National Research Foundation invites VCs to invest in young startups

The Singapore government is now inviting venture funds to submit proposals, as part of the Early Stage Venture Fund scheme

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Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean announced at Techventure 2013 in September that the government will be injecting S$50 million (US$40 million) into early-stage technology companies based in the city-state, as part of the existing Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF) scheme.

Administered by the National Research Foundation (NRF) under the Prime Minister’s Office, the initiative will now be taking in proposals from venture funds.

Teo, who is also the Chairman of the NRF, said, “One piece of feedback we often get is that there is still a lack of early-stage financing in Singapore and the region.”

First announced in July 2008, the inaugural batch of five venture capital firms are Bioveda Capital, Extream Ventures, NanoStart Asia, Raffles Ventures Partners and Walden International. Collectively, these five funds have invested in more than 20 technology companies.

ESVF-approved VC funds will invest in early-stage, Singapore-based technology companies, which will see a 1:1 co-investment approach. The NRF will then invest S$10 million to S$15 million into each of the ESVF-approved funds.

These venture funds have to be registered in Singapore, and applicants with strong financial commitment, fund management teams with an expertise in early stage investments and an excellent investment track record will be favoured.

Interested parties are invited to submit a proposal to NRF via email to nrf_nfie@nrf.gov.sg. It should also be titled “ESVF Proposal Submission” and accompanied by a hardcopy submission sent by mail to the following address:

“ESVF Proposal Submission – ”.
An accompanying hardcopy submission should be sent by mail to NRF at the following address:
Attn: Hau Koh Foo / Daniel Wong / Chang Zi Qian National Research Foundation
1 CREATE Way,
#12-02, CREATE Tower
Singapore 138602

According to an official release, all email proposals must reach NRF no later than 5 PM on January 31, 2014, and hardcopy submissions must reach NRF no later than 5 PM on February 3, 2014.

NRF will also be conducting two briefing sessions to explain the scheme in further detail. Interested parties can look out for the following two timings and dates, and RSVP attendance to Daniel Wong (daniel_wong@nrf.gov.sg) by 5 PM, December 4, 2013, and January 2, 2014 respectively.

1) First session: December 9, 2013, 2 to 4 PM at NRF Office (1 CREATE Way #12-02, CREATE Tower Singapore 138602)

2) Second session: January 6, 2014, 2 to 4 PM at NRF Office (1 CREATE Way #12-02, CREATE Tower Singapore 138602)

Read also: Global Brain focuses on Southeast Asia with US$66M fund

Featured Image Credit: Syda Productions / Shutterstock

Elaine Huang

Elaine is a fervent believer that if there ever is a zombie apocalypse, we will all be snapping away at them with our phones and posting them onto Instagram. A Mass Communication graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Film and Media Studies, she enjoys writing about technology and entrepreneurs. When not hashtagging her way through all sorts of trouble, Elaine is probably contemplating how to write in the third person.

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