The Singapore Tourism Accelerator (STA) is a highly-selective, equity-free 6-month program for the world’s most promising technology startups or pre-scaleups that can power the travel and tourism industry. The STA is organised by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and its appointed corporate innovation partner, Found8.
The 12 selected companies will gain unparalleled access to work with some of Asia’s and the world’s most important industry players. They will undergo a two-month intensive accelerator program identifying a potential pilot project and scope, followed by 4 months of pilot implementation with selected industry partners for the top 10 companies. The accelerator entails an intensive program to learn critical market entry skills, pilot design and implementation skills, building a company and culture that scales and fundraising strategies via workshops, 1:1 mentoring, peer learning, expert feedback, intimate lunches with founders and investors, and industry events. The 6 months will end with a Demo Day with industry partners and investors.
During pilot implementation the top 10 companies will receive funding support of up to 70% of qualifying costs, up to SGD25,000 per company to testbed their solutions.
All teams will receive a monthly stipend of SGD2,000 respectively for the duration of their participation in the program, as well as assistance with temporary relocation (co-living and entrepreneurs' visa) to Singapore.
Travel and tourism are broad industries powered by a wide array of solutions. We’re looking for promising startups and pre-scaleups that can drive one or more of the following objectives:
● Attract quality tourists to Singapore
● Create seamless and personalized visitor experiences from pre- to post-trip
● Generate productivity gains and cost savings for tourism businesses
● Increase revenue for tourism businesses / visitors’ spending
● Deepen insights on visitors
Data Analytics, Natural Linguistic Programming – multi-language translation / chat bot, Cognitive Technologies – Biometric recognition / way finding, Cloud computing / business analytics, MarketingTech and CRM, Hospitality robotics / automation, multi-platform UI/UX, VR/AR applications, etc.
Both startups and scaleups are encouraged to apply, though those companies with some customer traction and monthly recurring revenues are preferred. The first two months will focus on developing product-market fit - either for a new solution, or for an innovative solution with existing market validation to be tailored and scaled within Singapore. All companies must have a minimum-viable product (MVP) to be eligible to apply.
The top 10 teams selected to advance to Phase Two of the program will work closely with corporate partners to design, launch, and measure the success of solutions..
Gain access to the guidance, feedback, and expertise your team needs to succeed at scale.
You must apply to be considered for the Singapore Tourism Accelerator. Top applicants will be invited to pitch in person or interview remotely with the selection committee.
You must submit an application before the deadline - midnight (SGT -Singapore Standard Time) on the 20th January 2020. All applications will then be reviewed by an expert panel of judges who will decide if your team will advance to the next stage, which will be an interview in one of 7 locations: Bangkok, Jakarta, Sydney, Bangalore, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore. Teams will be notified at least 5 working days in advance whether they have been selected to pitch.
Please note that all travel expenses to attend the in-country interviews are the responsibility of the applicant.
As a participant to the programme, you will be part of Found8's community and be entitled to the following perks and benefits:
Who is the ideal STA participant profile?
Your team can relate to one or more of the below:
Technology Company: Companies that have technology/ innovation that can power the tourism and hospitality industry.
FAQ: Is Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning a requirement?
Most of our current teams have AI/ML capabilities. Although that is preferred, it is not a strict requirement.
Pre-ScaleUps: Companies that have existing customers, a proven product or service, or have raised at least a seed round that are ready to scale.
- Ambition to expand to Southeast Asia/ Asia: Teams that want to expand into a new market (Singapore/Southeast Asia/Asia) and want to be part of Southeast Asia’s growth story
Hospitality/ Tourism Industry: Companies that want to newly scale or continue to expand into the tourism and hospitality sector
Pilot projects with key industry leaders: Teams that want to adapt their product-market fit by launching a pilot with key industry leaders.
FAQ: Who were the teams in Cohort 1?
Repup Xperium CRM and Guest Engagement Suite by RepUp leverages AI to deliver powerful analytics and automation that drive revenue, increase guest satisfaction and streamline operations for hospitality businesses. The platform powers end to end guest engagement at each stage of the guest lifecycle, and customer insights to help personalise stay and upsell.
Delight Labs Delight Labs provides an AI voice assistant solution. The company empowers businesses to create content and services on top of all major AI assistants, to provide users with information and services on-demand that is multilingual and simultaneous across all major voice and messaging platforms. Their solution supports Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Tencent Xiaowei, and Xiaomi’s Xiao Ai Tong Xue, as well as Telegram, Line, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger. They are working towards supporting Alibaba’s AliGenie, Baidu Xiaodu and Samsung Bixby as well as Whatsapp and KakaoTalk by Q4 2019.
Infinito Tech Infinito Tech gave life to IVI – a virtual revenue management assistant. IVI optimizes the users conscious and subconscious decision making until IVI becomes the digital extension of the user themselves. IVI pro-actively alerts the user and focuses their attention when “something” requires their attention and more importantly tells the user when (hour of the day), where (the channel) and what they can do to optimize their performance (pricing experiment, promo, website traffic, meta search bidding).
Bakuun.com Bakuun is an online platform able to transform the hotels' inventories and share new technology creating benefits for airlines, airports and hotels as well.
Airlines can save money in hotel booking in the event of flights delayed or cancelled, using dynamic hourly rates based on their passengers’ length of stay until their next flight. These dynamic rates are also offered to the airports allowing them to increase sales and services via their own websites.
The company also offers a booking engine service that allows direct booking of day-use and meeting rooms for business and leisure customers on hotel’s own website.
Plattar Plattar transforms the way customers engage with tourism brands and providers, enabling them to become part of the story. An immersive storytelling platform for the web, enables Govt RTO’s, Tourism Boards and Tourism Providers to create, manage and deploy immersive 3D & AR stories both on-site and into someone's home.
Plattar makes these experiences available across all touchpoints from your own website and branded AR app to smart glasses. This makes 3D & AR content accessible to all organisations, without the need for traditional large upfront development fees and the flexibility to edit and change your content in the cloud-based editor as your attraction evolves.
FirstHive FirstHive is an intelligent customer data and analytics platform. The company works with enterprises in managing their customer interaction data across various interfaces including digital and offline sources, and uses its machine learning algorithms to build unified customer identities. It enables ingestion of data from unstructured data sources and makes predictive recommendations (e.g. for brand's choice of audience, channel, message, and time) to drive optimal marketing ROI.
Good for Food Good for Food provides a smart dustbin solution that uses sensors and image recognition technology to seamlessly measure, track and identify all food waste thrown away in a kitchen, so as to empower restaurants and kitchens to reduce food waste and improve bottom lines.
EATLAB EATLAB is a deep tech company providing data analytic services for restaurants to monitor and optimize their menu, quality of services, while setting attractive price and promotion. EATLAB understands customer buying decisions with its proprietary Artificial Intelligence and smart sensor technology.
Unlike other analytic services, based on large volume of behavioural data, EATLAB delivers suggestions that yield substantial increase in revenue, cash flow and customer retention rate in its clients’ restaurants.
FAQ: What are the benefits of the Programme?
- Access to an exclusive 60 day accelerator programme, office and meeting space and individual mentorship for each company
- Unrivalled access to some of the leading organisations in Singapore’s tourism sector and the opportunity to conduct a pilot programme with them, and receive funding support of up to 70% of qualifying costs, up to SGD25,000
- Guided assistance for relocation matters and monthly stipend to support with living costs tied to program requirements.
- A regional network of 1000+ individuals in the entrepreneurial ecosystem
- Investment connections, and opportunities for grants, venture capital, venture debt from local investors and funders are all opportunities that will be made available to the cohort through meetings, events and activities such as demo days
FAQ: That sounds great, but how much equity do I have to give?
None, we do not take equity in your business. We do provide a SGD12,000 allowance which is for the support of the relocation of overseas startups during the 6 month programme, this will not be exchanged for equity, but it is tied to your attendance and commitment to the accelerator. Startups who successfully raise with VCs or other investors in Singapore must establish terms separately from participation in the Singapore Tourism Accelerator program.
What are the requirements of the program?
As a part of the application process, the STA will require you to either attend an interview on one of physical pitches session, or be available for a video interview if this is not possible.
FAQ: Are travel expenses to the physical pitches sponsored?
Please note that all travel expenses to attend the physical pitches are the responsibility of the applicant.
The STA is a residential accelerator program that requires two participants from each team to relocate to Singapore for the duration of the program.
FAQ: Do I have to relocate to Singapore for the duration of the whole programme?
Yes, if you were selected out of hundreds of applicants, you will be required to relocate to Singapore for 6 months. We provide as much support as we can to help you relocate by completing the necessary legal paperwork as well as making suggestions to assist you in your move.
FAQ: What will be my legal status during my stay in Singapore?
We will guide and endorse your application for the Entrepreneurs VISA for overseas founders. This VISA is valid for one year.
FAQ: Where will I stay in Singapore?
We have several co-living partners and rental apps to recommend.
FAQ: Do I have to work from the Singapore Tourism Accelerator Office?
Yes. We provide office and meeting space complete with complimentary Wifi and other helpful resources to all programme participants, we therefore strongly encourage you to be present in the space throughout the programme. Being present in the offices means you are able to access all of the fantastic benefits on offer.
The STA is structured into two parts: A two month Accelerator and four months ‘Pilot Implementation’ with an industry partner. Companies are required to participate for the entire six months.
Two participants from each company are required: one co-founder and one pilot project lead to attend the first 2 months Accelerator, and at least the pilot project lead to be physically present for the remaining 4 months ‘Pilot Implementation’.
FAQ: Who attends the 6 month program?
If the pilot project lead is also the co-founder and/or the team is headed by a sole founder, the attendance of this one person may be allowed throughout the entire program, on a case by case basis. However, if the pilot project lead is not a co-founder, then both the co-founder and the pilot project lead must attend the first 2 months of the program.
In most cases, the tech or product team joins the pilot team physically from months 3-6 ‘Pilot Implementation’ with the industry partner.
FAQ: Can more than 2 people join the first 2 months of the program?
Yes, we allow up to 4 people from each team to join the program from start to end. However, the stipend and grant amounts allocated to each team does not change per team.
FAQ: Do all teams who complete the 2 month accelerator automatically progress to the second stage of the programme: the pilot implementation?
Not necessarily. We will be admitting 12 companies for the 2 months accelerator program and selecting 10 companies to enter into the next 4 months of piloting with corporations and other industry partners. Keeping a high level of quality of the cohort is of utmost importance.
For the first 2 month Accelerator, 100% attendance is required by both team members in order to unlock the stipend of SGD4,000 per company.
FAQ: What if one team member has to fly back for an emergency issue?
Emergency leave can be obtained on a case by case approval basis.
FAQ: What if the team attends less than 80% of the program?
The team will not qualify for the stipend portion.
About the Singapore Tourism Board
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is the lead development agency for tourism, one of Singapore’s key economic sectors. Together with industry partners and the community, we shape a dynamic Singapore tourism landscape. We bring the Passion Made Possible brand to life by differentiating Singapore as a vibrant destination that inspires people to share and deepen their passions.
Found8 builds, designs and runs an ever growing ecosystem of spaces, communities and corporate innovation programs. It offers 6 innovation campuses with over 1,000+ members across Singapore and Malaysia; has helped 90+ corporations in their innovation journeys and houses 2 in-house VC funds that invest in early-stage tech companies. Its members have raised over $0.5B and forms one of the most dynamic innovation communities in Asia. Found8 is also Google for Startup's first partner in Southeast Asia.