SINGAPORE – A programme that helps companies spin-off new businesses in high-growth areas will be enhanced with $20 million in fresh funds over the next two years.

It will also be expanded beyond large established companies that are new to corporate venture building. The initiative will now cater to a wider range of businesses, including regional and high-growth companies, and ventures in industries that have potential for breakthroughs in global markets.

Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) managing director Jacqueline Poh said it is a complicated time for businesses amid geopolitical tensions, inflation and downward pressure on global growth.

“As businesses navigate these extremely fast changes in a more disrupted, uncertain, and complex world, there is only one answer. We must be able to adapt and innovate even faster on the inside,” she said at the launch of Corporate Venture Launchpad 2.0 on Tuesday (July 26).

To date, six of the 13 companies which participated in the scheme’s pilot, launched in May last year, have spun-off new ventures, and they have committed at least $50 million of follow-on seed investments to build them, said EDB. The new ventures cover a wide range of areas, including sustainability, agritech, fintech, senior living and the metaverse.

Singapore is home to nearly 80 corporate ventures, almost double the number here in January 2021.

Corporate venturing is a response to rapid disruption through new technology and business models that are putting pressure on companies to find new avenues for growth, Ms Poh said.

“One of the best ways is to borrow start-up approaches – lean, agile, and speed – by rapidly validating ideas and opportunity spaces, and entrusting a group of talented individuals as founders to grow the new business like a start-up,” she said.

These new ventures can, however, tap the parent company’s competitive advantages such as customer relationships, technical capabilities and brand recognition.

Under Corporate Venture Launchpad 2.0, EDB hopes to work with companies on 20 to 30 projects over the next two years, said Ms Poh.

The enhanced programme includes co-funding of each concept validation sprint – which aims to quickly test new approaches and ideas – at up to $500,000. EDB will also provide advisory and connections, and deploy its venture builders to be part of the sprint teams where relevant.

An additional $500,000 co-funding will also be available for a “build and launch” phase for high potential ventures to accelerate their set-up, develop a minimum viable product and hire a founding team.

Businesses can also access a self-help toolkit to assess venture concepts, evaluate their readiness for venture building and select venture studios, which help to incubate new business ideas.