The Singapore Tourism Accelerator (STA) is a highly-selective, equity-free 6-month programme 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.
We are looking for the very best in innovation and are particularly interested in companies that are developing solutions to future-proof the travel and tourism industry and help tourism companies thrive amidst the challenges brought about by COVID-19. 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 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 three-month intensive accelerator programme identifying a potential pilot project and scope, followed by three months of pilot implementation with selected industry partners for the top 10 companies. The accelerator entails an intensive programme 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, networking sessions with founders and investors, and industry events. The 6-month programme 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 companies will receive a monthly stipend of SGD2,000 per company for the duration of their physical participation* in the programme, as well as assistance with temporary relocation (co-living and entrepreneurs' visa) to Singapore.
*As soon as the travel restrictions lift and entrepreneurs are able to base themselves in Singapore, they will be able to collect the monthly stipend.
Travel and tourism are broad industries powered by a wide array of solutions. We are looking for promising startups and pre-scaleups that can drive one or more of the following objectives:
● Attract quality tourists to Singapore
● Future-proof travel and tourism businesses in Singapore amidst the challenges brought about by COVID-19
● Generate productivity gains and cost savings for tourism businesses
● Increase revenue for tourism businesses / visitors’ spending
● Deepen insights on visitors
● Create seamless and personalized visitor experiences for tourism businesses to improve their guests' experiences
Contactless solutions, social distancing and crowd management technology, sanitation and hygiene innovations, virtual MICE, data analytics, Natural Linguistic Programming – multi-language translation/chat bot, cognitive technologies – biometric recognition/wayfinding, cloud computing/business analytics, marketing tech 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 three months will focus on developing a 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 companies selected to advance to Phase Two of the programme will work closely with industry partners to design, launch, and measure the success of actual pilot projects.
Gain access to the guidance, feedback, and expertise your company needs to succeed at scale.
You must apply to be considered for the Singapore Tourism Accelerator. Top applicants will be invited to pitch and interview with the selection committee.
You must submit an application before the deadline - midnight (SGT - Singapore Standard Time) on 30 July 2020. All applications will then be reviewed by an expert panel of judges who will decide if your company will advance to the next stage, which will be a digital interview on one of the 4 dates: 13th, 14th, 17th or 18th August 2020. Companies will be notified at least 5 days in advance whether they have been selected to pitch.
To find out more about the Singapore Tourism Accelerator and meet alumni of the programme, please register to join one of the following information sessions:
- Americas - Wednesday 8th July 2020 - Eastern Standard Time - 6pm (register here)
- EMEA - Tuesday 14th July 2020 - Central European Time - 9am (register here)
- Asia - Monday 20th July 2020 - India Standard Time - 12pm (register here)
- East Asia - Wednesday 29th July - Singapore Standard Time - 6pm (register here)
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 companies 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.
- 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: Who were the companies in Cohort 1 that piloted with industry partners?
Bakuun.com Bakuun enables airlines to book up to 100 hotel rooms with one click, reducing waiting time of passengers and also saving money due to dynamic rates based on the passenger’s length of stay till the next flight, in the event of a flight delay or cancellation. The company also has a booking engine that allows direct booking on hotel’s own website from business and leisure customers for day-use of rooms (e.g. meeting rooms and hotel rooms).
Delight Labs provides an AI voice assistant solution. The company's goal is to build great tools for businesses and software developers, so they can scale their voice apps and chatbots to any platform they like. 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, Samsung Bixby, and Xiaomi’s Xiao Ai Tong Xue, as well as Telegram, Line, KakaoTalk, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger. They are working towards supporting Alibaba’s AliGenie and Baidu Xiaodu by Q2 2020.
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.
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.
Infinito’s IVI is a virtual revenue management assistant that helps to optimise hotel pricing to maximise revenues. The technology goes beyond standard algorithms to derive recommended hotel rates, to also incorporate hotel users’ actions. IVI pro-actively alerts the user and focuses their attention when “something” requires their attention, and tells the user when (hour of the day), where (the channel) and what they can do to optimise their performance (pricing experiment, promo, website traffic, meta search bidding).
Through AI, it can learn from hotels users’ decision making process and correct sub-optimal behaviour, and overtime allow it to execute on the hotel’s behalf and implement pricing decisions and promotions.
(formerly known as Good for Food)
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.
Plattar Plattar is a cloud-based platform that allows brands, publishers and agencies to create, manage and distribute Augmented Reality content. The platform comprises a template-driven app builder and content management system for managing AR experiences and can deploy content to any device. The company aims to make AR accessible to all organisations, without the need for traditional large upfront development fees and hidden costs once the experience has been built.
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.
FAQ: Who are the companies in Cohort 2 that have secured pilots with industry partners so far?
Aeronology Aeonology is a travel technology business that provides the global travel industry with an API & NDC hub connecting airlines, travel agents (retail & corporate), hotels, airports, car hire, tour wholesalers etc using one common platform to transact anywhere in the world. The platform resides on Amazon Web Services. Aeronology is a member of IATA, it has content contracts with Sabre, Travelport, Amadeus and TravelSky and access to NDC feeds and global travel suppliers APIs. Aeronology aims to provide world class, low cost travel business applications to ensure the improved productivity, effectiveness, profitability and relevancy in the travel market.
Appboxo Appboxo is a super app platform that allows companies to discover and integrate full-screen native-like miniapps and monetise the userbase of their apps. Using only one Appboxo SDK any app can become a super app and start offering multiple services in a matter of minutes. On the other side, service providers can build embeddable miniapps and unlock new partnerships to drive affiliate traffic to their miniapps.
SmartGuide SmartGuide is a guiding app with almost 400 destinations in 6 languages, and turns every phone into a personal travel guide. Its platform makes it easy for tourist destinations and storytellers to digitise tour guides, and guide travelers using audio, geolocation and augmented reality like a live guide.
StaffAny StaffAny is a software-as-a-service startup that helps business owners reduce work dedicated to scheduling and time-tracking, as well as reduce the cost of operations by minimising time theft and overtime spend. The solution provides multi-location support that enables the sharing of manpower, is designed for operations and specifically for hourly and field workers as well as the gig economy, and allows for quick deployment for tourism businesses. Through the solution, StaffAny aims to reduce 3% of the labour cost in manpower-intensive businesses.
Travl Join Travl Join is a web-based data-as-a-service platform that aggregates real-time traveller data and trends from across the web and allows travel companies to contact qualified travellers directly. Travel companies can search for traveller information using keywords and location, in an easy-to-use interface. The solution provides information on traveller's demographics, desires, interests and location, aggregated from publicly-available traveller conversations from sources including social media, and soon, travel forums, Q&A sites etc. This would allow companies to know, acquire, and convert travellers into customers by delivering personalised offers directly on their social media profile.
Vouch 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.
Wheel The World Wheel the World is an online marketplace for accessible travel. It transforms existing travel products into accessible products through training and certification, and offers integrated experiences combining activities, accommodation, and transportation.
FAQ: What are the benefits of the Singapore Tourism Accelerator programme?
- Access to an exclusive 3-month accelerator programme, co-working 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 3-month pilot implementation 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 for the duration of physical participation in the programme.
- 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. We do provide a SGD2,000 allowance per month per company 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 programme.
What are the requirements of the programme?
As part of the application process, the STA will require you to be available for a video interview on the specified dates.
The STA is a residential accelerator programme that requires two participants from each company to relocate to Singapore for the duration of the programme.
FAQ: What if I cannot physically be there for part or all of the programme due to COVID-related travel restrictions?
You will be required to participate in the programme digitally until physical presence is possible. Please note that companies will not receive living stipends if they have not relocated for the programme.
FAQ: Do I have to relocate to Singapore for the duration of the whole programme?
Yes, if you were selected out of over a hundred of applicants, you will be required to relocate to Singapore for 6 months as soon as you are able to do so within the current COVID-related restrictions. 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?
Found8 has 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 office means you are able to access all of the fantastic benefits on offer.
The STA is structured into two parts: A three-month accelerator programme and a three-month 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 three-month accelerator programme, and at least the pilot project lead to be physically present for the remaining three-month pilot implementation.
FAQ: Who attends the 6-month 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 attend the first three months of the programme.
In most cases, the tech or product team joins the pilot team physically from months 4-6 for pilot implementation with the industry partner.
FAQ: Can more than two people join the first three months of 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 complete the three-month accelerator programme automatically progress to the second stage of the programme: the pilot implementation?
Not necessarily. We will be admitting 12 companies for the three-month accelerator programme and selecting 10 companies to enter into the next three months of piloting with industry partners. Keeping a high level of quality of the cohort is of utmost importance.
For the first three-month accelerator programme, 100% physical attendance is required by both participating members in order to receive the full monthly stipend of SGD2,000 per company.
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?
The company will not qualify for the stipend portion.
FAQ: What if the company only participates digitally?
The company will not qualify for the stipend portion but will still be expected to attend 100% of the programme remotely in order to be considered for progression to Phase 2 of the programme.
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.