US venture firm 500 Startups and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) have entered a two-way partnership to nurture the growth of startups in Singapore and San Francisco, ESG announced in a press release on Tuesday.
500 Startups is the latest partner to join ESG's Global Innovation Alliance (GIA), a network of Singapore and overseas partners in major innovation hubs abroad. GIA is a joint initiative between ESG and Singapore's Economic Development Board.
Under the new partnership, 500 Startups and ESG have teamed up to run Global Launch, a new acceleration programme under the GIA.
500 Startups will run the Global Launch programme in San Francisco, which will support Singapore-based startups in establishing a presence in the city. Up to 20 startups will be selected to be part of this 16-week programme, with the first cohort set to begin in November.
Global Launch will conduct a week-long series of workshops that will help the startups develop their market strategy for the US. This is followed by a two-week intensive boot camp in San Francisco where they will be coached on sales, marketing and pitching.
The startups will then take part in networking and business pitching opportunities, and then showcase their ideas to investors in an open house. In this process, 500 Startups will provide guidance on business development, briefings on business and technology trends, marketing support to the startup ecosystem partners and mentorship.
Separately, 500 Startups will also run a 16-week programme to support global startups that want to establish a presence in Singapore, as a means to expand in Asia. The programme is expected to commence in January 2020 with 10 startups.
Participants will go through workshops on doing business in the region, curated mentor matchmaking and targeted business facilitation to connect with industry professionals and multinational corporations.
Christine Tsai, chief executive of 500 Startups, told The Business Times that the firm is thrilled to deepen its involvement in the Singapore ecosystem. It has long supported South-east Asian startups through its 500 Durians fund.
"Singapore's vibrant startup ecosystem has nurtured an exciting pool of startups chomping at the bit to scale globally. This strong innovation culture and talent make it a great gateway for founders who want to access the South-east Asian market. We're excited to build a bridge through this programme between Silicon Valley and South-east Asia to help startups enter their next phase of global expansion," she said.
Peter Ong, chairman of ESG, said the partnership with 500 Startups can help Singapore startups seek new partnerships and investors in Silicon Valley.
"We also welcome US-based startups to use Singapore's established ecosystem as a springboard into the growing South-east Asia region. The two-way flow of exchange will strengthen Singapore's position as a global-Asia node for technology, innovation and enterprise," he added.