the Southeast Asian startup ecosystem by helping them boost their revenues during COVID-19. So far, we’ve received highly positive feedback from startups like Osome, who signed their first client through #SupportStartups. Mentorship is an integral part of growing a strong ecosystem for entrepreneurs and we at Cocoon Capital see the Startup SG Founder programme as a great way to extend our mentoring to startups outside our portfolio to do our part in creating successful founders. We believe Singapore is among the world’s top five places to start a new business, in particular within deep tech. The strong cooperation between the government and private sector is second to none, and the growth of both able entrepreneurs and investors operating here shows that the market is embracing Singapore as a startup hub.”

In response to COVID-19, our partners are using virtual platforms to continue mentoring startups, and organising online webinars to share insights on how entrepreneurs can cope with the current situation.

Entrepreneurs interested in Startup SG Founder can visit http://www.startupsg.net/programme/4894/startup-sg-founder for more information.