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EntrePass scheme enhanced to attract global startup talent
THE EntrePass scheme - a work visa for foreign entrepreneurs keen to start a business in Singapore in areas such as deep technology - will be enhanced to attract global startup talent starting on Aug 3, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), Spring Singapore and Startup SG in a joint statement.
New criteria such as entrepreneurial and investment track record, business network and key achievements in their areas of expertise will be used to assess applicants on factors beyond the existing four innovation criteria during the business exploration stage.
Under the existing innovation criteria, applicants have to: (i) have funding/investment from a government-recognised venture capitalist or business angel; or (ii) hold intellectual property or (iii) have a research collaboration with an institute of higher learning or research institution in Singapore; or (iv) be an incubatee at a government-recognised incubator/accelerator.
Other key enhancements to the EntrePass scheme, announced earlier during the MTI's Committee of Supply debate in March 2017, include the removal of the S$50,000 paid-up capital requirement to recognise the non-monetary contributions of global startup talent such as expertise and relevance to industries. Additionally, the validity period of each EntrePass will be extended from one to two years after the first renewal to provide more certainty for global entrepreneurs in scaling up their businesses.
In addition to Spring Singapore, the enhanced EntrePass scheme will see the inclusion of two new partner agencies: the Infocomm Media Development Authority and the National Research Foundation, supported by SGInnovate. These agencies will work with MOM to evaluate the applications in their respective sectors.
The joint statement said that the enhanced scheme will strengthen and add vibrancy to Singapore's tech startup ecosystem to position it as a leading startup location.