Silicon Valley-based The Founder Institute, a four-month training and mentoring program for technology entrepreneurs, recently announced its first-ever Spring 2010 semester for Singapore. With this expansion, the Institute will be the first Silicon Valley mentoring programme in Singapore, and will now be on pace to graduate over 700 founders creating over 500 companies per year in nine cities worldwide. The expansion is jointly done by the Singapore-based venture advisory and investment firm Battle Ventures and its partnered iAxil, the venture accelerator arm of Ascendas.
Jeffrey Paine, the Managing Director of Battle Ventures said, “Anyone starting a technology company or with a dream to launch an innovative business in Singapore is invited to apply (at http://www.founderinstitute.com/apply/11).” We used to report about Amazon Web Service Expanding To Singapore, and again, this program will definitely booth Singapore’s local startup ecosystem.
Singapore is a relatively small market but it is very international and very open. Jeffrey also shared with us his thoughts on this program and Singapore startups in general.
How do you think of the startups or entrepreneurs environment in Singapore in general?
The Singapore entrepreneurial environment for the technology sector is small but vibrant, there are many ideas and people who are eager to venture out on their own. With strong government support of grants, pre-seed, seed and incubators, 2010 will be an interesting year for Singapore startups. Having said that, this specific eco-system as we know it is still pretty new and is not entrenched into the country’s economic system hence it will take another 5-10 years before we see a stronger pool of entrepreneurs in the tech and new media space.
Why do you expect the Singapore founders will benefit from Founder institute?
Founder Institute brings a structured program that instils company formation and building blocks that are fundamental to anyone starting out on their own. The strength of the program is the combination of US and local/regional mentors who bring a hands on approach to mentoring and imparting company building concepts to the Singapore founders. The program builds a camaraderie between Founders in the class and Mentors especially after the program has concluded, and this relationship will certainly carry into the future.
So you gonna be jealous of Singapore’s young entrepreneurs. In 2009, together with some foreign friends, we were discussing the possibility of setting up an Silicon Valley style incubator because in China there is probably nothing like YCombinator to educate and boost local startups, but we did not follow that well in the end. It’s good to finally have one, Innovation Works led by Kaifu Lee, but seriously, we need more to build a healthy ecosystem so that anyone can possibly benefit from it.