Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading super app, and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) today announced a partnership to pilot Grab Ventures Ignite (GVI), a 14-week accelerator programme, for Singapore-based startups with interest to venture overseas.

The Singapore pilot of GVI will focus on high potential startups with an aspiration to launch in the Vietnamese market. It will be held alongside the GVI Vietnam programme to enable startups from both countries to exchange ideas and learn from one another. The unique arrangement allows the Singapore startups to gain a better understanding of Vietnam’s culture and business context, as well as build strategic and ecosystem networks with Vietnamese investors and corporate partners. The knowledge gained will help these startups to better navigate and chart their growth paths in the Vietnam market.

“Grab is committed to help more Singapore startups and micro SMEs build strong digital capabilities, and capture opportunities in the digital economy through leveraging our expansive reach across the region, assets and capabilities and partnerships. During such extraordinary times, it is even more important for the business and startup community to come together to exchange ideas and learn from one another. The effort is also aligned to Singapore’s interest to become the global-Asian node for tech, innovation and enterprise. Grab Ventures Velocity and Grab Ventures Ignite are testament of our efforts to drive this agenda forward,” said Chris Yeo, Head of Grab Ventures.

At IMDA, we are always looking for ways to create new business opportunities for our local tech companies. We are excited for this partnership, which will allow Singapore-based startups to gain a foothold in Vietnam. Building up the capabilities and creating access for local companies is especially critical in this current climate, where firms must continue digitalising and innovating to unlock new growth prospects,” said Mr Howie Lau, Chief Industry Development Officer, IMDA.

Congratulations to Grab on its inaugural launch of Ignite programme. As we continue to establish Singapore as a global technology and innovation hub, it is important for the public and private sector to come together and foster the growth of a tech ecosystem locally. We wish Grab every success in this pilot as we work together to provide a conducive environment and platform for local and regional start-ups to thrive and grow in the digital economy,” said Mr Kiren Kumar, Chief Digital Industry officer, Digital Industry Singapore.

Shortlisted startups to receive broad-based support and sharpen expertise

Grab and IMDA will evaluate the Singapore startups based on a range of criteria including but not limited to core team strength, existing standing in the Singapore market, potential fit with the Vietnamese market, and readiness to expand.

Two startups will be selected for the full GVI accelerator programme, which spans across 14 weeks. Three other startups will receive the opportunity to join in a 3-day bootcamp jointly hosted by Grab, IMDA PIXEL and Digital Industry Singapore (DISG) at PIXEL’s premises in One-North, Singapore.

The pilot GVI programme will offer:

  • Professional training and mentorship: Two selected Singapore-based startups will get access to the full 14-week programme, featuring expert workshops, 1:1 mentorship from senior Grab leaders, immersion trips to regional Grab markets (Indonesia and Vietnam), peer learning and networking. The two startups can look forward to deepening their Vietnam market knowledge and accelerate expansion plans to Vietnam.
  • Fundraising: The two startups will have an opportunity to pitch and raise further funding during Demo Day at the end of the programme, in the presence of prominent investors from across the region.
  • Other in-kind benefits: The five programme participants will also be eligible to receive:
    • Cloud credits of up to US$100,000 each;
    • Access to co-working space and other equipment and facilities at PIXEL for the duration of the programme; and
    • Additional 1-1 consultation and mentoring by experts in customer-centric innovation.
  • Cross-border exchange with Vietnamese startups during Singapore bootcamp: All five Singapore-based participants can also look forward to networking and cross-border experience sharing with Vietnamese counterparts during the Singapore bootcamp. The 3-day programme is designed to help build capabilities to develop customer-centric products and services. Promising startups can continue to benefit from access to PIXEL’s facilities and other capability building programmes to further build their innovations for the duration of the programme.

Other Grab Ventures Ignite programme partners include Vietnam’s National Innovation Center (under Ministry of Planning and Investment), regional venture capital firm Gobi Partners, Toong – Coworking Space Developer, YKVN, and Amazon Web Services.

Supporting startups in the region to scale with Grab’s experience and expertise

The launch of Grab Ventures Ignite marks the expansion of Grab’s umbrella of startup programmes which currently includes Grab Ventures Velocity (GVV), Grab’s first startup scale-up programme. The programmes have a common aim to foster startup development and ecosystem in Singapore and the region.

GVV has so far supported the growth of 15 startups regionally including TreeDots, Glife, Helpling.sg, and Tueetor. In addition, Grab has supported BookMyShow SE Asia, that started its Southeast Asia operations in Indonesia, to set up its regional business headquarters in Singapore. BookMyShow is also Grab’s movie and events ticketing partner in Singapore and Indonesia, which is available within the Grab app today.

These programmes – GVI and GVV – are also a part of the broader “Grab for Good” social impact programme, aimed at nurturing and supporting the growth of a vibrant tech ecosystem in the region. Promising startups can look to tap on Grab’s regional experience and expertise to navigate and grow their businesses.

Startups interested in applying for the Singapore edition of the GVI accelerator programme can apply by 10th April, 2020 through https://grb.to/GVI.

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