The startup industry is a close-knit community of dreamers, hustlers, and doers. This is especially true in Singapore, a big city that can sometimes feel like a small town where you’re likely to run into a friend on the street. We’ve compiled a guide of some must-join and must-know communities and programmes to give your business an extra boost:
The SiTF advocates for the ICM (Information, Communications and Media) industry and its membership directory has a wide reach of SMEs and MNCs alike. Their 123JumpStart initiative offers free membership for qualifying startups, and provides access to mentors, investors, workshops, co-working facilities and networking and collaboration opportunities in general.
Available for iOS and Android, the B.E.A.M app aims to list every player in the tech ecosystem, including founders, investors, developers, journalists, and legal advisors. Launched in June 2016, the app remains an invitation-only platform – to receive an invite, submit your email address on the B.E.A.M homepage.
The DBS BusinessClass app is specially designed for SMEs to connect directly with a network of industry experts, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and DBS SME Specialists. The app boasts a membership directory of over 15,000 professionals across the region.
Get advice on company set-up and structures, obtaining visas, business strategy, marketing plans, finances, investments, auditing, and networking.
For APAC technology startups, this open group is a community of almost 20,000 members (at the time of publication).
The List sends you a weekly email of the most interesting startup, entrepreneurial, boozy, bookish, networking, designery and techy events.
Similar to The List, Tech in Asia diligently curates upcoming tech and startup events around the region in a public Google Calendar. You can add the events to your own Google Calendar which makes it super easy to follow!
Meetup makes it easy for anyone in a local community to gather around a common interest. As of August 2016, Meetup.com has over 27 million members across 180 countries and over 250,000 groups.
Some of the most active local groups on the platform are: startup-related Product Hunt Singapore, Digital (Web) Analytics Wednesdays Singapore, Singapore Business Startups, and Startup Grind Singapore.
Times have changed. With technological advancements, legal is no longer the specialised and costly service that once only lawyers could provide. Dragon Law shines a light through the ‘legal black box.’ If you are a founder who would like more control over your own legal work (and seeks to save money, at the same time), check out their comprehensive library of complimentary eBooks and blog, and sign up for a free trial to start creating your own legal documents.
The SME Centre is one of SME Portal’s initiatives to help Singapore SME owners and aspiring entrepreneurs access information, tools, and services that can help them build sustainable and competitive businesses.
The SME Centre @ SICCI (Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) was set up in 2008 in collaboration with SPRING Singapore. Qualifying SMEs may seek business advisory services, such as a consultation session on government grants and schemes, at no charge.
accelerators and incubators
Startupbootcamp is an accelerator programme on a global scale. They offer startups access to an international network of relevant mentors, partners, and investors for help in scaling around the world.
Corporations and banks have also in recent years introduced accelerator programmes of their own:
The SPH Plug & Play accelerator programme seeks media and/or technology startups looking for early-stage or seed-stage funding. Selected startups will receive S$30,000 in seed funding, plus perks and services worth up to S$200,00 in exchange for an equity stake.
On the other hand, the DBS HotSpot Accelerator Programme makes a compelling offer of S$25,000 for zero equity.