Published on November 9, 2023, 5:03 am

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Huawei Cloud have recently introduced the Spark Incubator programme. This initiative is designed to support early-stage startups in Singapore in sectors such as FinTech, Web3, metaverse, and SaaS.

With dedicated mentorship and access to facilities, participating startups can benefit from Huawei’s expertise and IMDA PIXEL’s augmented reality and virtual reality facilities. Additionally, they can leverage the vast network of 12,000 solutions providers under IMDA’s Open Innovation Platform (OIP). These resources help Singapore start-ups develop world-class products and expand their reach across the region.

The Spark Incubator programme plans to incubate up to 12 start-ups per cohort over a five-month period. It will run twice within a year. The programme aims to provide valuable resources and expertise from IMDA and Huawei to accelerate the growth of these businesses. Start-ups are expected to secure third-party financing exceeding S$250k or achieve a minimum 20% increase in valuation or cross S$250k in annual revenue post-programme.

After undergoing a rigorous selection process involving more than 80 applications, nine start-ups have been named as the first cohort from November 2022 to March 2023. These start-ups span various sectors:

Web 3:
– Nervotec: Provides healthcare analytics as a service to monitor medical-grade vital signs
– NFT Circle: Offers digitalization services for physical assets like real estate and art
– Heros: Enables athletes monetize their careers through fan engagements and rewards

Fintech:
– D-Risk: Assists companies in efficiently managing credit risk using AI
– Corgi.AI: A fraud prevention AI plug-in which helps businesses better understand and prevent fraud

Enterprise SaaS:
– Linh.AI: Provides solutions for higher quality and cost-effective data annotation
– Better Data: Offers AI synthetic data for various applications
– Zapkad: A smart digital business card with comprehensive features and global reach
– Xrator: Enhances cyber resilience for all organizations

During the incubator programme, participants can receive various benefits such as Huawei Cloud credits of up to US$60,000, fee-free processing worth $75,000 on Stripe’s platform, office space at Pixel, and additional mentorship from Huawei and its industry partners. These partners include IMDA, Stripe, AngelCentral, MasterCard, Monk’s Hill Ventures, GSR Ventures, Lion X Ventures, OCBC Bank Limited, Mycelium Ventures, and DocuSign.

The collaboration between IMDA and Huawei aims to help start-ups build customer-centric products by leveraging advice from Pixel’s panel of consultants in Design Thinking and UI/UX with Digital Storytelling. Start-ups will also have access to corporate demand through IMDA’s Open Innovation Platform (OIP).

Foo Fang Yong, CEO of Huawei International expressed enthusiasm about working alongside these promising start-ups. He emphasized how this collaboration can bring greater value to customers and enhance Singapore’s long-term economic competitiveness. The goal is to foster innovation not just in Singapore but also across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

This partnership showcases a strong commitment from both IMDA and Huawei to support the growth of innovative companies that can make a significant impact in their respective industries. By providing resources and expertise to start-ups through programmes like Spark Incubator, they aim to drive success both locally and globally.

(The article is based on information from FutureCIO)

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