Startup Grant For Local Businesses – Startup SG Founder

The aim of the Startup SG Founder program is to promote and encourage more new innovative startups in Singapore. On 17th August 2020,  Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had announced a S$150 million budget to enhance this Start-Up Grant.

The Startup SG Founder program offers two different options for you to apply under.

  1. Train Track – it helps people who are interested in starting their own companies but they lack entrepreneurial skills, viable business plans or ideas. Partners who are appointed, known as Venture Builders and Accredited Mentor Partners (‘VB-AMP’), will be offering participants 3-month Venture Building (VB) programs. During the program, they will be able to find co-founders, guidance to identify business ideas, develop them into actual products, offer to potential customers, find investors and raise capital for their new venture.
  2. Start Track – this is designed for innovative startups (incorporated for less than six months) that are founded by first-time entrepreneurs with mentorship.

In order to be eligible, the following criteria must be fulfilled:

For Train Track

  • Individuals must be Singapore Citizens (SC) / Permanent Residents (PR) (collectively referred to as ‘Singaporeans’) and must commit to a 100% attendance rate to be eligible for this track.
  • Apply for Startup SG Founder “Train” through a Venture Builder and Accredited Mentor Partner (‘VB-AMP’). Shortlisting and selection of participants into the VB Programmes are subject to the VB-AMPs’ screening criteria. They include the applicants’ aptitude, expertise, background, and related experience of the applicant. The applicant must also be able to commit to running a startup after the program.

VB-AMPs are AMPs who can offer VB programs of at least 3 months and have a strong track record for generating high-growth startups.

These institutions provide:

  1. structured training in entrepreneurship
  2. training and guidance to participants in identifying business ideas, developing ideas into products, market validation, and finding capital
  3. assistance to participants in finding co-founders to form founding teams
  4. shared resources such as space and networks to industry experts
  5. Demo Days as a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative solutions
  6. mentorship to the startups after forming these startups

Click here for a full list of VB-AMPs.

For Start Track

  • The team has at least 3 SC/PRs, who are the main applicants of the grant;
  • At least 2 of the 3 main applicants are first-time entrepreneurs;
  • The main applicants who are first-time entrepreneurs must hold a minimum of 30% equity in the company collectively;
  • The company must have a minimum of 51% SC/PR shareholdings;
  • The company must be less than 6 months old from the date of incorporation, at the point of application to the AMP;
  • The 3 main applicants must contribute meaningfully to the company, full-time commitment and not employees of another company;
  • At least 2 of the 3 main applicants should commit full time to the company, and must be key decision-makers to the company;
  • The main applicant(s) must not have received any funding for the proposed business idea from another government organization;
  • The proposed business idea must not be one of the following: cafes, restaurants, night clubs, lounges, bars, foot reflexology, massage parlors, gambling, prostitution, social escort services, employment agencies (including recruiting foreign work permit holders and workers/support staff, relocation services, and manpower services), and geomancy.
  • Apply for Startup SG Founder “Start” through an Accredited Mentor Partner (AMP). Applicants have to reach out to an AMP of their choice and submit their pitch deck for the AMP’s consideration. AMP will assess applicants based on (but not limited to) the following criteria:
    • Differentiated business – how innovative the idea/product/service/business model/process is in comparison to what is already available in the market
    • Feasibility of the business – whether the business will be profitable
    • Potential market opportunity – how big the target market is, and how the company intends to reach out to this customer segment
    • Management team – whether the founding team demonstrate passion and entrepreneurial spirit, and have the relevant technical and business skills to execute the idea.

Letter of recommendation

If the AMP assesses that the applicant has met the eligibility and evaluation criteria, they will provide a letter of recommendation to the applicant. Applicants must then attach this letter in an online application form and submit it to Enterprise Singapore within 2 weeks from the receipt of the letter of recommendation. Enterprise Singapore will inform the applicant and AMP of the application status for the grant.

AMPs a.k.a Accredited Mentor Partners are selected based on the strength of their incubation and management team, program quality, and operational sustainability. This would include the AMP’s track record in grooming startups, the overall quality of mentors as well as their access to markets and funding.

AMPs may take up equity in the startup. Startups interested in applying for the Startup SG Founder grant should approach AMPs with their business plan.

Click here for a full list of AMPs.

The main benefits of the Startup SG Founder program as summarised:

Train Track

Selected participants for this program will receive a monthly allowance of $1,500 / month over the 3-month training period. This helps the participants to fully focus on building their innovation into viable businesses.

Start Track

A (pre-seed) grant amount of S$50,000 over the one-year grant period. A co-matching amount of S$10,000 is required (subscribed as shares).

How To Apply

Startup SG Founder Train Track – Applicants will need to complete the application form on the respective VB-AMP’s website.

Startup SG Founder Start Track – Submit pitch deck to an AMP.

Let us help your business today!

We have helped many foreign clients set up businesses seamlessly in Singapore. Our team can assist you to tap into the various government grants available. Get in touch with us today.


Download the Telegram app and follow us for the latest updates: