Tech start-ups based in Singapore can look forward to greater access to innovation and business partnership opportunities in South Africa following the launch of the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) pilot acceleration programme in Cape Town.
Run by a top accelerator in South Africa, Grindstone, the GIA programme is supported by Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), the Singapore government agency championing enterprise development. EnterpriseSG has an overseas centre located in Johannesburg that builds business connections and facilitates mutually-beneficial collaborations between Singapore and the Southern African markets.
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As a start, ten Singaporean tech start-ups will be participating in the programme to explore growth opportunities in South Africa. The GIA is a network of Singapore and overseas partners in 15 cities worldwide. It aims to connect Singapore to start-up and innovation ecosystem around the world.
Run in a hybrid format, the GIA acceleration programmes consist of workshops, dedicated one-to-one mentorship with industry experts, networking opportunities and an overseas immersion trip to connect Singapore start-ups and SMEs to potential overseas partners and opportunities. Participants also have access to in-market resources and co-working spaces offered by overseas GIA partners to help them anchor and scale their business abroad.
Catherine Young, director of Grindstone said, “Growing access to markets and access to funding opportunities for start-ups is what we believe helps them scale. As growth engineers, we strive to continuously increase our networks for market access and funding for the start-ups we work with, and our Grindstone geographical expansion has enabled us to bring Africa to the world, and the world to Africa. This programme will help us strengthen networks between Singapore and South Africa start- ups and we look forward to working with EnterpriseSG on this initiative.”
Jonathan Lim, director for Global Innovation Network, EnterpriseSG, added, “We are happy to partner Grindstone on this pilot programme in South Africa. The African region is attractive for Singapore tech companies and start-ups not only because of its huge consumer market; the rapid digital adoption, industrialisation and urbanisation presents new needs and corresponding opportunities in areas including trade digitalisation, fintech, edtech, health tech and smart city solutions.
“There is potential for Singapore companies to collaborate with in-market partners in co-development of new solutions. We also welcome African corporates and start-ups to leverage Singapore as a hub to innovate and scale up in Asia.”
The eight-week long GIA Cape Town acceleration programme addresses a start-up’s fundamental needs. It will take the start-ups through a series of structured interventions. These include a business assessment that will identify gaps; access to top coaches, course material and workshops; networking with potential partners, clients and other start-ups; providing access to funding introductions where applicable; and enabling Go-to-Market readiness and access to South African opportunities, including: business workshops to enable go-to-market strategies; bespoke coaching and mentorship; potential client engagements; and various networking opportunities in South Africa.
Singaporean entrepreneurs and start-ups with proven traction in the technology sector focusing on fintech, agritech, cyber security, ESG and infrastructure are welcome to apply for subsequent runs of the programme. Applications are also open for other sectors.
Click here to find out more about the application requirements and process.