THE current turbulence in financial markets doesn't displace the longer-term picture in Asia - that its markets are expanding faster than the rest of the world, and technology innovation is key, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, speaking in London at the Entrepreneur First (EF) Singapore launch event on Tuesday.
A UK-based platform that works exclusively with technical individuals to help them build deep-tech startups from scratch, EF - together with Singapore's Infocomm Investments (IIPL) - will set up its first-ever international office in Singapore.
Over the next four years, EF Singapore seeks to support 400 Stem-inclined (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) individuals, starting with 40 to 50 of them for its pioneer cohort in September 2016.
The EF programme will comprise two three-month phases. In the first three months, each participant will receive a monthly stipend of S$3,500. Should a company be successfully formed after the first phase, EF Singapore will invest a further S$25,000 for an 8 per cent equity stake.
Zach Tan, director of IIPL's London office, said: "As an investor in EF, we believe there are strong causes for Singapore. EF has pioneered a unique model of building startups and we are working with them to co-create a Singapore equivalent.
"We want to make Singapore a conducive place for entrepreneurs to thrive. Entrepreneur First is part of our ongoing efforts to do that and we invite interested parties to join us. When a group of talented individuals come together in the right environment, we believe magic happens."