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Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at SLINGSHOT 2020

Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at SLINGSHOT 2020

1. A very good day to our finalists, partners, and audience members joining us from all around the world.

a. It is my pleasure to join you this evening at the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology, for the SLINGSHOT Virtual Finals.

2. Over the last two days, our eminent panel of judges has been busy evaluating the pitches made by our top 100 startups, to determine the 10 moving on to the final round for a shot at the $200,000 grand prize tomorrow.

a. I am sure all of you are eagerly awaiting the announcement of the results.

b. With the quality of ideas and submissions put forward by our participants, it must not have been easy for our judges to decide.

Startups are an Important Pillar In Singapore’s Economic Strategy, And Singapore Has Built A Vibrant Ecosystem Conducive For Startups

3. Besides being a competition, SLINGSHOT is a celebration and showcase of startups and their potential.

a. In our rapidly evolving world, opportunities abound for businesses to address emerging issues with their innovative solutions.

b. For example, we introduced a special Covid-19 competition track at SLINGSHOT this year, in recognition of the potential that startups have to address global market challenges in this new world shaped by the pandemic.

c. Over these two days, we have also launched new innovation challenges on Singapore’s Open Innovation Network, focusing on key issues such as sustainability, food waste, built environment and the opportunities in a growing Southeast Asia.

4. Startups are an important part of Singapore’s economic strategy. We will ensure we can support a new generation of enterprises and entrepreneurs to scale from Singapore and seize opportunities in the region and beyond.

5. We have devoted significant efforts to growing our startup and innovation ecosystem over the years. Singapore has become a leading global hub building on our strengths in areas such as IP, talent, and our networks.

a. Our business-friendly regulations and IP regime make Singapore an attractive location for all companies engaging in innovation, regardless of their size or maturity.

i. Last year, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report ranked Singapore second globally and top in Asia.

b. Firms in Singapore can leverage on a diverse and skilled talent pool, which is central to creativity and innovation.

i. There is extensive experience in our public research institutions, as well as the many leading tech companies that call Singapore home.

ii. We also continue to welcome top talent and firms from all around the world to join our ranks, most recently exemplified by the Tech.Pass programme introduced last month.

c. We continue to strengthen our networks to reinforce our positioning as a global innovation hub.

i. Internationally, we have expanded our Global Innovation Alliance to 15 cities, strengthening the collaboration and market opportunities available to startups in Singapore.

ii. Locally, the many MNCs and large corporates here also offer opportunities for startups to collaborate with them to solve complex, real-world problems, and secure key reference customers.

6. Of course, this vibrant ecosystem is by no means the result of the work of the public sector alone. It would not have been possible without the efforts of our industry partners who nurture, mentor, and invest in our startups.

a. With over 220 venture capitalists and around 190 accelerators in Singapore, it is your efforts that make Singapore a vibrant ecosystem for startups to flourish.

b. We sincerely appreciate your efforts and look forward to closer partnerships and cooperation with all of you in the years to come.

c. A special shoutout as well to the hundreds of you who have taken the time to support SLINGSHOT as mentors and judges this year, as none of this would have been possible without your contributions.

7. To our Top 100 finalists – Three weeks ago, I spoke to you at the opening of Gear Up, which marked the start of the last leg of your journey to these finals.

a. Once again, my sincere congratulations on making it this far, and on the hard work in preparing for the finals.

b. I hope you have found the programmes over the last few weeks to be beneficial for your preparations.

8. Regardless of the results today, I encourage you to choose Singapore as a base to develop and grow your businesses further.
a. You would have had a glimpse of the support, networks, and opportunities that Singapore has to offer to startups.

b. We believe we have the right ingredients to be the platform from which you can develop your solutions further, showcase them to the world, and seize the opportunities of the future.

c. Let us walk this journey together as we fulfil our dreams and ambitions.

Singapore Has Strengthened Support for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Though Startup SG Founder, To Encourage More to Step Up

9. Last but not least, to the rest of our audience, I hope that SLINGSHOT has inspired some of you to take steps towards starting your own entrepreneurship journey.

10. To better support aspiring entrepreneurs, Enterprise Singapore set aside S$150m to enhance the Startup SG Founder programme in August this year.

a. This also introduced a three-month Venture Building programme to help participants build and scale their businesses.

b. Since its launch, our 5 programme partners have seen strong interest from over 500 aspiring founders.

c. Today, I am pleased to share that we have 3 more programme partners coming onboard – Antler, Enterpreneur First, and 500 Startups.

d. They will start their first cohorts next month, and help us to better cater to the interest and ambitions of interested participants.

11. I encourage the aspiring entrepreneurs amongst us to consider participating in the programme.

a. After all, the most important ingredient is having founders with the gumption and ambition to make the most of the conditions and opportunities.

b. We are committed to supporting you in your journey, and hope to see some of you at future editions of SWITCH and SLINGSHOT.


12. Once again, thank you all for joining us in celebrating startups at SLINGSHOT this year, and I look forward to the announcement of the results.

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