The Singapore Tourism Accelerator is a highly-selective, equity-free programme for the world’s most promising technology startups or scaleups that can power the travel and tourism industry. This programme is organised by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) as part of their Tcube initiative and is designed by its appointed corporate innovation partner, Dalberg (formerly known as Ravel Innovation), a global social impact advisory firm, and its recruitment partner The Next Web (TNW).
We are looking for scalable tech innovations to develop and adapt to future-proof the travel and tourism industry, and help tourism companies thrive amidst the opportunities and challenges of a post pandemic economy. Whether you already have some traction in the industry, or are looking to apply your solution to the industry for the first time, we want to hear from you.
The selected companies will gain unparalleled access to work with some of Asia’s and the world’s most important industry players. The Singapore Tourism Accelerator will support your efforts in building valuable partnerships with its main focus on scoping and implementing industry-startup pilots, showcasing results of your collaboration for further engagement opportunities and media exposure.
The programme will kick-off with induction workshops before an exclusive speed networking session, introducing a curated number of innovative solutions and tailored value propositions to Singapore’s tourism and travel industry across travel planning, transportation, accommodation to events and experiences. We will accompany you on your exploration and collaboration journey in Singapore and South East Asia and provide support throughout the pilot phase. The programme will end with a Demo Day showcase planned preliminarily for early 2024.
During pilot implementation, the companies will receive funding support of up to 70% of qualifying costs, up to SGD25,000 per company to testbed their solutions.
Eligible companies are strongly encouraged to relocate to Singapore for the pilot duration.
Who Should Apply
Travel and tourism are broad industries powered by a wide array of solutions. We are looking for promising startups and scaleups that can drive one or more of the following objectives:
Optimising manpower management including dynamic rostering and scheduling of staff, improving staff training and staff productivity, improving safety and efficiency of elderly employees
End-to-end understanding and management of tourism businesses’ sustainability data and performance
Reducing overcrowding and managing crowds efficiently particularly in peak periods, including understanding crowd movements and compositions in real-time, queue management and provision of real-time information to visitors
Accurate, hygienic and efficient waste segregation, tracking and measurement to drive waste reduction in tourism businesses
Improving customer service in a resource-efficient manner by enabling high-touch resolution of customer queries and needs
Optimising energy consumption while meeting guest/ visitor needs and within unused spaces
Streamlining data management processes or systems for business intelligence and decision-making
Deepening insights on visitors/ customers in real-time and on-site to improve customer experience and satisfaction
Creating more inclusive and accessible services/ experiences across the visitor journey to cater to customers with different needs
Generating productivity gains and cost savings for tourism businesses by implementing innovative automation and/or robotics solutions
Reduce resource wastage through efficient tracking and monitoring of asset movements and accurate inventory management
Increase revenue and relevance of tourism businesses through delivering personalised content, experiences and recommendations to guests/ visitors across the user journey
Enriching the visitor experience through increasing flexibility and customisation during the visit
Cloud computing/business analytics, marketing tech and CRM, HR and e-learning platforms, hospitality robotics/automation, multi-platform UI/UX, VR/AR applications, contactless solutions, social distancing and crowd management technology, sanitation and hygiene innovations, data analytics, IoT solutions, sustainability technology, wearable technology, Natural Linguistic Programming, cognitive technologies – biometric recognition/wayfinding, etc.
Both startups and scaleups are encouraged to apply, where companies with some customer traction and monthly recurring revenues are preferred. The programme focuses on piloting a tech solution in collaboration with one of Singapore’s highly regarded tourism and hospitality players. Specifically, we are expecting the collaboration to feature the customization of the solution to the partners’ needs may it be to a new use case, a new market or a new feature for an existing use case.
Pilot with Industry Leaders
Selected companies for the programme will work closely with industry partners to design, launch, and measure the success of actual pilot projects.
To date, the Singapore Tourism Accelerator has supported almost 60 pilot projects with Industry Partners across the Hotels, Attractions, Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Retail and Aviation verticals.
Build Relationships with Expert Advisors
Gain access to the guidance, feedback, and expertise your company needs to succeed at scale.
How to Apply
You must apply to be considered for the Singapore Tourism Accelerator. Top applicants will be invited to an exclusive networking session with leading industry partners preliminarily planned for the week of 3 July 2023, to explore potential collaboration opportunities including through pilots. . Registration for Cohort 7 will close on Monday 5 June 2023 at 9am SGT.
As part of Dalberg’s community, you can leverage these partners and more.
Some successful past industry partner-startup pilots in our past 6 cohorts include:
Lumitics (Cohort 1)
Lumitics (formerly known as 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.
Lumitics piloted their AI-enabled food waste tracker with Millennium Hotels.
Vouch (Cohort 2)
Vouch provides an app-less guest experience platform comprising of a chatbot coupled with various mini-apps that provide an intuitive interface for each service. The solution helps to elevate guest experience, improve productivity by allowing guests to self-service instead of calling, and increase guest spend on ancillary services. Vouch is beginning to expand into the e-housekeeping space by creating a more intuitive chat-focused interface for hotel staff that incorporates just-in-time training to solve the problem of current e-housekeeping systems being too cumbersome to use.
Vouch piloted their e-housekeeping solution with Capri Changi, Frasers Hospitality.
TravStack (Cohort 3)
TravStack is a Full Stack product suite that aims to transform Travel Agents into Ubercool Trip Designers. Some of their Technology offerings include Calendar and Map-based Itinerary builder, Travel CRM with Payments & Bookings and Content Tools with Integration from Wikipedia, Google Maps & Photos, Flickr, Hotels & Flight Search etc. Their Tools help Travel professionals improve their turnaround time, establish a digital portfolio and monetise their expertise.
TravStack piloted their itinerary builder to improve customer query response time with Chan Brothers.
Rapidious fka NextOrbit (Cohort 4)
Rapidious (then NextOrbit)’s AI-driven SaaS forecasting and pricing improves sales for retailers and brand by typically 5%. This is accomplished by better pricing, demand forecasting and pricing solutions.
Rapidious (then NextOrbit) piloted their price optimization solution on Changi Travel Services' e-commerce site.
Our Industry Partners
We would like to thank our valued industry partners for their support and involvement in our programme.
FAQ: 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.
- Startups (ideally closer to pre-ScaleUp stage)/ ScaleUps: Companies that have existing customers, a proven product or service, or have raised at least a seed round that are ready to scale.
- Business Model: B2B and B2B2C. We are looking for companies that will be able to pilot solutions directly with travel and tourism businesses.
- Ambition to expand to Southeast Asia/ Asia: Companies 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: Companies that want to adapt their product-market fit by launching a pilot with key industry leaders.
FAQ: Is Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning a requirement?
Most of our current companies have AI/ML capabilities. Although that is preferred, it is not a strict requirement.
FAQ: What are the benefits of the Singapore Tourism Accelerator programme?
- Access to an exclusive pilot support programme, co-working office and meeting space across the whole programme, and individual expert mentorship for each company.
- Unrivalled access to some of the leading organisations in Singapore’s tourism sector and the opportunity to conduct a 3-4 months pilot implementation with them, along with funding support of up to 70% of qualifying costs, up to SGD25,000.
- Overseas companies are encouraged to be physically present in Singapore during the pilot duration of the programme. Guided assistance for relocation matters can be provided upon request.
- A regional network of 1000+ individuals in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- Investment connections and opportunities for venture capital/venture debt from local investors and funders 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. Startups who successfully raise with VCs or other investors in Singapore must establish terms separately from participation in the Singapore Tourism Accelerator programme.
What are the requirements of the programme?
- As part of the application process, the STA programme will require you to be available for key marquee events and strive to conduct a pilot with one or more industry partners prior to the programme ending in early 2024.
- The STA strongly recommends participants to relocate to Singapore for the duration of the pilot to ensure building a smooth and trustworthy relationship with your partner and is providing a co-working space to support your efforts.
- Participants are expected to be present in Singapore for the final Demo Day showcase and to come to Singapore prior to Demo Day for preparations (exact dates/times to be confirmed later). At the very minimum, the participants have to come to Singapore for up to 3 weeks leading up to Demo Day in early 2024.
FAQ: What if I cannot physically be there for part or all of the programme due to exceptional circumstances and/ or prevailing travel restrictions?
You will be required to participate in the programme digitally until physical presence is possible. At the very least participants have to come to Singapore for up to 3 weeks leading up to Demo Day in early 2024.
FAQ: Do I have to relocate to Singapore for the duration of the whole programme?
It is highly recommended for you to relocate to Singapore for the duration of your pilot to ensure the best prerequisites for a long-term industry-startup partnership is given. We provide as much support as we can to help you relocate by assisting with 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 can provide recommendations for co-living and rental apartments if required.
FAQ: Do I have to work from the Singapore Tourism Accelerator Office?
Yes. We provide office and meeting spaces complete with complimentary Wifi as well as other helpful resources to all programme participants, and therefore strongly encourage you to be present in the space throughout the programme. Being present in the office means you are able to access all of the fantastic benefits offered.
- The programme's main focus is on the successful scoping and execution of an industry - startup pilot, a collaborative partnership agreed upon as a result of the Speed Networking session. The programme will follow Tcube’s Learn, Test and Build structure. To begin with, accepted teams will join for an Induction session (Learn) designed to facilitate the best introduction to the programme and best practices for pilot projects. They will then be encouraged to focus on partnering with one or more Industry Partners to scope their pilot projects with relevant interjections from the programme team and mentors (Test) and a final series of pitch preparation sessions before the final Demo Day to help programme participants and Industry Partners scale their learnings and prepare for long term collaborations (Build).
- Two participants from each company are recommended: one co-founder and one pilot project lead to attend the programme, and at least the pilot project lead to be physically present for the remaining 3-4 -months pilot implementation.
FAQ: Who attends the programme?
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 programme, 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 be present for the milestone events at the beginning and the end of the programme.
In most cases, the tech or product team joins the pilot team physically for most of the pilot implementation phase with the industry partner.
FAQ: Can more than two people join the programme?
Yes, we allow up to four people from each company to join the programme from start to end. However, the stipend and grant amounts allocated to each company remains the same.
FAQ: Do all companies that get accepted to define a pilot with their pre-confirmed industry partner automatically progress to the pilot implementation phase of the programme?
Not necessarily. After selection for the programme startups will prepare and present their company and their value propositions during an exclusive networking session with interested Industry Partners. Afterwards, Industry Partners and startups will continue their discussion with the intention to test-bed the solution in a pilot project within the Industry Partners’ organisation. Both partners will mutually agree to scope and implement a pilot to access the programme grant, ideally with measurable success metric results to be presented at Demo Day. If there is no alignment between the industry partner and the company in a meaningful pilot, your participation in the programme may be terminated.
FAQ: What if one participating 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 company attends less than 80% of the programme?
Their commitment to the programme will be reviewed by the programme team which may result in termination of the participation of the company.
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.
About Dalberg and its Innovation team
Dalberg’s Innovation team started off as Ravel Innovation, a pioneer in the startup ecosystem in Singapore and a chosen partner of Google for Startups. A credible innovation partner with a strong track record to help facilitate and run innovation challenges and accelerator programmes, it has a strong global network of the best startup ecosystem leaders and nodes to recruit, refer and source from as well as strong clients’ feedback in running corporate-startup pilots.
Ravel Innovation is now a part of Dalberg, a leading social impact advisory group. We are excited to enhance our innovation offering to you with a strong focus and expertise to building a more inclusive and sustainable world.
TNW is a global digital brand that informs, inspires, and connects people who love tech through media, events, and services. As a global ecosystem builder TNW supports corporates and governments to find innovative technology companies that can help them solve their challenges. In our open innovation programs we seek to understand a corporate’s current challenges, scout and connect with startups and scaleups to understand their technology, and connect the players for a pilot to test the technology in the field.