Get To Know Startup Incubators in Singapore

Looking for that big break? Startup incubators in Singapore can turn your ideas into actionable plans. Find out more about them through Spenmo.

Singapore is known for being “Instant Asia” because it’s a melting pot of cultures, people, and attractions reminiscent of other Asian countries. In addition, Singapore is a favourite destination among immigrants because of its economic opportunities.

Startups in Singapore are also flourishing because of their positive and welcoming business environment. From e-commerce platforms to ride-hailing apps, the startups in the region raised over 11 billion USD within the first half of 2021. This number is more than 200% in 2020, thus proving that Asia can raise successful startups.

Raising funds for these startups involves reaching out to institutions offering financial services through startup incubators in Singapore. Incubators, along with accelerators, help startups launch and operate seamlessly. They support these startups through an incubation programme, accelerator program, or educating the people behind them. They help flesh out the startup plan and share insights on best practices. You could say that they’re present from ideation down to execution.

If you’re a fintech startup in Singapore and you’re eager to learn more about incubators in the country, let’s get started.

What Is a Startup Incubator?

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A startup incubator is a program for startup companies. They help founders build their early-stage startups, focusing on training, mentoring and funding business ventures that show potential.

They’re also champions of sustainability, being aggressive business innovators. The environment wherein these parties operate is symbiotic.

While startup owners crave learning, guidance, and direction, the incubators are more than eager to assist with these needs and share the industry’s best practices. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fresh graduate from the National University of Singapore (NUS) or a tinkerer with a concept; you can get the help of an incubator.

These incubators also work with established startups looking for a solid business foundation. The services of these incubators broadly vary. However, they could fall into any of these categories:

  • Access to equipment and tools related to the industry
  • Seed funding opportunities and investment
  • Educational programmes
  • Mentorship
  • Office space
  • Networking platforms

These incubators are open-ended technology startups looking to help you build your business groundwork. They support solidifying startup ideas, achieving product-market fit (PMF) fundraising, and forging partnerships with potential investors. They pair you with venture capitalists to bring your concepts to life.

These startup incubators operate in many countries but thrive in Singapore because they have a highly favourable startup ecosystem rich in growth opportunities.

The thriving startup community in coworking spaces connects you with other businesses. So it doesn’t matter if you’re still a budding business or a one-person show; there are coworking spaces with the right solutions for all kinds of startups.

Incubators are often confused with accelerators. While both help companies grow to realise their potential, the former focuses on a startup’s preliminary stages. On the other hand, the accelerators are geared more toward helping existing businesses become more aggressive in aiming for growth.

Below are some of the best startup boot camps you can find thriving in Singapore.


This is a free boot camp that aims to provide a venue for 18 to 30-year-olds to turn their ideas and aspirations into concrete plans that would turn into an actual business.

The boot camp understands that turning your concepts into a real business could be pretty tough. That’s why they offer their expertise to provide dreamers and visionaries like you with the network and tools to set your business in motion. It doesn’t matter if you have to start from the ground up; they’re here to lend a hand, so you don’t have to do it alone.

The most basic programme they offer is a three-month discussion and workshop that teaches participants the right entrepreneurial skills while working on your startup network. The three-month event ends with Pitch Day, where you can present your ideas to an audience.

After the initial three-month workshop, the programme’s second phase will commence. This time, there will be another three-month program wherein the first programme participants will be assigned with peer mentors and a coach to help them grow their business.

Plug and Play

This startup incubator wants to make startups future-ready. They’re creating a unique ecosystem meant to connect leading organisations and changemakers. Their network comprises over 500 leading corporations, more than 30,000 startups, and hundreds of government agencies, universities, and venture capital firms from different industries. They’re designing a unique ecosystem connecting leading organisations with changemakers with their partners.

This startup incubator functions by expediting growth through investments, innovation ecosystem, and acceleration programmes. This incubator is helping companies at each stage of their journey, starting from an education down to execution.

Currently, the company has over 500 partners worldwide, with 51% from Latin America and the US, 29% from Asia, and 20% from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Tips for Selecting the Right Incubators in Singapore for Your Startup
Selection Success Assess the selection process of an incubator program. What are its standards for selecting startups with potential? Look for an incubator with a rigorous acceptance process and research the progress of startup graduates. Understand the incubator’s selection process so you know what to expect to proceed to the next round. These incubators often look for people who are open to opportunities, orderly, organised, diligent, and conscientious.
Structural Support What are the most crucial factors you’re looking for in an incubator? Incubators can support you in many ways, including mentorship and funding. Go for incubators in Singapore with extensive programming, a good mentor network and a full-time incubator manager. It’s also essential to work with incubators to help you with networking events that attract potential business partners, mentors, investors, and customers.
Culture Considerations Incubators could either be collaborative or competitive. Choose which among these opposing cultures are applicable in your case. Under a competitive culture, learning is more aggressive. While under collaborative culture, the emphasis is on collegial sharing and community support.
Dedication Dilemma Seeking help and getting admitted into a startup incubator program is a serious business. As such, you should be as dedicated and even more driven than the incubators. Every decision you make today will shape your future, and incubator programs only offer support. So, if someone should be serious here, that should be you. If you can’t commit your 100%, then it’s not the right time for you.

If you are a startup or incubatee in Singapore and would like to manage your business payments better, check out Spenmo today.

Pro Tip

“In your search for the right incubator, you want to look for one that offers you ample funding, resources, a collaborative network, and most importantly, a conducive learning environment for your business to flourish."


Launched in 2017, Antler is composed of builders, investors, and experienced entrepreneurs. It’s an early-stage global investor that chooses exceptional people to invest in. Antler has numerous offices across different startup hubs worldwide. Their mission is to help extraordinary people to change the world.

Antler is a proponent of responsible investing, and they operate on numerous global funds. The purpose is to provide investors with early-stage tech companies and diversified portfolios. Their investor portfolio includes corporations, venture capital firms, angel investors, family offices, and large institutions.

This startup incubator also spends at least two months with the founders before investing with the best teams and their business models. Their portfolio companies have an early advantage through their global network and platform, allowing them to scale their operations globally with the help of international customers, partners, and investors.

Entrepreneur First

Entrepreneur First is the leading talent investor who pioneered people’s investment models used by other startup accelerators. They’re passionate about supporting talented, deserving, and passionate people. Its founders believed that the world is missing exemplary people with great business ideas. They also acknowledge that lack of opportunity, geography, networks, time, and resources derails people’s potential.

Their six-month programme tears these barriers down and opens opportunities for entrepreneurship to the next generation of talented startup founders. They have founded Transcelestial, CloudNC, Open Cosmos, Cleo, BloomsburyAI, Represent, Magic Pony Technology, and Tractable. Tractable is currently valued at $1B, while Twitter has acquired Magic Pony Technology for $150m.

The world’s best investors supported the startup Entrepreneur First’s works. These include founders of DeepMind, PayPal, LinkedIn, and their alumni.


This company is pretty straightforward with what they can offer. First, they invest US$150K for 10% of their chosen startup, and this is the least of what the company could provide to these ventures. This amount signifies their commitment to helping you with your business idea. Since Iterative is also a group of founders, they know how important it is to have someone work with you to explore your startup SG concepts.

They’ve already worked with three companies like Divvy Homes, Weave, and Decide. They were also able to raise money from reliable investors like Index Ventures and a16z. Before working with these companies, they’ve already tried different ideas that didn’t work. These taught them valuable lessons like determining which is promising, developing them, and assessing them. They can tell which areas you need to focus on or if you’re doing too much.

After coaching you, they will also introduce you to different investors from Silicon Valley and Southeast Asia. They will help develop your pitch, offer fundraising guidance, and assist in negotiating and understanding startup funding terms.

Iterative funds startups in batches because it allows them to run their startup programmes more efficiently. Startup founders are expected to attend partner meetings, small group discussions, a fundraising boot camp, and a demo day.


Techstars choose over 500 startups to fund each year and founders to groom. Their mentorship programme runs for three months, and applications are open six times per year. Even better is that these application schedules are available for 12 weeks.

Once they close, Techstars will review these for at least seven weeks. During this time, they would spend a massive amount of time to know you and your vision. They will also review your team, ideas, progress, and market. Their goal is to come up with a decision in the eighth week following the closing of the application.

Their startup programme runs for three months, and the first month is dedicated to network growth. Within this period, the company would have already chosen ten founders.

These founders would then meet with at least 100 mentors. These mentors are from the company’s network and are usually experienced and connected in their respective fields. They call these initial meetings “Mentor Madness,” where founders match with lead mentors and a board of advisors.

In the second month, founders are expected to execute what they have learned. By this time, founders will be working with programme managers and the managing director. They will also go deeper with their lead mentors while gaining traction and hitting milestones.

Demo day happens on the third month, and the founders will begin developing their fundraising strategy. Startup founders need to work with the programme managers, managing directors, and mentors to improve their pitch, design their Demo Day pitch deck, and prepare the investor collateral. They need to communicate their vision efficiently to get chosen.


This next incubator is a global startup platform for cross-border business scaling, investments, and assessments.

It discovers talented, deserving, and driven founders. They help these founders build globally competitive companies by providing venture capital and exposing them to global networks. They give these startups merit-based, efficient access to the resources they need. For Startup-O, what matters is what these startups have built instead of whom they know.

They also provide preferred access to investment opportunities through a comprehensive diligence process and transparent assessment. These procedures leverage data science algorithms and global experts.

A Cloud CFO to Kickstart Your Startup Business

Starting a business requires a lot from its founders, and it includes having enough funding to run and sustain the business.

Investors look at a startup’s financial statements to find potential for growth and revenue. To receive funding from investors, founders must keep their finances in check even at their startup’s early stages. However, some early-stage startups don’t even have a CFO to manage their accounting.

With the absence of a CFO, choose a cloud software to support your company’s finance and funding management. Spenmo is a cloud CFO that helps startups track and manage their company expenses in one dashboard. With its seamless integration with accounting software like Xero, you can keep your books updated in no time.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Do startup incubators give money?

Yes, one of the privileges offered by these startup incubators is pairing you with investors or investing their own money in your business. But, according to most incubators, funding is the least they could offer because they bank more on guidance, networking opportunities, and other forms of support to help startup founders, co-founders, and teams stand on their own. 

Those in blockchain, deep tech, e-commerce, robotics, fintech, and other industries can seek help from incubators.

What is the difference between an incubator and an accelerator?

Incubators "incubate" tech startups' ideas, mould them, and make them grow to become palatable and enticing to startup investors. On the other hand, startup accelerators "accelerate" or "hasten" the growth stage of a particular company or selected startups.

How do you set up a startup incubator in Singapore?

You need to apply to your startup incubator of choice. The application process for each incubator varies, so you need to check their website for more information.

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