In a move that banks might want to follow, Singaporean telecoms firm StarHub has launched a new crowdfunding site where entrepreneurs can raise cash from the general public and receive backing for their projects from the telco itself.
Launched in public beta, Crowdtivate is co-managed by StarHub's innovation arm and its local strategic partner, Crowdonomic. The platform has support from Home-Fix Experience Centre, National Book Development Council of Singapore, NUS Design Incubation Centre and Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation.
Crowdtivate accepts ideas or projects related to arts/books/films and technology. After an idea or project is accepted, Crowdtivate provides mentorship to create good campaigns, with options for support in business incubation and regional outreach. In addition, the top three monthly Crowdtivate campaigns receive exclusive assistance, including access to test users, marketing support, startup funding, free software development, invention development, and infrastructure support.
Alongside the traditional crowdfunding premise of raising cash, Crowdtivate is also being used by the telco as means to get first-hand access to new innovations and products with commercial potential. It's an idea that forward-thinking banks might want to borrow as they look to compete with innovative new start-ups and digital interlopers from the tech scene.
Stephen Lee, StarHub's head of i3 (Innovation, Investment, Incubation), says: "Many of the most successful companies today have roots in the crowdfunding community. With Crowdtivate, we aim to tap into a continuous source of innovative and creative ideas from local inventors, and ultimately help them grow as a future business or incorporate them into our service platforms."