Tech sector boom in Singapore set to continue

Singapore's tech industry is continuing to attract investors and expat workers as it seeks to become the Silicon Valley of Southeast Asia.

Famed for being one of the easiest places in the world to do business - the World Bank has actually ranked it as number one for the best part of a decade - the city state has been able to tempt both talent and foreign money in recent years thanks to a compelling set of initiatives.

Indeed, Singapore's trade support agency SPRING has just announced it is making S$75 million available for "high potential startups with deep technology content" as it tries to encourage further growth in this sector.

Driving innovation

Edwin Chow, group director for industry development, innovation and startups at SPRING, said that although the entrepreneurship landscape in Singapore has "matured over the years", there are still some areas that need help.

"SPRING has identified for a need to catalyse more smart financing options to startups in these deep technology sectors which require a longer runway for development and commercialisation and may not receive sufficient support from private capital sources," he added.

This announcement ties in with a number of other schemes that have been launched by the government, including the Technology Incubation Scheme and the Early Stage Venture Fund, as part of the county's drive to become a smart nation.

In total, there is S$2.2 billion worth of public sector technology funding up for grabs in 2015, which underlines just how many tech companies will be able to secure financing options. Successful companies will obviously need to recruit marketing professionals to promote their new products and services and work on boosting their brand recognition.

Teck Seng Low, CEO of the National Research Foundation - the body that distributes startup funding for the government - said that injecting money into the private sector is a crucial part of Singapore's strategy to foster the entrepreneurial spirit.

Speaking to Recode, he said this strategy was chosen because the relatively small size of Singapore means many people are "professionally minded and risk averse" and the "ecosystem here doesn't teach them how to move, how to adapt".

Tech investment

Venture capital investment in Singaporean tech firms totalled US$1.71 billion (S$2.3 billion) in 2013, which put the country ahead of Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. A lot of this is centred around the Blk71 cluster, which is the epicentre of the startup tech sector. It is currently being expanded for the third time and will house up to 750 startups by 2017.

Earlier this year, the government-linked venture capital firm Infocomm Investments also revealed its US$200 million fund was being opened to US startups. Previously, only Singaporean and European companies were eligible.

These are clearly exciting times for the tech sector in Singapore, as the next few years will bring even bigger financial commitments. So for marketing professionals who like the sound of helping to build a company from the ground up, there will be a host of opportunities for them to impress and succeed.