Singapore is on a mission to become the global leader in Fintech innovation. From fast-tracking the creation of a regulatory Sandbox to launching the largest Fintech hub in the world, Singapore envisions a world-leading ecosystem – not just a regional hub.
As part of the policy push to incentivize local and national startups to set up shop in the Southeast Asian city, Singapore has created a laundry list of programs to promote the opportunity for entrepreneurs. Foreign firms still must have two local agents to act on its behalf to set up an office in Singapore but beyond that the governmental help is profound. These agents must be Singapore residents, that is, either citizens or permanent
Some examples of the innovation subsidies include – the ACE Startup Grant. The “SPRING” grant will match S$7 to every S$3 raised by the entrepreneur for up to S$50,000. SPRING does not take equity in your company.
Under the Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS), the National Research Foundation has the ability to co-invest up to 85% of investment for as much as S$500,00.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has committed S$225 million to be deployed over the next 5 years – all to support “a vibrant ecosystem for innovation”.
MAS formed the Financial Technology & Innovation Group (FTIG) in 2015. The idea is to formulate regulatory policies and technologies to better enhance and strengthen competitiveness in the financial sector. FTIG views itself not as an obstacle but as a positive catalyst for challenging established financial industry norms. MAS and FTIG want to help Fintech firms overcome hurdles – not become one. The rest of the world should emulate this approach.