“Singapore Provides a Complete Plan to Assist Startups” – Cofounder of VentureCraft, Isaac Ho
“It is a long and complicated process to promote startup business in Singapore. We need to attract talented people, but Singapore probably does not have enough space for more people!”
The last speaker of “2015 Global and Taiwan’s Entrepreneurship Environment Communication Forum” is Isaac Ho, the co-founder of a private investment firm in Singapore, VentureCraft. The topic of the talk “Singapore – We Embrace Entrepreneurship” shared the collaboration of the government and the public, and how Singapore, a country with its unique yet limited resources, efficiently promote its startup industry.
VentureCraft owns the market at first before starting investment, focusing on IP (Intellectual Property) and innovation companies. In order to assist local startups, they also collaborate with the government, academic and research institutes.
“The low percentage of locals and the high percentage of foreigners are the problem in Singapore. Those foreigners come to Singapore as expatriates, and after they retire, they will return to their own countries with money. We recognized this problem, and knew that it is a ‘no change or out’ moment in Singapore. Both the government and the private companies set up some policies to solve the problem. For example, the ratio of local and foreign employees has to be at least 7:1 in the catering industry.”
Isaac also pointed out four major strategies of innovative and entrepreneurial environment in Singapore:
1. Build an entrepreneurial environment
Funding for startup business according to their business development. (See below)
2. Support Globalization
EDM Singapore actively recruits foreign enterprises, and transfers the technologies of those companies to SPRING Singapore under MTI Singapore, offering the resources and assisting enterprises to grow. For example, they provide resources they have from the aviation industry to a drone startup company. In addition, IE Singapore promotes startups into the global market, and meanwhile, they hope to connect each other as partners and suppliers to drive local enterprises of Singapore.
“Singapore is a very ‘young’ country that has not yet experienced a real era of entrepreneurship,” Isaac said. “We need to accumulate experiences by collaborating with other counties, and direct ourselves in Big Data and IT industry.”
Isaac described the series of startup strategies as a “dating brochure.” “Just like dating matchmakers, we help startup promoting and identifying themselves; besides, we coordinate oversea business strategy, and help marking those startup companies. We will help all the way to the end to deal with all miscellaneousness,” Isaac said.
“People always say that to establish a company in Singapore is an easiest while hardest mission. We provide entrepreneurs with various resources, but we have to follow everything law by law. Everything has to be authorized by officials. Therefore, we provide an alternative for those entrepreneurs to ease some problems.”
3. Build “Ecological chain” to enhance competitiveness
Incubators, research institutes, and the government play important roles to enhance the competitiveness. It is also important to find a perfect fit of an adequate talented people and enterprises.
“The problem in startups of Singapore is executive ability rather than being innovative”
“Singapore needs to have more connections. Ping!, a platform for entrepreneurs, is one of the examples, which purpose is to solve the problem of lack of talents in the industry.”
4. Talents Recruitment
Overall, there are two directions for Singapore to recruit talents – from locals or global. For example, a Taiwanese startup, which received assistance of Singapore, can stays in Taiwan, while receiving funding and resources. Moreover, they can get assistance of developing its business to the global market, which enables them to collaborate with the partners introduced by the Singaporean government.
“I can not see the integration of startup industry in Taiwan”
Isaac, as a person with startup investment experiences in Singapore, shared his perspective of Taiwan’s startup industry. “First of all, no promotion. Foreign venture capitals do not know what Taiwanese startups have in the market. Secondly, if I were an entrepreneur, it would be difficult to establish a company in Taiwan. After all, Taiwan still emphasizes the manufacturing industry,” Isaac said.
“Singapore emphasizes the collaboration of the government and the private industry, the recruitment of talents, and the global opportunity. Moreover, we plan a well planned strategy of the startup planning,” Isaac said. “I suggest Taiwan consider its advantage and limit, and improve the current difficulties of startup environment by promote the collaboration of the government and industry to create a better startup environment.”