Last updated: 13 March 2023
Published on: 07 March 2016
7 MINS READ
Singapore’s largest integrated co-working space for the tech community turns one! And celebrates with a host of developments!
It's just one year old, but BASH (Build Amazing Startups Here) has been making an impact on the tech startup scene.
Here’s a quick rundown of the inaugural year of Singapore’s largest integrated co-working space for the tech community: From hosting one accelerator programme to six, and helping 65 start-ups get off the ground.
An initiative by Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL), the investment arm of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), BASH has hosted some 30,000 visitors including 28 international government organisations, 50 commercial and multinational companies, as well as educational institutions and trade delegations.
It is also a home away from home for more than 3,000 start-ups from over 50 nationalities.
Speaking at the facility’s anniversary celebration on 25 February, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information said IIPL’s acceleration strategy has proven to be very successful.
Many of the accelerated start-ups have done well at securing funding for their next stage of growth, thanks in part to the community that has grown up around BASH.
“I am inspired by the number of experienced mentors and venture capitalists who return to contribute their valuable time, expertise and connections to mentor start-ups in weekly Clinic@BASH sessions,” he said.
With a structured three-month programme, accelerators help start-ups shape and validate its business model, build a minimal viable product and prepare a convincing investor pitch.
That saw a success rate (start-ups’ ability to raise funds to move on to the next stage of development) of more than 50 per cent, up from 2-8 per cent from the traditional incubation process.
More good news: Three new accelerators with different industry focus - Rockstart, Spark Accelerator and Airmaker – are coming on board.
Amsterdam-founded Rockstart is a leading web and mobile accelerator in Europe, supporting over 1,600 founders and accelerated 68 start-ups since 2012.
Apart from its tried- and-tested acceleration programme, the Rockstart Singapore programme will be part of a global programme with mechanisms supporting startups to scale globally.
Singapore Power (SP) and IIPL will also collaborate to set up Spark Accelerator, targeting at promoting and accelerating the growth of startups in the energy sector.
The accelerator aims to discover entrepreneurs and startups with innovative ideas or solutions that meet the future energy needs of their customers. They will drive next-generation ideas in energy efficiency, mobility, cyber-security and on-demand customer services.
The third accelerator, Airmaker, is a joint venture company between Ascendas-Singbridge (ASB), Runyang Group (RYG) and IIPL.
This cross-border acceleration programme brings together the knowledge and business connections of all ASB and RYB as well as IIPL’s venture capital expertise to drive Internet of Things (Iot) innovation and entrepreneurship in Singapore.
Airmaker targets startups related to smart building management; connected home/city applications; and connected industrial and manufacturing solutions, technology and infrastructure, all with IoT as the underlying enabler.
IIPL also aims to link Singapore-based start-ups to the world through international exchanges and collaborations and offer them a path to international markets.
Under its Global Startup Exchange Programme, it has secured agreements with various international industry players to facilitate exchanges and collaborations. Last year, it sealed partnerships with Barcelona Activa and Sri Lanka’s Xeleration.
At its first anniversary, one more Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), with more international partners in the pipeline, such as Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Australia and Indonesia.
The wider range of accelerator programmes available now, and increased international exposure for start-ups, are important in helping Singapore to realise its vision of becoming a Smart Nation and to play its part in tackling the important shared global challenges arising from the realities of ageing populations and higher urban density, said IDA’s Executive Deputy Chairman Mr Steve Leonard.
One of the outfits which has made BASH its home is SPH Plug and Play – a venture between the local media giant Singapore Press Holdings, Plug and Play from Silicon Valley and IIPL to offer a series of media start-up accelerator programmes.
“Being housed in BASH, at the epicentre of Singapore start-up ecosystem allows us to have first-hand experience in whatever that is happening in the start-up scene," said Ms Carinna Goh, marketing manager at SPH Plug and Play.
Born To BASH
Budding entrepreneur Sarup Banskota, 22, from Assam in India said he found interacting with technologists and venture capitalists at BASH to be extremely beneficial. Manning a booth to showcase his prototype wearable sensors to help the elderly prevent falls, he said he received much valuable advice and encouragement.
“Some made suggestions on how I could improve my prototype and what other accelerometers might be better than what I have now. Others said they may be interested in my prototype once the bugs had been removed. It was all very positive, very encouraging.”
In his speech, Dr Yaacob pledged that the government will continue to work with the industry to further enhance the start-up ecosystem here.
This will be done through IIPL expanding its network of mentors, investors and entrepreneurs across other sectors such as finance, health and energy.
IIPL will also continue to connect start-ups and other stakeholders in the ecosystem including various government agencies, research institutions, venture capital firms, and corporate partners.
“This will make it easier for start-ups to obtain mentorship, research, and funding opportunities from the various stakeholders. Such resources will incentivise our start-ups and entrepreneurial talent to remain within our ecosystem,” said Dr Yaacob.
The head of IIPL, Dr Alex Lin urged start-ups and budding entrepreneurs who have interesting tech ideas to use the resources at BASH which could help them build a sound business and marketing foundation.
“With all the upcoming initiatives, I implore start-ups to make full use of these opportunities. Talk to accelerators, look for us. We are here to help you grow,” said Dr Lin.
Entrepreneurs who are just starting up can sign up for a free Clinic@BASH session where experienced mentors and investors will help to evaluate business models, advise on investment and development opportunities and help start-ups progress to their next phase of growth.