November 29, 2014 (Sat): Startupbootcamp FinTech, Europe’s leading accelerator focused on financial innovation, today announced the immediate opening of the Startupbootcamp FinTech Asia accelerator programme in Singapore. This is brought about by a strategic partnership with Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL), the investment subsidiary of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). Steve Leonard, the Executive Deputy Chairman of IDA and Chairman of IIPL, announced the launch at an event co-hosted with Mayor of London Boris Johnson who is on an ASEAN tour to build stronger links between London and Asia.
Steve Leonard said: “The Prime Minister of Singapore has laid out a vision for Singapore to become a Smart Nation. This means we are pulling together our world-ranked universities, multibillion annual R&D investments, a fast-growing community of tech startups and large pools of investment capital to tackle important challenges that also affect other leading cities around the world. And the financial services sector affecting everyone’s daily transactions is one interesting space with huge opportunities for disruptive innovation. The anchoring of Startupbootcamp FinTech in Singapore bridges two continents – Europe and Asia, and builds a new breed of high growth FinTech startups that are familiar with both ecosystems from the start.”
The Asia accelerator programme, anchored in Singapore, follows on from the success of Startupbootcamp FinTech London. The London programme has received over 436 applications, from 59 different countries following 18 Pitch Days worldwide since its launch in March 2014. Today, Startupbootcamp FinTech London supports 10 teams with a combined valuation of €7 million euros (SG$11.3 million) and provides startups with mentorship and practical guidance from over 200 entrepreneurs, investors, industry participants and partners as well as access to international markets. Startupbootcamp FinTech is confident of bringing this success to the Singapore programme.
Nektarios Liolios, Managing Director, Startupbootcamp FinTech, said: “Over the last 12 months, the Startupbootcamp team has visited Southeast Asia on several occasions. We have been impressed by the quality and innovation levels of the startups we have encountered. We think the timing is right to open a Startupbootcamp FinTech programme in Asia. Singapore, with its concentration of investors, financial institutions and mentors, as well as the strong industry and government support here, makes an ideal innovation hub. The London version of Startupbootcamp FinTech has attracted great tech startups from around the world. We believe that we are able to ride on this success to provide the right platform to nurture talents, great ideas and innovation in Asia through Singapore, offering startups based here the guidance and access they need to reach the financial community.”
Startupbootcamp FinTech Asia accelerator programme will provide funding, mentorship, office space and access to a network of industry partners, investors and venture capital firms for up to 10 selected Singapore-based FinTech startups. Each successful team will also receive €15,000 (SG$24,000) ‘beer and pizza’ money and office space for at least three months at Singapore’s new startup cluster at one-north, where two new blocks – Block 73 and 79 – will be added to the current Block 71.
Startupbootcamp FinTech Asia accelerator programme in Singapore is also backed by industry leading financial services companies – MasterCard and Singapore’s DBS bank and venture capital firms – SBT Venture Capital and Route 66 Ventures. It is also supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The Asia programme will be led by the founders of Startupbootcamp FinTech , including Nektarios Liolios, Global Managing Director; Carsten Kølbek, Chairman and Markus Gnirck, Chief Operating Officer, together with local mentors and entrepreneurs.
To kick off, startups from all over the world are invited to apply to present their ideas to the Startupbootcamp FinTech team at a series of Pitch Days between January and March 2015. These are being held across the region including in Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai, Bangalore, Tokyo and Sydney. The 10 successful applicants will then enter a three month accelerator programme beginning in May 2015.
Pascal Bouvier, partner at Route 66 Ventures, said: “As a venture capital firm, much of the enjoyment from our work comes from seeing great ideas and visions germinate into great companies. This is happening already in Startupbootcamp FinTech London. Now we are excited to be a part of bringing Startupbootcamp Fintech to Asia through Singapore.”
“In addition to driving innovation within DBS, we also believe that it is important to help foster a genuinely entrepreneurial and innovative start-up ecosystem in Asia. We are proud to be a part of a programme which facilitates financial innovation in Singapore by attracting global startups. Through this partnership, we hope to help small fintech businesses access the expertise, practical support and funding that they need backed by strong industry support,” commented Neal Cross, Chief Innovation Officer at DBS.
Vicky Bindra, President, Asia Pacific and Global Accounts for MasterCard, said, “As a global technology company, MasterCard values fostering innovation to not only transform the way consumers pay, but also to enable financial institutions, merchants, governments, and businesses to offer safe, secure, and convenient financial services. Partnering with Startupbootcamp FinTech to broaden this programme into the region is a timely opportunity to stimulate ideas in thinking akin to those being generated in Silicon Valley, and harness the region’s ever-growing appetite for technology and desire to provide access to formal financial services to those who need it.”
Interested startups can apply for Startupbootcamp FinTech Asia Accelerator Programme in Singapore here: http://www.startupbootcamp.org/accelerator/fintech-singapore.html. Applications will remain open until 15 March 2015.