Startup SG Founder co-investment grant

TRIVE  is an appointed Accredited Mentor Partner (AMP) of StartupSG to administrate and promote the Startup SG Founder Grant of S$30k.

From 24 April 2018, TRIVE has announced that it will administrate the grant free-of-charge, without any requirement of sweat equity or payment. 

A quote from Christopher Quek, our managing partner,

We championed the pay-it-forward cause in the Singapore ecosystem in a previous incubator, where we aided 38 Singapore startups to achieve US$5.6m in government grants and seed funding. Via the Startup SG Founder Grant, we hope to re-kindle the pay-it-forward spirit and continue our efforts to continue building a vibrant startup ecosystem.”

The Startup SG Founder Grant offers a grant of S$30k for a co-investment of S$10k to first-time Singaporean founders.

Despite the free administration of the grant, hopeful applicants are still required to go through vigorous vetting and ensuring startups fall within the Smart Nation initiatives and regional expansion.


Criteria

Eligible for the SGStartup founder grant scheme under SPRING. Find out more here
1. First-time entrepreneur must be Singaporean/PR, owning a minimum 30% equity.
2. Total Singapore ownership more than 51%.
3. Company incorporated date must not exceed 6 months from date of submission.
4. Startup must be tech-based under Smart Nation criteria, venture-investible and able to scale overseas.
5. Team must have a CTO capable of executing the development of tech IP.
 

*Direct first-time entrepreneur Singapore applicant must apply for the company. Middleman / Brokers will not be entertained.
**The grant is a privilege and we are accountable to taxpayers. We take a very serious view of any abuse of this grant and will report any infringement.  


Q&A

1.  How is the process for this grant like?

You will need to submit your pitch deck to us (in powerpoint or PDF) via "Apply Now", with important details like the team, pain point, market size, tech solution. We will review and fix an appointment if you meet the criteria. 

If we are confident your business model, we will provide you the necessary documents to fill in and submit to Enterprise Singapore on your behalf. It usually takes 1 week to process and approve.

Once the approval is made, it takes about 30 days to disperse 50% of the grant to you after submission of documents. The following 50% is dispersed after the first milestone.

2.  Can I submit a grant for a traditional business like a cafe idea or food product? Do social enterprises count for the grant?

Traditional businesses are not eligible for the grant. Only technology-based startups that use fintech, AI, blockchain, deep engineering or science will be accepted. For social enterprises, we will review the feasibility of the business and whether it is commercially-viable. More importantly, the business must be tech-based and not traditional in nature.

3. Can I apply without a tech co-founder?

Our experience shows that startups usually encounter severe issues when they lack a committed tech co-founder. We will not process any startup that lacks a tech co-founder.

4. My first-time entrepreneur is a foreigner which will own 30%, but Singaporeans will own the remainder. Can we still apply?

No. The applicant has to be a Singaporean and not have been previously a director of any ACRA-registered company to qualify as a first-time entrepreneur.

5. Does the first-time entrepreneur need to be the CEO?

No. We recognise that at times, serial entrepreneurs are more qualified to take the CEO role and the first-time entrepreneur learns from the experience.

6. Will you be supplying us a mentor?

We will encourage you to find your own mentor. Should you need one, you may visit our 70+ mentors on NEXT50.sg. Please note that you have to convince the mentor on your own to support your case. If you have your own mentor, we will review and assess if the mentor is sufficiently qualified to support your case.

7. I have prior angel investments, can I still apply?

Yes, we have no issues if you have prior angel investments, as long as they do not exceed 10% of your equity pool. If there are SAFE-like instruments, the valuation cap should not be a situation where it will exceed 10% when converted.

8. I have no angel investors and I want to put in the monies on my own, is this allowed?

Yes, we have no issues if you choose to put the S$10k co-investment on your own. 

9. What can I use the grant monies for? How much can I pay myself and my founders?

There is no particular restriction on usage, but we encourage the monies to be used to develop your MVP, or marketing to obtain beta traction. We highly discourage excessive use of the funds to pay salaries of founders.

10. Will TRIVE help us further in follow-on funding? Will we get access to TRIVE's connections and resources?

TRIVE will only assist startups which we feel has potential to invest under our mandate. Startups which receive the grant are encouraged to seek out other investors in the ecosystem to support their next stage of growth.