Like much of the rest of the world, Singapore is embracing Fintech and looking to give financial innovation a boost by launching the SG-Innovate Fintech hub. Fintech in Singapore received a small but important mention in the most recent governmental budget stating;
“To give these efforts a further boost, we will set up a new entity called “SG-Innovate”. SG-Innovate will match budding entrepreneurs with mentors, introduce them to venture capital firms, help them to access talent in research institutes, and open up new markets. SG-Innovate will build on what has been done by the Infocomm Investments Private Limited (IIPL), and work with SPRING and EDB to expand the accelerator programmes to new and emerging sectors such as Smart Energy, Digital Manufacturing, Fintech, Digital Health, and Internet-of-Things.”
While other technologies / industries are listed next to the future of finance, it is Fintech that has caught the eye of the Singapore government. Steve Leonard, chairman of Infocomm Investments Private Limited be managing SG-Innovate for the government
The new office will be in partnership with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The initiative is described as a one-stop shop for facilities, mentorship and yes, of course, funding to launch a new Fintech business. Singapore is a bit unique in this way as the government has taken an approach of aggressive subsidization of the startup economy while recognizing many will fail but some will survive and a few will become big successes. As their economy is built on services, finance and being a dominant Asian business hub – this makes sense as it competes with other far larger Asian economies. Asia, in many respects, has lagged the UK in advocating on behalf of Fintech innovation. Singapore recognizes if they don’t evolve they will be challenged to maintain their leading role in the region. While multiple banks have set up Fintech incubators in Singapore like HSBC and Standard Chartered – the explicit advocacy of the government is very important.
“Innovation will be critical to our future. These innovations will be important in transforming our economy and create better jobs for our people and an economy that is more vibrant.”