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Singapore enhances EntrePass scheme with new criteria for foreign startup talent



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According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the EntrePass scheme will be enhanced to facilitate the entry and stay of promising foreign startup talent in Singapore from today.

The scheme falls under the Startup SG talent pillar, one of the five pillars under the Startup SG umbrella branding that consolidates all local startup scheme.

Targeted at foreign talent who are keen to establish innovative businesses in Singapore, this enhanced scheme will strengthen and add vibrancy to the nation’s tech startup ecosystem. For that, the evaluation criteria for global startup founders has been broadened to attract more promising foreign startup talent.

Applicants are currently assessed on four innovation criteria, such as whether they have funding from a government-recognised venture capital fund, or if they have a collaboration with a Singapore research institute. However, examples of new criteria include entrepreneurial and investment track record, business network and key achievements in their areas of expertise.   

Announced during the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI)’s Committee of Supply (COS) debate in March 2017, other key enhancements to the EntrePass scheme include the removal of the S$50,000 paid-up capital requirement to recognise the non-monetary contributions of global startup talent such as expertise and relevance to industries.

Additionally, the validity period of each EntrePass will be extended from one to two years, after the first renewal to provide more certainty for global entrepreneurs in scaling up their businesses.

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Meanwhile, the enhanced scheme will also see the inclusion of two new partner agencies – the Infocomm Media Development Authority and the National Research Foundation, supported by SGInnovate.

In addition to SPRING Singapore, these agencies will work with the Ministry of Manpower to evaluate the applications in their respective sectors.

Dr Koh Poh Koon, senior minister of State, MTI said: “Startups are an important driver of innovation and are becoming increasingly important as Singapore transforms to become an innovative and value creating economy.”

“These enhancements are part of the Government’s efforts to develop a vibrant startup landscape that is attractive to global startup talent while promoting our local startups to establish and build innovative businesses, thus creating new industry sectors and job opportunities for Singaporeans,” he continued.

Additionally, Edwin Chow, group director for Industry & Enterprise and Innovation & Startups of SPRING Singapore, commented: “Singapore’s efforts in grooming startups have resulted in an attractive ecosystem for global entrepreneurs. They will complement our local founders, with their skillsets and understanding of foreign market opportunities, to build stronger and fast-growing startups that create good jobs.”

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