The Disruptors have spent most of last week in Singapore checking out the innovation landscape of that amazing country. It’s been an interesting tour, and we met with some optimistic and inspiring people operating from the island. Perhaps most importantly, the value the country places in innovation is reflected in the support they offer to new businesses in the region, and the large grants available across a series of key industry sectors. A new SME, for instance, can borrow (a relatively unsecured) S$100,000 from the government
, just to support daily operations and cashflow.
Of course the country is in a good economic position to support innovation across all organisations. This year, the government expects an overall budget surplus of S$9.6 billion or 2.1% of GDP
. It’s a country that only borrows to invest
(a net creditor) and it has low unemployment of just over 2%
. But because it is dependent on export industries and is therefore vulnerable to shifts in the Chinese economy, it recognises the need to ensure a spread of risk across exports. It makes sense then to facilitate and invest in companies that will drive the future of business.
In September, Singapore is hosting the SWITCH (Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology) Festival, which will involve a series of events designed to grow the innovation community. The website for the Festival
has not yet been updated for 2018, but there are already events in the schedule that are being advertised, such as TechInnovation
and the Women in Tech
Conference. We think this will be an important world event for growing innovative startups, and we are keen to be part of it. Let us know if you’d be interested in coming along on the journey.