Europe's Biggest Startup Creator to Open in Singapore

Europe's Biggest Startup Creator to Open in Singapore

UK's Entrepreneur First is taking its tech accelerator scheme to drive Singapore's startup scene

27th January 2016

By Elma Glasgow

The biggest startup creator in Europe, Entrepreneur First (EF), is taking its unique scheme to the island-state of Singapore, claims the Telegraph website.

Brightest tech talent

EF recruits highly ambitious people from Europe with elite technical skills, and during a 6-month programme, which EF calls the “steepest ever learning curve”, they receive help building deep technology businesses from scratch. The cohort gets desk space, mentoring and introductions to talented co-founders and top investors including Alex Chesterman of Zoopla and Amazon’s Simon Murdoch.

EF also provides £16,000 in pre-seed funding and takes 8% equity.

To date its 200 alumni have set up 50 new companies, carrying a combined value of $250 million. The Telegraph also reports that the startups “have raised more than $60 million in external funding from some of the biggest names in venture capital, including Index, Octopus and Balderton”.

Alice Bentink
Alice Bentink:

Co-founder of Entrepreneur First

Creating Singaporean startups

Founded by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck in London in 2011, EF is launching its first international hub in partnership with Infocomm Investments.

From September, EF will be applying its entrepreneur-making strategy to encourage more young Singaporeans to establish a career in innovation, instead of the traditional sectors of finance or professional services, and to drive forward the island-state’s technology startup scene. The company plans to target up to 400 highly ambitious individuals focused on deep technology startups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics over the next 4 years.

Applications to join EF's first Singaporean cohort are now open – there are 40-50 places available.

EF's new chapter

Attending the launch event at EF's Bermondsey office on 19 January, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, called the partnership with EF a "win-win for Singapore and the UK", highlighting that EF's expansion to Singapore comes at a time of massive potential across Asia. He commented:

EF could help organisations and individuals translate research and technology into commercial solutions to address enormous opportunities in areas such as healthcare, digital economy and urban sustainability to name a few. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, government of Singapore

Clifford, also CEO of EF, is excited about the company’s “new chapter” with support from Infocomm Investments:

We started with the vision that the best and most ambitious people will be founders. When talking about talent, innovation and the desire to create start-ups, Singapore is second to none.

Matt Clifford, Entrepreneur First

Infocomm Investments Chairman, Steve Leonard – impressed by EF’s work since meeting the founders a couple of years ago – explained:

We believe Entrepreneur First’s model of working with deeply-technical individuals in Singapore will lift our already-vibrant startup ecosystem to a whole new level. Steve Leonard, Infocomm Investments

EF, which is now Europe’s highest frequency pre-seed investor, has a portfolio including deep-technology venture Magic Pony Technology, fintech company Passfort, hardware enterprise Blaze, as well as marketplace and consumer product firms.