DBS Bank will invest S$10 million in initiatives to support the development of Singapore's startup ecosystem for the next five years.
The initiatives include DBS owned programmes, partnerships with accelerators and other startup programmes, said the bank.
One such initiative is DBS HotSpot, which aims to help fledgling startups develop their ideas by offering them a S$25,000 entrepreneur award, workspace, and access to industry mentors. Unlike other accelerators, DBS HotSpot does not require the startup to have an existing prototype or operating business, and does not take an equity stake from the participating teams.
"For many aspiring entrepreneurs, taking that initial plunge, leaving their stable jobs and following their startup dreams can be a daunting process," said Neal Cross, Chief Innovation Officer of DBS Bank. "The DBS HotSpot is designed to support local startups in the very early stages of testing their ideas and getting them off the ground. Subsequently, we will continue to support them through later stage accelerators and industry programmes."
During the three-month programme, the first batch of DBS HotSpot startups have worked on ideas spanning social innovation to financial technology (fintech), including:
- Reducing poverty in Vietnam through bike production - BambooBike
- Using gamification to motivate people to run - Mirri
- Enabling consumers to shop online collectively and enjoy greater bargains - BeMex
- Helping migrant workers remit funds home quickly - Nickel
- Enabling SMEs to auction unpaid invoices for quick cash - InvoiceInterchange
Both Nickel and InvoiceInterchange have been accepted to Startupbootcamp FinTech FastTrack. Investors have also displayed keen interest in InvoiceInterchange.
Applications for the second intake of DBS HotSpot will open in the first quarter of 2016.
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