Legal Update:

Singapore Tech Ecosystem to Attract Global Tech Founders and Entrepreneurs

December 31, 2020
  1. In January 2020, the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) launched the Tech@SG programme, which aims to help fast-growing companies access the global talent needed to grow and scale their business in Singapore and the region.
  2. Companies in growth areas such as digital, medtech, biotech, cleantech, agritech and fintech, can apply to the Tech@SG programme to access a suite of services, inter alia, endorsement by EDB for applications for up to ten (10) Employment Passes per company.

[Note: For more the application criteria and further information on Tech@SG, please also see paragraph 8 below.]

Launch of Tech.Pass

  1. As an extension of Tech@SG, EDB announced plans to launch Tech.Pass to attract founders, leaders and technical experts with experience in established or fast-growing tech companies.
  2. From January 2021, Tech.Pass will be open for applications with 500 places available, valid for two (2) years in the first instance (subject to renewal for a subsequent two (2) years). We set out below the list of activities and eligibility criteria below for reference.

Key Features of Tech.Pass

  1. Tech.Pass will allow holders to participate in the activities of more than one business, which means holders can conduct the following activities without having to apply for different passes:
  • start and operate a business;
  • be an employee in one or more Singapore-based companies;
  • serve on the Board of Directors of a Singapore-based company;
  • be a shareholder or investor in Singapore companies;
  • serve as a mentor or advisor of start-ups or companies in Singapore;
  • take up lecturing roles in institutes of higher learning; and
  • conduct corporate training or workshops.

 Tech.Pass Eligibility Criteria

  1. To meet the qualification requirements, applicants should have any two (2) of the following:
  • a last drawn fixed monthly salary (in the last one year) of at least S$20,000 or its equivalent in a foreign currency. Alternatively, applicants with an annual income in excess of S$240,000 or its equivalent in a foreign currency will also be considered;
  • at least five (5) years of experience in a leading role in a tech company with a valuation/market cap of at least US$500 million or at least US$30 million funding raised;
  • at least five (5) years of experience in developing a tech product that has at least 100,000 monthly active users or at least US$100 million in annual revenue;

Tech.Pass Renewal

  1. The consideration for renewal at the end of two (2) years will depend on meeting the renewal criteria (which includes income or business spending requirements). The list of activities, eligibility criteria and renewal criteria are available at this website link at Annex A, Annex B and Annex C.

Application to Tech@SG Programme

  1. Companies interested in the Tech@SG Programme may visit the EDB website here. To qualify for the Tech@SG programme, companies should have received funding from the list of recognised investment firms here and secured more than US$10 million (cumulative) in investment funding in the past 36 months. Important note: Applicant companies should have a digital or technology offering as their core business product or service, including viz. big data and analytics, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, software-as-a-service, e-commerce, digital media, digital gaming, medtech, biotech, cleantech and fintech companies.

 

This update is provided to you for general information and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

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