Singapore remains top startup ecosystem in SE Asia

Image courtesy of Larry Teo

Singapore maintains its 5th position in Asia and the leading ecosystem in ASEAN, as well as 18th position globally, as a startup ecosystem according to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) 2021. 

The research was done by policy advisory and research firm Startup Genome in partnership with Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), and Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), the national trade association representing startups. 

The GSER report ranks cities against six success factors — performance, funding, connectedness, market reach, knowledge, and talent. 

The report covers data from over 3 million companies, nearly 300 ecosystems, and surveys from more than 10,000 startup executives across the globe. 

Tiered from 1-10, Singapore scored well in funding (8), connectedness (6), and market reach (6). 

Despite the pandemic, Singapore still drew in S$5.5 billion in capital over the past year, making it the leading city in acquiring venture capital dollars in Southeast Asia. 

On the other hand, Singapore will need to improve in the remaining three factors — talent (5), performance (4), and knowledge (1).

Singapore is seen moving forward to create more opportunities in these areas with increased government funding, such as the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 plan’s S$25-billion investment towards research and development in strategic domains.

“We firmly believe in the potential of Singapore in its journey to become a truly innovative city-state, and will continue to work with ACE on initiatives to facilitate growth and expansion in the country,” said Jayren Teo, Managing Director of GEN Singapore.

James Tan, chairman of ACE said expressed confidence in the level of innovation and the resilient nature of Singapore startups and their stakeholders to uplift the ecosystem, considering that the Singapore government has provided ample funding and opportunities for development.

“Breaking down the silos that have separated them, many of these stakeholders are beginning to think of the big picture – collectively working towards solutions that are beneficial for all parties,” said Tan.

“We will continue our development efforts, to facilitate a seamless transfer of knowledge and talent to support our startups, and to enhance Singapore’s standing as a thriving and attractive startup ecosystem,” he added.