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's banking regulator "will review some of the regulatory requirements placed on venture capitalists", to encourage more such investors to set up in Singapore and boost the funding pool for fintech start-ups, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon said on Wednesday (Aug 24).

Beyond funding, Singapore is also lagging behind fintech hubs like New York and Silicon Valley when it comes to having a pool of experienced mentors and investors in the fintech ecosystem, he added.

"The innovation and technology will happen," said Mr Menon, who added that the key issue is "whether there are Singaporeans able to take those jobs".

"We want to maximise the number of Singaporeans able to take the good jobs that are going to be created...That means intervening upstream, working with polytechnics and unviersities to make sure we have a strong talent pipeline," he added.

Mr Menon was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the launch of the banking regulator's fintech innovation lab, which is called Looking Glass @ MAS.

The facility, located within the MAS building, aims to allow financial institutions and start-ups to experiment with fintech, and facililate consultations between the industry and regulators.

Calling the space "an experiment", Mr Menon said it will not duplicate what is already being done at labs and accelerators, which usually focus on early-stage companies.

Instead, the MAS facility will be a venue for later-stage companies to testbed their ideas and work with lawyers, banking regulators, and others in the industry.

Article first published on The Straits Times on 24 August 2016.


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