Co-working space Impact Hub Singapore has launched a S$1 million seed fund to invest in early-stage startups.
It becomes the fist community/co-work space too launch such a fund in Singapore, and the investors in this vehicle include family offices, high-net-worth individuals (HNIs), as well as members of its own community.
Impact Hub Singapore currently maintains two facilities; one is located at Cuppage Terrace in Orchard Road while another is sited at Prinsep Street.
In an interaction with The Straits Times, Grace Sai, chief executive and co-founder of The Hub, explained that the fund will allow it to grant startups closer post-investment support and monitoring than most venture capital (VC) funds or accelerator programmes.
The report quoted her as stating: “This is a main selling point to our investors – the belief that post-investment support could make or break an early-stage company. We imagined how much more of a valuable partner we could be if we could seed them and help them get follow-on funding.”
She further added: “Many entrepreneurs in The Hub’s community have become successful and they want to seed the next generation of entrepreneurs. We believe in members who invest in other members, founders turned funders and also professional investors who believe in a founder-centric, post-investment support model. That’s a true mark of a strong and vibrant community.”
This setup will allow for more targeted due diligence and guidance of founders whose ventures are investees of the fund, as well as connect them to other startup founders, entrepreneurs and investors in the community.
This will also aid in the organic development of relationships with mentors, unlike accelerators which often assign mentors to founders of ventures in their accelerator programme
The advantage of being based in a co-working space is that startups can leverage on is the chance to develop extensive networks and strong relationships (i.e. social capital), as well as the resource base they provide.
As Entrepreneur notes: “Co-working spaces can ease some of the stress of starting a new business and provide valuable resources and connections you won’t find anywhere else. They’re popular for the flexibility they offer new businesses, but the real value is in their assisted serendipity: the informal conversations and the expert advice members are happy to offer one another.”