SINGAPORE, Aug. 28, 2018
Southeast Asian-focused early stage Venture Capital TRIVE(previously known as “TRi5 Ventures”), aims to support 250 new Singaporean startups in the next 30 months via its pro-bono pay-it-forward Community startup program.
It has already aided 12 startups to receive the S$30k Startup SG Founders Grant and currently processing another 20 since May 2018.
Its recent community event, Startup Journeys by TRIVE, at SGInnovate on Thursday, 23rd of August, saw more than 200 attendees and 2 fireside chats with startup founders and ecosystem players.
TRIVE’s Managing Partner, Christopher Quek, celebrated the pay-it-forward movement and achievements over the last 7 years developing Singaporean startups in the Singapore startup ecosystem. Since 2011, TRIVE and its NEXT50.sg mentors conducted over 1500 1-to-1 free advisory and mentorship sessions done, impacting 800 startup founders. It has also aided 38 startups to raise US$5.6m in angel funding in a previous incubation program.
But in spite of many achievements, there is much more to be done. Quek says, “Silicon Valley was built on its members giving back to the community. Building a pay-it-forward community is necessary to evolve Singapore’s startup ecosystem to the next stage, where the community drives its development. We believe a Singaporean tech entrepreneur will succeed when the startup community is backing him.”
According to a report by Kroll and Mergermarket, Singapore has been the second largest market after India for tech PE and VC activity in the region, accounting for 218 transactions and US$11.5b between 2015 and Q1 2018.
But participation in receiving VC funding among Singaporean-born founders remains weak in comparison to foreign-born entrepreneur based in Singapore, observed by TRIVE’s team. This issue arises due to the lack of pay-it-forward support for Singaporean founders.
Quek continues, “To see this vision fulfilled in Singapore, TRIVE is committed to building a more robust startup ecosystem and will do more pay-it-forward activities. Under the community initiative, young Singaporean founders can gain even more access to pay-it-forward entrepreneurial support.”
Singaporean tech startups are already able to seek a S$30k Startup SG Founder grant via TRIVE without any payment or sweat equity in its rolling program. To enhance further support, these Singaporean tech startups will also be able to tap on new pay-it-forward activities:
- Accessing TRIVE’s exclusive network of free business partner benefits worth S$50k;
- Connecting with up over 70 NEXT50 mentors based in Singapore and overseas for pro-bono mentorship and connections;
- Attending startup masterclasses taught by TRIVE’s partners;
- Access the follow-on funding network of angel investors and seed VCs.
TRIVE is also working together with fellow ecosystem players like accelerators to compliment resources to their cohorts.
The event was also organised to enrich aspiring entrepreneurs with valuable insights from within Singapore’s startup ecosystem. The event brought together Singaporean industry experts and startup founders and engaged the audience in an enriching dialogue, sharing their perspective about entrepreneurship in Singapore.
“It’s all about execution. We need a resilient team who can survive the toughest of times and execute, which is far more important than the idea itself,” shares Max Sim from SME Centre.
The experienced founders and corporate stakeholders brought deep insights to the table, and encouraged young founders in Singapore to continue pursuing their entrepreneurship dreams, despite the challenges ahead.
Jerry Chen, founder of Express in Music, discussed the importance of Singaporean founders having a global mindset and to explore beyond the shores of Singapore. “Singapore is a small market, so we need to go out there to establish ourselves. However, Singaporeans are lucky to have support through events like Startup Journeys and funding from the government.“
TRIVE (previously known as TRi5 Ventures), is an early stage Southeast Asia (SEA) focused Venture Capital firm based in Singapore. TRIVE invests in technology startups from the seed to series A rounds of funding, with main focus on deep technologies, blockchain and programming schools. The team has over 7 years of VC, mentoring and advisory experience, and 20 years in entrepreneurship.
TRIVE has a pro-bono pay-it-forward Community program, which has provided more than 1500 one-on-one advisory sessions, advising more than 800 startup founders and supporting 40+ startups in various domains including Deep Technologies, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Marketplaces and FinTech.