Singaporean startups hoping to establish a foothold in the American market can now look forward to enhanced support, thanks to Enterprise Singapore’s (EnterpriseSG) latest initiative. The newly launched Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) node in New York is set to provide a significant boost for these startups.
As a statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Singapore government, EnterpriseSG is on a mission to champion the development of Singapore enterprises. Led by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, the launch of new GIA node on October 10 signifies EnterpriseSG’s further strategic step towards providing Singaporean companies with a gateway to find the right mix of investors, business partners, and market strategies to succeed in the American market.
Singapore’s global vision
The era of benign globalization is over; it is evolving towards a great power competition, marked by fragmentation, uncertainty, and volatility. In such an environment, some countries will want to retreat and focus on what they can do within their own boundaries. However, Singapore has no such option. “We are just a little red dot – we have no luxury of turning inwards, so our only option is to redouble our efforts to connect better to the world,” Lawrence Wong said.
Moreover, Lawrence Wong emphasized the necessity for Singaporean start-ups to venture beyond the confines of their small domestic market. With a population of just 5.9 million, the growth potential is limited. “This platform will not only support the expansion plans start-ups might have, but it is critical for Singapore to continue to make a good living as the world enters a more turbulent phase”, he said.
New York start-up environment
The launch of platform creates a greater opportunity for Singapore start-ups to forge a strategic link between local ventures and New York market. New York City, renowned for its start-up ecosystem valued at nearly US$147 billion, with over 25,000 tech ventures, stands as one of the most attractive destinations for global start-ups. The city’s deep bench of talent, expertise, and capital making it a magnet for ambitious entrepreneurs worldwide.
EnterpriseSG’s Chief Executive, Lee Chuan Teck, present at the New York launch, highlighted the significance of the U.S. start-up environment, particularly in sectors such as healthcare, clean energy, digital technology, and financial services. “The new Global Innovation Alliance node in New York City builds on our existing network in the Bay Area to offer coast-to-coast support for Singapore tech start-ups looking for innovation partners, funding or to scale their businesses,” he said.
EnterpriseSG’s positive results
The New York City node is EnterpriseSG’s second venture in the U.S., following the success of the San Francisco node launched in 2019. With a total of 17 nodes worldwide, including cities like Abu Dhabi, Berlin, London, Mumbai, and Shanghai, the GIA facilitates collaboration, connecting different start-up ecosystems and fostering international partnerships.
Singapore’s focus on innovation and the start-up ecosystem is yielding positive results. In 2022, Singapore-based tech start-ups raised close to US$11 billion, more than 40 per cent above what they had raised in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally. this made up almost two-thirds of deal value across South-east Asia. This success positions Singapore as a tech hub not only for the nation itself but for the entire Southeast Asian region.
Singaporean Start-ups in New York
The launch event in New York City featured nine Singaporean start-up founders, including Mr. Subramania Bhatt, CEO of China Trading Desk. Specializing in analyzing data on the behavior of Chinese travelers, his five-year-old company aims to interest American businesses in the insights it can offer about the more than 150 million Chinese tourists who spend lavishly overseas each year. It counts Singapore Airlines, UOB and luxury brand powerhouse LVMH among its 50 clients.
Bhatt emphasized that the mentorship offered by EnterpriseSG’s new node is reassuring. The support went a long way in securing essential business introductions, refining their product and pitch, and gaining a strategic advantage. He noted that the collaborative ecosystem offered by the GIA node spared start-ups from the challenges of entering the market alone, navigating uncertainties, and attempting to launch and find customers independently.