10 March 2014 - Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL), the investment arm of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), today announced a strategic partnership with leading startup accelerator, Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI), to run accelerator programmes for innovation driven tech product startups based in Singapore.

Singapore, 10 March 2014 | For Immediate Release

Asia’s leading startup accelerator to run accelerator programmes to strengthen startup ecosystem

Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL), the investment arm of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), today announced a strategic partnership with leading startup accelerator, Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI), to run accelerator programmes for innovation driven tech product startups based in Singapore. This partnership seeks to build a strong pipeline of high growth tech product startups that are able to scale globally, signifying the pivotal ecosystem catalyst role that IDA and IIPL play in accelerating the growth of the technology sector in Singapore.

Mr Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman of IDA and Chairman of IIPL, said, “IDA and its subsidiary IIPL are helping to build Singapore-based tech product companies that can serve the world. We are committed to ensure Singapore is a great place to create and build high growth tech product startups.”

This partnership is the first-of-its-kind in Singapore, where IIPL plays the role of both an investor and ‘operator’. IIPL’s entry into this partnership as an anchor investor will help kick-start JFDI’s first accelerator programme of the year - JFDI.2014A, which is scheduled to take place from 20 March to 1 July. As the ‘operator’, IIPL will introduce promising tech product startups to the accelerator programme, participate in the selection process, tailor the programme with JFDI to target startups at different stages of maturity, and complement JFDI’s current established startup community with its network of entrepreneurs, investors and innovators.

Dr Alex Lin, Head of IIPL, said, “We see great value in the accelerator model in stimulating the growth of homegrown innovation driven tech product startups, and elevating their chances of success amid global competition. This is more so, with an experienced partner like JFDI running the programme, bringing along its established methodologies, techniques and a well-connected community. The partnership also marks a significant expansion in IIPL’s role in boosting Singapore’s startup ecosystem - beyond providing growth capital to taking a more hands-on role in helping promising tech product startups at the seed and early stages.”

JFDI was the first accelerator in Southeast Asia to bring to the region the winning formula for boosting startup success pioneered by Techstars in the United States. Its unique strength lies in its ability to join up different elements of the ecosystem who all share an interest in exploring and creating value through innovative technology ventures.

Co-founder and Chairman of JFDI, Wong Meng Weng, said, “There’s an old saying that it takes a village to raise a child and that’s true for startups too. Part of Silicon Valley’s ‘secret sauce’ is the way it inspires yesterday’s company founders to become tomorrow’s company funders: it’s very common to see young entrepreneurs make the transition from inventor to investor on a remarkably short timescale. When that happens they pass on much more than financial wealth. They also pass on a wealth of hard-won experience and that’s exactly what’s starting to happen at JFDI too.”

JFDI invests S$25,000 in each of the startup companies it accelerates but the real value-add is intensive mentoring from people who have ‘been there, done that’ before. The accelerator’s roster of mentors from around the world, and the follow-on investors co-located alongside startups, gives fresh entrepreneurs access to connections, capital and coaching that can transform their fortunes. 

Local digital health startup, Klinify and Singapore-based inventory management startup, TradeGecko are two of the many proud graduates of JFDI’s accelerator programmes. 

Surendran Krishanthan, Co-Founder and CEO of Klinify, which has recently successfully raised S$770,000 in seed funding, said, “Reading lean startup theories is easy, but applying them is hard. Through JFDI, we learn how to apply these theories from the very best mentors, allowing us to iterate our processes quickly and improve the quality of our learning in a very short period of time. Most importantly, the community JFDI has built, one where mentors, investors, entrepreneurs and even people who just pass by for coffee help new startups without expecting anything in return, just out of good will, is the most crucial value add. "

TradeGecko, founded by three talented young entrepreneurs from New Zealand, chose to build their startup business in Singapore for access to capital and international markets. “JFDI provided both the time and resources that ultimately allowed us to focus on getting our product off the ground. Accelerator programmes are great opportunities that eliminate distractions for entrepreneurs, where they can learn that putting themselves in the customers’ shoes and understanding their needs come before building just a really cool app,” said Cameron Priest, Co-Founder and CEO of TradeGecko.

IDA, as the government agency behind building Singapore’s technology industry, will play the larger role of putting the enabling infrastructure, policies and regulations in place to develop a culture of innovation with technology from the onset. Talented entrepreneurs could use the IDA Labs environment to explore new ideas, develop new technologies and prototype new concepts, before the acceleration stage. Startups which have undergone acceleration and attracted significant market traction as a result, may qualify for Accreditation status from IDA, providing them with stronger credentials to win projects from the Government and large enterprise buyers. 

Besides the partnership with JFDI, IIPL is also exploring collaborations with corporations, universities and overseas professional accelerators to set up a steady pipeline of accelerator programmes in Singapore, with the aim of building 500 Singapore-based high growth tech product startups in the next five years. 


About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The mission of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is to develop information technology and telecommunications within Singapore with a view to serve citizens of all ages and companies of all sizes. IDA does this by actively supporting the growth of innovative technology companies and start-ups in Singapore, working with leading global IT companies as well as developing excellent information technology and telecommunications infrastructure, policies and capabilities for Singapore. For more news and information, visit www.ida.gov.sg.

About Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd

Infocomm Investments builds and invests in Singapore and global infocomm technology start-ups. Managing more than S$200 million, we accelerate the development of start-ups in their formative phase, and invest further as they move forward with growth and expansion.  Through our investments, partnerships with stakeholders across private and public sectors, and global reach, we play a central role in building a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem in Singapore for start-ups to flourish.  We are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore. For more news and information, visit www.infocomminvestments.com

About Joyful Frog Digital Incubator

JFDI.Asia (http://jfdi.asia) is Asia’s #1 startup business accelerator programme, the first of its kind in the region and first to join the Global Accelerator Network set up by US accelerator pioneer Techstars. It takes teams of entrepreneurs from idea to investment in 100 days. Since 2012, more than 60% of teams completing the JFDI.Asia programme have succeeded in raising an average S$650k per team.

For media clarifications, please contact:

Teresa TAN (Ms)
Manager, Corporate and Marketing Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel:  +65 6211 1745 | +65 9661 4836
Email: teresa_tan@imda.gov.sg

Hugh Mason (Mr)
Co-Founder and CEO
Tel: +65 8448 2855
Email: hugh@jfdi.asia