Dated: 30 July 2008
Local Interactive Digital Media (IDM) start-ups and companies will get a boost in their search for more investment with the launch of i.MATCH. It is an initiative aimed at bridging funding gaps in the local IDM sector. This is announced today by RAdm (NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Minister of State for Education and Information, Communications and the Arts at the i.JAM Networking Session organised by the multi-agency Interactive Digital Media Research and Development Programme Office (IDMPO) which is hosted by the Media Development Authority (MDA).
iMATCH helps to raise the investment needed to give IDM companies the extra push to further commercialise their products and grow their companies. This is done by first exposing selected companies to a rigorous programme consisting of an intensive business plan and investor presentation master class, one-on-one business plan improvement meetings and personal coaching sessions. The selected companies will then be given the chance to pitch their projects to venture capitalists (VC) and other potential investors. On top of private investment, these companies will also quality for R&D grants from IDMPO or co-investment in their projects by SPRING SEEDS Capital of SPRING Singapore.
Designed to uncover the best of local IDM companies and to introduce them to local VCs and other equity investors, the initiative has brought on board 40 potential investors. They include major corporate investors such as Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), ST Electronics and Mediacorp Technologies as well as venture capitalists headquartered in Asia, Europe and North America such as IDG Ventures Vietnam, Stream Global and Vickers Financial Group. Two key investment communities in Singapore - the Business Angels Network South East Asia (BANSEA) and Singapore Venture Capital &Private Equity Association (SCVA) are also behind this initiative.
Mr Michael Yap, Executive Director, IDMPO said: “In 2007, we supported many innovative IDM start-ups and companies, and some of them are coming of age and seeking investment for further growth. i.MATCH builds upon the work done by stimulating entry of more private investment and capital into the sector and helps to facilitate the investment process.”
Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chairman, SPRING SEEDS Capital said: “As more IDM start-ups seek to grow and establish themselves in this arena, access to capital is critical. We hope to support them through our co-investment and connections.”
One of the corporate investors of this initiative, Ms Janice Wu, Senior Vice President (Corporate Development), Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) said:” We applaud IDMPO's initiative to link innovators to industry players. SPH is excited to be part of this initiative to grow and develop the IDM industry in Singapore. SPH has launched many interactive digital media products and monitors IDM developments very closely. Ideas that would allow us to meet the changing needs of our existing customers and reach new audiences would be most welcome.”
Agreeing with the approach of this initiative is Mr Reza Behnam, IDG Ventures Vietnam. Mr Behnam said: “This is a great initiative to support and encourage early to mid stage start-ups. It gives the entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their companies to many investors in one setting. This initiative reduces the time, resources, and stress-level associated with fund-raising and allows the entrepreneurs to get feedback from the investment community in an expeditious and efficient manner.”
To further create a self-sustaining ecosystem in the IDM sector, IDMPO is working to attract the support of global enterprises to buttress the development of new services and to promote them widely. To date, Apple, Hewlett Packard and Friendster have agreed to support our local IDM companies by offering their worldwide distribution platforms. In addition, they will also commit resources for the development and marketing of new projects that are being developed on their platforms. The support from global enterprises is a boost to the local IDM sector.
Ms Tan Yen Yen, Vice President &Managing Director, HP Singapore, said: “HP is excited to partner IDMPO in this initiative to nurture the local IDM sector. Not only will we be able to build up a strong network of IDM partners here, we will also be able to explore commercialising some of the mScape content that is being developed.” HP will offer its mScape software to local IDM companies to build mediascapes using Web, mobile and Flash mobile content and applications. Mediascapes are mobile, location-based experiences that incorporate digital media with the sights, sounds and textures of the world around the user. “
The i.MATCH initiative is IDMPO’s ongoing effort to interlock the four key groups of stakeholders in IDM R&D namely, Institutes of Higher Learning, industry players, start-ups and individuals and schools, to create innovation and capacity in IDM.
Companies interested to be part of i.MATCH can contact Chua_Wee_Nian@imda.gov.sg. More information can be found on www.idm.sg.
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Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) was formed on 1 January 2003 to champion Media 21, a blueprint to transform Singapore into a global media city. Media 21 seeks to create a vibrant media environment by establishing Singapore as a media exchange, exporting Made-by-Singapore content, internationalising local media companies, nurturing local media talent and developing digital media. More information on MDA can be found on www.mda.gov.sg
Interactive & Digital Media (IDM) Sector
The development of the IDM sector requires the collaboration of a diverse range of public sector agencies, educational institutions, industry players and other stakeholders. To achieve this, the National Research Foundation has allocated $500 million over the next five years from 2006 to fund the development of a strategic IDM research programme and the set-up of a multi-agency IDM R&D Programme Office within the Media Development Authority of Singapore to oversee R&D initiatives in the IDM space. This multi-agency team is accountable to the IDM Executive Committee and coordinates a cross-disciplinary effort to deepen Singapore’s research capacity in IDM.
SPRING Singapore is the enterprise development agency for growing innovative companies and fostering a competitive SME sector. We work with partners to help enterprises in financing, capabilities and management development, technology and innovation, and access to markets. As the national standards and accreditation body, SPRING also develops and promotes internationally-recognised standards and quality assurance to enhance competitiveness and facilitate trade.
Please visit www.spring.gov.sg for more information and news about SPRING Singapore.