About the Innovation and Startup Desk in Singapore

Intro about the Desk, its mission and activities

Innovation desk in general is an initiative by ICE aka Italian trade agency for assisting the highly innovative Italian startups in expanding its business in domestic and offshore markets.

The placement of the innovation desks is in accordance with the importance of the cities and its close vicinity to the foreign investors for attracting investments towards the Italian startups. Apart from attracting investments; the innovation desks are involved in other innovative activities towards attracting Italian investment in the host countries for most happening initiatives by the country’s respective governments.


Singapore has about 180,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which make up make up 99% of the enterprises in Singapore and contribute to nearly half of the GDP. As SMEs employ 70% of the Singapore’s workforce, these SMEs play a significant role in the development of Singapore’s economy.

Singapore’s global connectivity at the marketplace makes it an ideal location for opportunities and network leverage for Asia. Companies find in Singapore a stable and trusted base where they can exploit their knowledge and IP assets, undertake key activities which give them a competitive advantage, as well as drive their growth from Asia.

As entrepreneurship is relatively common in Singapore, the Singapore government actively works with angel investors and start-ups on various financing schemes. As angel investors are typically successful businessmen with an appetite for start-up companies with higher risk, angel investment is a significant source of raising capital in Singapore.

As the startup industry continues to grow, so has the volume of investments – with venture capitalists and angel investors playing increasingly large roles in the scene. For example, Golden Gate Ventures launched a US$50 million fund that will take stakes in tech companies in South-East Asia.

Golden Gate sees strong growth in the venture capital business in South-East Asia over the next few years, matching the gains in China and India during the past decade. The number of venture-capital deals worth between US$1 million and US$10 million is expected to double to 40 next year in South-East Asia, according to the Golden Gate study on the prospects for the region.

With the shift of focus in Asia, we are seeing a trend where private investors are relocating their offices, investing capital, and executing transactions in the region. With Singapore’s position as Asia’s entrepreneurial hub especially in ASEAN region, more investors are coming over as growth rates and opportunities are harder to come by in more developed countries. Therefore, this is a huge advantage for foreign investments and start-ups to choose Singapore as their operational base.

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