DBS Bank launched a new pre-accelerator programme called DBS Hotspot based at Black 79 (BASH), in the city-state’s startup venture cluster in Ayer Rajah. As part of the launch, it unveiled 11 Singaporean startup ventures selected for its pre-accelerator programme on Monday.
DBS Hotspot is a pre-accelerator run by DBS in which 11 teams of tech start-ups, social enterprise start-ups and DBS intrapreneurs undergo intensive training and mentorship at BASH.
According to its website, the DBS HotSpot Pre-Accelerator operates a 9-week programme that focuses on fintech, social enterprise, DBS intrapreneurs, digital startups and ventures developing a business model. This is done with the aim of providing a platform and environment where the difference founders can work collaboratively.
Some of the startups include Bamboobike, a social enterprise founded by former DBS banker Kevin Kwa and co-founder Claudia Cheng aimed at reducing poverty in rural Vietnam through the sale of handcrafted bamboo bicycle frames; Nickel, a mobile app to help migrant workers sent money home via the block chain; and Inderr, a platform that matches startups to angel investors.
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A digital media startup venture participating in the programme is Crux, a digital news media application focusing on Asian current affairs for a global readership that analyses how readers around the world engage with news and targeted at providing data to publishers and thought leaders, co-founded by Goh Chien Yen and Julian Peh.
As part of the pre-acceleration phase, each startup receives S$25,000 in seed capital, working space at Block 79 and coaching from industry mentors. The end of the three-month programme sees the startup founders pitch their concepts to a panel of angel and impact investors, venture capital firms and accelerators.
Commenting on DBS Hotspot, Neal Cross, chief innovation officer of DBS said: “DBS Hotspot is about helping Singaporean start-ups. We are taking great home-grown ideas and helping the teams develop those ideas into enterprises.”
Cross added, “As a bank we’re providing funding, free space and access to some of the best mentors in Asia. The only condition is that they take the opportunity we provide them and make the most of it. We’re looking forward to working with each of the eleven teams over the three months.”