#Asia UK’s Entrepreneur First to launch in Singapore to help spur innovation

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The programme, in partnership with Infocomm Investments, will help 400 STEM experts build startups over the next four years

People running against the backdrop of the Central Business District in Singapore. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

People running against the backdrop of the Central Business District in Singapore. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Up to 400 individuals with inclinations in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields will get support from talent investor and UK-based Entrepreneur First to build startups over the next four years.

EF will be setting up its first international office in Singapore through a partnership, announced today in London, with Infocomm Investments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Singapore government’s Infocomm Development Authority.

EF Singapore aims to recruit its pioneer cohort of 40 to 50 individuals in September 2016. These budding founders need not join with a team or a fixed idea. They will work closely with experienced venture partners to build their startups and prepare for next-stage investments.

The programme comprises two three-month phases. During the first three months, each participants will receive a monthly stipend of  S$3,500 (US$2,400). Should a company be successfully formed after the first phase, EF Singapore will invest a further S$25,000 (US$17,400 ) for an 8 per cent equity stake. The total investment (including stipends) in each successfully-formed company is approximately S$50,000 (US$34,800).

“[Asian] consumers will increasingly demand quality and innovative products. EF’s new presence in Singapore will help catalyse technology innovation to take advantage of these opportunities,” said Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam. “EF will help individuals with deep technical abilities and new ideas to translate them into commercial solutions. The possibilities are in many areas such as healthcare, the digital economy and solutions for urban sustainability.”

Also Read: Singapore restructures IDA, MDA to support Smart Nation vision

Since 2013, EF has worked with 200 individuals and built 50 startups, which have so far raised over US$60 million in venture capital from leading global investors. Collectively, these startups are believed to be worth more than US$250 million.

The Singapore government has increasingly advocated the need for its economy to move from “value-adding” to “value-creating”, with Shanmugaratnam among its foremost proponents. The Republic’s economic review committee, chaired by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, has also made value-creation its focus.

“We started with the vision that the best and most ambitious technical people will be founders. When talking about talent, innovation and the desire to create startups, Singapore is second to none. With the strong support of Infocomm Investments, our first international office in Singapore marks a new chapter for us and we are extremely excited,” said Matt Clifford, CEO and Co-founder of EF.

Entrepreneurship First is a seed investment programme touted as the only one in the world that accepts candidates pre-team and pre-idea, with individuals selected purely on the basis of their technical ability or domain expertise.

The full-time six-month programme will also provide an office space and legal and administrative support, in addition to pre-seed funding, mentoring and advice from the EF team and top entrepreneurs.

Interested applicants can apply at http://ift.tt/1Rxzs5T.

Also Read: The journey to a Smart Nation is most important: Aaron Maniam

The post UK’s Entrepreneur First to launch in Singapore to help spur innovation appeared first on e27.

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