The Singapore Tourism Accelerator (STA) is a highly-selective, equity-free 6-month program for the world’s most promising travel and tourism startups and scaleups. STB will work with the accelerator's appointed partner Found8 to select startups to participate in the program.
Through an intensive process of product development, customer discovery, and expert feedback, selected startups will gain unparalleled access to market via some of Asia’s most important industry players.
Twelve startups will be selected for the three month acceleration period, at which point the top 10 will be invited to pilot with key corporate partners for an additional three months. The startups that move on to the next stage will receive funding support of up to 70% of qualifying costs, up to SGD25,000 per company to testbed their solutions.
Startups will receive ~USD9000 (SGD12,000) stipend for the 6-month duration of 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 startups 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, Hospitality robotics / automation, multi-platform UI/UX, VR/AR applications, etc.
Both startups and scaleups are encouraged to apply. The first three months will focus on developing product-market fit - either for a new solution, or for an innovative solution with existing market validation to scale within Singapore. All startups 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 interview remotely with the selection committee. Teams who apply and register to attend a roadshow event may be invited to pitch in front of a panel of industry experts and be fast-tracked through the process.
Interested in pitching at a roadshow event? Sign up by completing the optional roadshow section in your application. All startups invited to pitch will have the chance to be fast-tracked through the selection process and receive feedback from industry expert judges.
You must submit an application at least 3 days in advance of a roadshow stop in order to be invited to pitch at that event. Startups will be notified at least 24 hours in advance whether they have been selected to pitch.
Please note that all travel expenses to attend the roadshows 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:
1. Why Singapore?
Singapore is the world’s most competitive economy, and ranked as Southeast Asia’s most tourist-friendly country, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). With 18.5M annual visitors and nearly 27B in annual spend, it is a hotbed for tourists and startups alike. It holds #1 positions globally for the world’s best airport, best airline, best travel & tourism infrastructure, easiest country to do business in, safest country for families with kids, etc. It is also the gateway to Southeast Asia and the wider Asian region, which is second only to your Europe in travel & tourism market size and expected to double in the next decade.. From the startup founder’s perspective, Singapore has the most venture capital funding outside of China in Asia, and has produced 8 Unicorns in the past 6 years. A startup hotspot, it also attracted the HQs of companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Stripe, Sequoia, etc.. and is an ideal place for tourism and traveltech pilots and innovation.
2. Do I have to move to Singapore for 6 months as a selected participant? Who should the team consist of?
Yes, if you were selected out of hundreds of applicants, you will be required to relocate to Singapore for 6 months. We will be applying for an Entrepreneurs' visa (Entrepass) for you, while connecting you to co-living, co-working and co-wellness options for an exciting adventure in Singapore!
The team should consist of a minimum of 2 and maximum of 4 members - one of which has to be a co-founder or key decision maker.
3. Is there a culling phase after 3 months of the accelerator program?
Yes, we will be admitting 12 teams for the 3 months accelerator program and selecting 10 teams to enter into the next 3 months of piloting with corporations and other industry partners. Keeping a high level of quality of the cohort is of utmost importance.
4. Do I give up equity?
No, the SGD12,000 allowance is for the support of the relocation of overseas startups during the 6 month programme, and will not be exchanged for equity. Startups who successfully raise with VCs or other investors in Singapore must establish terms separately from participation in the Singapore Tourism Accelerator program.
5. Will I be able to continue building my company from Singapore?
Yes, although the 6 months program is a full-time commitment program, the modules, workshops, mentoring sessions and events are scheduled and spread out so that teams can continue building their companies from Singapore, while benefiting from growth in the accelerator and pilot phase.
6. What are the potential funding opportunities of the program?
Grants, venture capital, venture debt from local investors and funders are all opportunities that will be made available to the cohort.
7. Are travel expenses to the physical roadshows sponsored?
Please note that all travel expenses to attend the physical roadshows are the responsibility of the applicant.
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.