Singapore start-ups aim to be top kids on the block

According to the Financial Times Singapore hopes to become the Silicon Valley of Asia. The city state is well placed to fulfill its aim of becoming a “Silicon Valley”. While China and India attract more dollars, Singapore offers a strong legal system and minimal red tape, i.e. business can be set up online in 15 minutes.

Best of all much of the privately raised venture capital is matched by government funding, helping Singapore trump most of its peers outside China and India in terms of overall investments.

Singapore´s $324m last year was nearly 10 times Hong Kong´s $37m, according to Asian Venture Capital Journal. That is still far behind China, which saw $5,5 bn in investments in the first half of this year and then India with $3,3 bn.

Challenges also exist, for example the glaring problem of creative talent. This will be an interesting journey to follow. I am quite sure Singapore´s decisive government is able to act and improve this specific area as well.



Do you choose the investor or vice versa

Which way it is? You have a fantastic company with real growth ambitions. Fundraising process is on the way and you start to scan potential interest. Usually the larger projects take about a year and the whole company is exhausted after the negotiations. Situations are many, but the CEO can feel satisfied if in the end he truly feels than it was him and the company choosing the investors and not vice versa. Of course you need two to dance, but I really mean that the company should be the boy who is asking the lady on the dance floor first.

Boy (company) has to know what he looking for, because the girl (investor) already knows her terms and conditions. VC´s and investors are very different in their nature, and each one of them have their own game book. You should understand very well under which rules you will play and what is your section and role on the field and in their manual.  During the investment round CEO should spend enough time to understand his future coming counter parts and get familiar with their way of doing business and values as a company and as individuals.

Track record is one the most important thing company should analyze and look for. The most successful investors whether they are VC´s or private investors can provide the strategic support for the CEO and his company case after case, good exit after good exit. Investors with continuous success have the network and skill sets to help.

The most suitable investor candidates are not necessarily from your neighborhood. Be brave enough and aim high. Last year I met over 100 investors from three continents. After a 12 months process I found my self on Friday signing a new share holder´s agreement with investors we wanted. Fellows and partners, that have the track record and have the game book we like. If felt very very nice.