The proposed plan for LaunchPad @ One-North

The next destination for startups in Singapore will no more just be Block 71. To be built Block 73 and the existing Block 79 will house the startups too. Collectively, the area will be known as LaunchPad @ One-North.

Government agency JTC – one of the leading industrial infrastructure specialists – will oversee the project. JTC  will upgrade the area and develop new sharing facilities such as food centres, meeting rooms, event spaces, sport courts and free public Wi-Fi.

Termed as “the world’s most tightly knit startup community by The Economist, Block 71 has run out of space to accommodate more startups and the building has been quite old with ageing infrastructure

The objective of the plan is to expand the start-up cluster at One-North by end 2014.

Under the new plan, Singaporean-based startups that exist for less than five years from incorporation date and which are not subsidiaries of larger firms would be able to incubate in the three blocks: Blk 71, 73 and 79. Incubation period is for 5 years, subject to renewal after the first term in three years. All applications for incubation and renewal are subject to agency endorsements from the five major agencies involved, namely A*star, IDA, MDA, NRF and SPRING.

Total number of startups that can be housed in the cluster would be more than doubled from 250 start-ups to 510 start-ups. In future expansions, JTC aims to bring that number up to 800 startups, providing facilities for 3,200 entrepreneurs. This would translate to a more competitive startup scene for Singapore, challenging other prominent global start-up hubs like Tel Aviv in Israel and Zhongguancun in Beijing.

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Clustering startups together is a good strategy as it allows them to learn from each other, hence building stronger communities. Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Trade & Industry, said, “Clustering is beneficial because it gives start-ups access to shared resources, making the space a magnet for complementary activities such as venture capital and technology transfer.”

He added that “With time, and the support of the entrepreneurship community in Singapore, I believe that JTC LanchPad @ One-North can become Singapore’s very own “startup valley” and a Launchpad for global enterprises of tomorrow.”