Asian Bank Creates First Pre-Accelerator Programme


Singapore’s startup community is getting a fiscal leg-up from DBS Bank in this, the first pre-accelerator programme created by an Asian bank.

DBS Bank says it will shell-out some S$10m over five years in various initiatives to support the development of the startup ecosystem in Singapore.

The accelerator programme has been dubbed the DBS Hotspot. It’s designed is designed to help very early stage startups develop their ideas by offering them a SGD 25,000 entrepreneur award, workspace and access to industry mentors.

It sets itself apart from other accelerators, because it does not require the startup to have an existing prototype, or operating business. What’s more, DBS does not take an equity stake from the participating teams.

Chief Innovation Officer of DBS Bank Neal Cross said: “Singapore is becoming a thriving startup ecosystem and with our roots as the Development Bank of Singapore, we are keen to help grow the community. For many aspiring entrepreneurs, taking that initial plunge, leaving their stable jobs and following their startup dreams can be a daunting process. The DBS Hotspot is designed to support local startups in the very early stages of testing their ideas and getting them off the ground. Subsequently, we will continue to support them through later stage accelerators and industry programmes.”

DBS Innovation Group Startup and Ecosystems Lead of DBS Bank Max Tiong chipped-in with: “We discovered that there are many Singaporeans, from all walks of life, who have great business ideas — but an idea is just an idea unless you go out and do something about it! The first 11 DBS Hotspot startups have been through a rigorous programme of testing and refining their ideas to turn these into commercially viable products. This is just the start for them but they are now in much better shape to go to market and to attract future funding.”

Companies already involved in the programme include Nickel and InvoiceInterchange.