Regional superapp unicorn Grab and Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) recently announced a strategic joint initiative to pilot a fourteen week accelerator program, Grab Ventures Ignite (GVI), with the aim of supporting startups based in Singapore to explore new markets abroad in the region. It is understood that the Singapore edition of GVI will target promising startups with ambitions of expanding into Vietnam. The accelerator program is to be held side by side with GVI Vietnam, Grab’s Vietnam-focused early stage startup accelerator, thus enabling the exchange of innovative ideas and cooperative learning between aspiring startups from both countries. This particular engagement means that Singapore-based startups can pick the brains of their Vietnamese counterparts for insights and advice on ways of adapting to Vietnamese customs and culture, while also building bridges and strategic networks with some of Vietnam’s leading industry players and investors.
For the GVI program, IMDA and the unicorn company Grab will select its batch of startups according to various criteria, such as preparedness for expansion, team robustness, current standing in the Singapore market, and prospective suitability with Vietnam’s market, among others. Only two promising startups will get the opportunity to undergo the full GVI program, while three other aspiring startups will have the chance to undergo a three day bootcamp led together by Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), Grab and IMDA at the 25,000 square feet innovation space PIXEL.
The two selected startups will receive several benefits from the fourteen week-long pilot GVI program. They will get one-on-one mentorship training from leading Grab personalities, opportunities to expand their network with peers and industry players, participation in expert workshops, learning with peers and immersion trips to Indonesia and Vietnam for hands-on experience. Additionally, there will be a Demo Day at the conclusion of the fourteen week accelerator program for the two selected startups to pitch their case in front of several eminent regional investors for further fundraising.
All five selected Singapore-based cohorts for the pilot program will receive upwards of US$100,000 in cloud credits each, as well as direct access to all working facilities, co-working spaces and equipment at the PIXEL innovation space, which include content production facilities and various labs for prototyping and immersive experiences. In addition, the chosen participants will get one-on-one mentoring by leading experts on innovating customer-focused solutions. As for the three day bootcamp to be held in Singapore, all five of the startups will be given the opportunity to network and learn from their Vietnamese peers.
Chris Yeo, head of Grab Ventures, said that the unicorn company is fully committed to making full use of their assets, capabilities and vast regional network to support aspiring Singaporean startups to seize opportunities and realize their potential in the digital economy. Chris stressed that it is paramount for startups and businesses to join hands during these exceptional times to exchange innovative ideas and to learn from each other for mutual benefit. The unicorn company’s partnership with IMDA to pilot the GVI program also serves to fulfill Singapore’s vision of becoming the leading regional hub for enterprise, technology and innovation.