Grantrepreneur - Stocktake of Existing Grants to Tap on for Startups in Singapore

In Singapore, startups can leverage various grants to drive innovation and growth. Programs like the Startup SG Founder grant and the Enterprise Development Grant provide essential financial support and resources, helping new ventures scale and thrive in a dynamic entrepreneurial landscape.
June 14, 2024
4 minutes
Nicolas Lye
Business Development Manager

1. Grants for Innovation and Development

Startup SG Tech (SSGT) by IMDA

  • The Startup SG Tech grant, an initiative by Enterprise Singapore, is strategically designed to support early-stage technology startups in Singapore. This grant aims to facilitate the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, with a strong focus on helping startups overcome the initial financial challenges of bringing new tech solutions to the market. 
  • Key criteria for eligibility include being a registered and operational business in Singapore, primarily engaged in technology or innovation-driven sectors, and demonstrating strong potential for scalability and market viability. 
  • The scheme offers funding for POC and POV projects, providing a significant financial boost that can be instrumental in the early stages of tech development. This support is particularly beneficial in offsetting the high costs associated with R&D, testing, and product development, which are often substantial barriers for tech startups.

5G Industry Grant by IMDA

  • The IMDA 5G Grant is part of the 5G Innovation Programme in Singapore, aimed at boosting the nation's 5G ecosystem by supporting enterprises and industries in adopting and implementing new 5G applications. 
  • Singapore-registered companies or partnership consortiums with impactful 5G-enabled solutions seeking to go commercial are eligible to apply. This program underscores the significance of 5G technology in driving innovation across various domains like Robotics & IoT, AI & Data, AR/VR. 
  • IMDA backs up to 70% of the qualifying costs for approved projects. For startups, this grant is a crucial opportunity to leverage the advanced capabilities of 5G technology, potentially enhancing their operational efficiency and offering innovative solutions with a competitive edge in the market.

Financial Sector Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA) by MAS

  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has launched the Financial Sector Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA) Talent Development Programme. This initiative aims to build deep AI capabilities in the financial sector, addressing the notable shortage of AIDA talent. 
  • The program includes a consortium of key financial institutions and training providers to develop training programs and modules that incorporate the latest developments in AIDA. The grant provides up to 30% co-funding of qualifying expenses, capped at SGD $500,000 to support AIDA projects.
  • This program is particularly beneficial for startups in the financial sector looking to enhance their AI and data analytics capabilities. 

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) FinTech Grant (ESG Fintech) by MAS

  • The Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) FinTech Grant, launched by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), focuses on supporting financial institutions in deploying and scaling innovative technology solutions to address challenges in obtaining quality ESG data, efficiently mobilizing capital towards sustainable initiatives, and developing and implementing robust net-zero transition plans. 
  • It can assist in covering up to 50% of the costs associated with implementing ESG-focused technological innovations. 
  • This support is crucial for startups that are developing solutions for sustainable finance, as it can significantly reduce the financial barriers to entry and enable them to bring their innovative products and services to market more effectively. 

Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) Innovation Acceleration Track by MAS

  • The MAS Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) Innovation Acceleration Track provides funding support for experimentation, development and dissemination of nascent innovative technologies in the financial services sector. 
  • The grant covers up to 50% of qualifying costs with a cap of S$400,000 for a duration of up to 18 months. Eligible costs include basic manpower costs (excluding employer's CPF contributions and bonuses), professional services like consultancy and prototyping, as well as equipment, hardware, data, and software related to the project. 
  • By funding experimentation and development of nascent technologies, the grant enables startups to pursue innovative projects that they might otherwise deem too risky or expensive

2. Grants for Scaling-up and Expansion

Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) by Enterprise Singapore

  • The Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant by Enterprise Singapore is a strategic program designed to support Singapore-based companies in their international expansion endeavors. 
  • The key eligibility criteria for this grant include being a business entity registered and operating in Singapore, having at least 30% local equity, targeting a new overseas market (where the annual sales in the target market must not have exceeded S$100,000 in any of the preceding three years), and a Group Annual Sales Turnover not exceeding S$100 million or a Group employment size not exceeding 200 employees. 
  • The MRA Grant alleviates financial pressures by covering up to 50% of eligible costs, including funding for activities like overseas trade fairs, marketing and PR activities, and setting up an overseas market presence. For startups, the MRA Grant provides an essential financial cushion, allowing them to explore and establish a foothold in new international markets with reduced risk and enhanced marketing support.

Startup SG Equity (SSGE) by Enterprise Singapore

  • The Startup SG Equity scheme, an initiative by Enterprise Singapore, is tailored to bolster the growth of innovative and scalable startups through co-investment. This scheme engages the government in collaboration with independent, qualified third-party investors to co-invest in eligible startups. 
  • The key criteria for startups include being a Singapore-registered company with core activities conducted locally, a minimum paid-up capital of S$50,000, and demonstrating potential for high growth and scalability in international markets. 
  • The scheme has an investment cap of S$8 million for deep-tech startups and S$2 million for general tech startups. It addresses the funding gap in early-stage financing, and provides not just capital but also aligns them with strategic investors who can offer mentorship and networking opportunities.

3. Grants for Productivity and Digitalization

Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) by Enterprise Singapore

  • The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) from Enterprise Singapore is designed to support Singapore-based companies in their growth and transformation efforts. This grant is particularly focused on three core pillars: Core Capabilities, Innovation & Productivity, and Market Access. 
  • To be eligible for the EDG, companies must be registered and operating in Singapore, have a minimum of 30% local shareholding, and be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project. 
  • By providing financial support for up to 70% of qualifying costs, it reduces the financial burden on startups and enables them to undertake growth and transformation projects more feasibly. This scheme is particularly relevant for startups looking to scale up, expand into new markets, or enhance their innovation capabilities.

Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) by Enterprise Singapore

  • The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) by Enterprise Singapore is a targeted initiative designed to assist Singapore-based companies in enhancing their productivity by adopting IT solutions and equipment. The grant focuses on supporting industry-specific solutions, as well as broader solutions that cut across industries. 
  • Key eligibility criteria for the PSG include being a business entity registered and operating in Singapore with a minimum of 30% local shareholding. Additionally, the purchase/lease/subscription of the IT solutions or equipment must be used in Singapore. 
  • The PSG offers significant benefits to startups looking to optimize their operations. It provides up to 80% funding support for qualifying costs, making it financially viable for startups to adopt innovative solutions that improve productivity and streamline their processes. 

Chief Technology Officer-as-a-Service (CTO-as-a-Service) by IMDA

  • The Chief Technology Officer-as-a-Service (CTO-as-a-Service) initiative, introduced by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in Singapore, is a novel program designed to assist startups in their digital transformation journey. 
  • The scheme offers companies a comprehensive digital transformation package, starting with a Digital Health Check to evaluate digital readiness and identify gaps. Enterprises can learn from successful digitalization stories, and receive tailored recommendations from over 450 subsidized digital solutions to meet specific business needs, including sector-specific requirements, operational streamlining, revenue enhancement, and resilience building. 
  • First-time use of these services is free for eligible enterprises, with further engagement based on commercial agreements.

Start Digital Programme by IMDA

  • The IMDA Start Digital program, in collaboration with EnterpriseSG, offers foundational digital solutions to SMEs in Singapore to kickstart their digital journey. 
  • The program is designed for business entities that are registered and operating in Singapore, with at least 30% local shareholding and a group sales turnover of not more than S$100 million per annum or group employment size not exceeding 200 employees. 
  • Start Digital is particularly beneficial for startups as it helps them establish essential digital capabilities from the outset. Startups can select from a range of digital solutions, with a minimum of six months of fee waiver, making it a cost-effective way to embrace digital transformation.

Nicolas Lye
Business Development Manager

Interested in how our team can help you?

Get in touch with our partners to learn more
Thank you! A member from our team will be in touch soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.