Singapore’s EDB Launches A $10 Million Corporate Venture Launchpad
The Economic Development Board (EDB) of Singapore — a government agency tasked with executing strategies to create value for investors in Singapore — has launched a pilot program, named the Corporate Venture Launchpad (CV Launchpad), to support large and established companies to venture into new areas of growth beyond their core business. EDB has allocated S$10 million (US$7.5 million) in funding for the program.
CV Launchpad is set to run for one year and aims to enable corporates to launch investible new ventures within six months by partnering them with four venture studios pre-approved by EDB New Ventures. Venture studios are corporates that specialize in supporting companies to incubate and build new ideas that can be scaled to new successful businesses.
The government hopes that the creation of new businesses will be a potential growth driver for the economy and create high-value job opportunities. The program is expected to support up to 20 companies through the validation sprint concept (from idea generation to venture launch and scaling in an accelerated time period).
Singapore is already a preeminent destination for setting up regional headquarters for many multinationals (MNCs), attracted by the country’s business and investor-friendly legal and tax regimes.
What Are The Application Criteria?
To be eligible, businesses will need to qualify under the following criteria:
- Must be a Singapore-based MNC or large local enterprises (LLE) in industries overseen by the EDB;
- Must not have been a prior recipient of grant support from the government for corporate venturing activities;
- The application is limited to one grant application per corporate entity; and
- Must demonstrate commitment towards new business creation.
Any new venture launched through the CV Launchpad scheme will need to be headquartered in Singapore, and corporates must dedicate a full-time staff and other necessary resources upon successful concept validation.
What Is The Application Process?
There are essentially three simple processes to complete the application.
- Businesses looking to apply should first contact any of the appointed venture studios to develop ideas and a draft scope for the validation sprint;
- Contact EDB New Ventures to assess the applicant’s eligibility in the program; and
- Finalize the grant application materials to submit to EDB New Ventures.
The Validation Sprint Process
The CV Launchpad program is organized around the concept of validation sprints whereby small teams will support participating corporates to apply venture-building methodologies to develop an idea into an investible business plan in an accelerated time period.
These plans are data-backed and are validated through in-depth testing with the market within six months.
High-potential ventures launched from this program could receive further support beyond the sprints, such as risk-sharing capital, to see through their early stages of development.
How Will Participants Benefit From The Program?
Participating corporates can benefit from the following:
- A 50 percent co-funding to corporates for qualifying costs, such as for manpower and other fees (capped at S$500,000 (US$377,000);
- Support from appointed venture studios that bring multidisciplinary talent and venture-building strategies;
- In-depth validation of business plans and ideas; and
- Potential follow-on co-investment support by EDB New Ventures.
The Appointed Venture Studios
EDB has appointed four venture studios for the program, which were chosen based on their Singapore presence and global networks, their methodologies to launch new ventures, proven track record in launching corporate ventures, and strong commitment to facilitate such projects — ranging from efforts such as organizing events, publishing content, and providing capability development offerings.
The four appointed venture studios are:
Singapore is now home to over 40 venture studios, such as Procter & Gamble, Bosch, and Schneider Electric, among others, who have established a variety of teams to grow multiple businesses for the global market.