DBS Bank has pledged to invest S$10 million in initiatives that will support the development of the startup ecosystem in Singapore over the next five years.
The banks says the funding will be used to support DBS owned programmes, partnerships with accelerators and other startup initiatives.
DBS HotSpot, billed as a 'pre-accelerator programme' where early-stage startups can tap into S$25,000 seed funding, mentors and workspace, kicks off the series of initiatives. Unlike other accelerators, says the bank, HotSpot does not require the startup to have an existing prototype or operating business and nor does DBS insist on an equity stake in participating firms.
Neal Cross, chief innovation officer, DBS Bank, says: For many aspiring entrepreneurs, taking that initial plunge, leaving their stable jobs and following their startup dreams can be a daunting process. The DBS HotSpot is designed to support local startups in the very early stages of testing their ideas and getting them off the ground. Subsequently, we will continue to support them through later stage accelerators and industry programmes."
The bank has already selected 11 aspirant entrepreneurs to pass through the inaugural three-month HotSpot programme.
Alongside HotSpot, DBS has been a keen advocate for digital innovation in banking, running a full-scale accelerator programme via its dedicated startup space in Hong Kong, and pairing bank staff with third party developers in competitive hackathons in an effort to inculcate a digital mindset among employees.