Nov 05, 2013

    Next SV? Singapore better placed to be Asia's start-up hub

    WHILE many places, including Singapore, have aspired to learn from Silicon Valley's (SV's) successes, observers said the island-state should not aspire to be the next Silicon Valley. It has made significant strides in maturating its tech and start-up ecosystem, and is better placed to be Asia's start-up hub instead.

    Said Mr James Chan, the founder-CEO of tech incubator Silicon Straits: "A good amount of entrepreneurial talent bled out of our ecosystem after the dotcom bust.

    "We're only just beginning to see a revival of key elements in our ecosystem over the past two years - designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, capitalists, invest-ments, acquisitions - yet, much remains to be done before Singa-pore becomes the 'SV of Asia'."

    Another hindrance to the start-up scene here is that most people live with their families, unlike in the United States, said Mr Vinnie Lauria, founding partner of tech incubator Golden Gate Ventures.

    "The number of start-up teams that live and work out of the same apartment in SV is very high. It's amazing what you can do when you're all forced into a small apartment 24/7," he said.

    But many cited Singapore's stable economic and political systems, high cultural acceptance, and strong government funding support as being beneficial in growing its tech ecosystem.

    Said Mr Steve Leonard, executive deputy chairman of Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority, in September: "It is not Singapore's goal to be another version of SV. We should find something to create for ourselves."