How do you know if a startup is credible and not some fly-by-night operation that will shutter its doors the moment it receives a million dollars in funding and leave customers and investors high and dry? The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) aims to assuage this concern by rolling out its in-house accreditation programme Accreditation@IDA.
First announced in April, Accreditation@IDA went live this month. Startups that apply to the programme will undergo rigorous technical, financial and operational evaluation of their products’ core capabilities and claims, as well as their sustainability and ability to deliver their products as promised.
According to Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman, Accreditation@IDA, the programme has been set up to help startups win projects from government and industry players as opposed to helping them find funding, of which there is plenty, given IDA’s large network of investors. This way, startups can generate needed revenue and refine their products at the same time.
Accrediting startups is only one part of the drive to help startups get business, however. IDA has also been working with both government agencies as well as corporations to facilitate their procurement processes. On the government front, IDA has introduced the Whole-of-Government (WoG) approach, where accredited companies will be considered first for projects, and accreditation can be considered in place of the costly, time-consuming Government Supplier Registration status.
As for corporations and industry players, IDA has inked strategic partnerships with companies and organisations like Amazon Web Services and Nanyang Polytechnic, where they will give preferred access to accredited startups as well as provide systems integration support, domain knowledge and capability development. To date, over 20 startups have expressed interest, and nine are currently undergoing evaluation.
With Accreditation@IDA, Singapore is well on the path to becoming a Smart Nation. “Singapore is building the world’s first Smart Nation, and one of IDA’s key focus areas is to build Singapore-based tech-product startups,” said Leonard. “We look forward to see the ‘IDA Accredited Product’ mark on high-potential Singapore-based tech-product startups very soon.”