SparkLabs, a Southeast Asian group of accelerators and venture capital investments, has partnered with IncuVest to bring its IoT and smart city programme to Singapore. Meanwhile, an angel network dedicated to female investors, named she1K, has also been launched in the city.
SparkLabs partners IncuVest to expand IoT, smart city to Singapore
South Korean accelerator and venture capital firm SparkLabs Group has teamed up with Singapore-based early stage investor Incuvest to expand its IoT and smart city accelerator to the Southeast Asian island state.
SparkLabs IoT, located in Songdo – the world’s first $35 billion smart city, is a global programme supporting startups from North America, Europe and Asia. It invests $50,000 for up to 6 per cent in a company.
“This combination of our global network and deal flow, Songdo and South Korea’s innovation leadership and Singapore’s world-class urban planning, development and global projects, creates incredible opportunities for our companies and partners,” said Jay McCarthy, co-founder of SparkLabs Group.
SparkLabs IoT focuses on startups at the intersection of hardware and software, particularly in the IoT, smart home, infrastructure and logistics sectors. The five-month programme offers startups the access to Songdo as a development centre and test bed, as well as to its network of corporations, investors, and manufacturers.
“It will still be a global programme, but will leverage Singapore’s leadership in designing and developing smart cities around the globe. Bringing Ronnie Wee and the IncuVest team on board strengthens our team,” McCarthy added.
IncuVest has been focusing on investments in IoT, AI, AR/VR, materials, smart city and health tech startups. It was founded in 2011.
“IncuVest and our partners have been actively identifying, investing and deploying deep tech solutions, with strong support from the Singapore government. Our partners include global leaders in smart city design, planning, development and management, which provide an interesting piloting and go-to-market channel for our startups,” said Ronnie Wee, co-founder and managing partner of IncuVest.
Corporate angel network she1K for women investors launched
A corporate angel network called she1K has been launched to help connect women prowess with startup funding support.
Claiming itself as the world’s first collective fund offering female C-suites with the angel investment realm, the Singapore-based programme looks to enroll corporate women to harness their experience, connections, industry knowledge and functional excellence, to lend support to startups.
Founded by Christina Teo, founder of Startup Asia Women, she1K aims to expose more corporate women to startups and angel investing, and push for more gender diversity on company boards, particularly the startups it invests in.
In Southeast Asia, less than 12 per cent of board seats are held by women with the exception of Malaysia (19.1 per cent) and Vietnam (25 per cent), it said.
Many women investors are not investing in syndicates, reflecting a lack of understanding about the opportunities to invest in syndicates to mitigate risk and pool finance and skills, according to a report by Women Business Angels for Europe’s Entrepreneurs.
she1k will be the platform to help corporate women keep up-to-date with the latest business and technological innovations, closing the chasm between the two groups of women investors and small businesses. Its target is to rally 1,000 corporate women across the globe from various industries to the cause of lending their collective resources, knowledge and clout to empower entrepreneurship and innovations.
“Financing and mentoring is not enough – we must champion startups and their founders in order to give these companies traction to scale and achieve success – not just write them a cheque in the hope of turning a profit,” said Teo.
Selected startups will not be limited to teams with female founders or members.
A minimum contribution of $1,000 per annum ($2,000 in 2019) is required, and the money will go into a collective angel fund that will selectively invest in startups in exchange for equity.