What is The FinLab?
The FinLab is the first corporate accelerator program in Singapore, aimed to fuel the development of FinTech startups with the ambition of changing the world. Through its deep expertise and broad experience in the financial industry and the venture capital ecosystem, The FinLab provides startups with valuable insights, analytics and a strong infrastructure to propel their ventures to the next level. A joint venture between SG Innovate (SGI) and United Overseas Bank (UOB), The FinLab's wide connections in Southeast Asia, Greater China, Europe and the United States offer its startups unparalleled access to the global market for growth and expansion.
The FinLab runs its program in BASH, which is located at the heart of the Singapore startup community.
Why should FinTech startups apply to The Finlab’s acceleration program, and what’s in it for them should they get selected?
Nine out of ten early-stage startups do not make it due to a myriad of reasons. Sometimes, a poorly constructed business model could ruin your entire enterprise; more often than not, the team's lack of experience in planning, execution, and tapping into the right networks for resources like funding gives the deadliest blow.
However, startups that join The FinLab's acceleration program could avoid these deadly traps. Given an intensive three-month duration, selected teams get to refine their business and revenue models by leveraging the deep knowledge, rich experience, and vast network of their mentors.
By going through the program in Singapore with the support of SGI, startups enjoy a multitude of benefits, such as ease of doing business and access to governmental grants. They will also get to attend talks given by The FinLab's regulators and legal experts so that they can be kept abreast of the latest developments and make sure that they leverage this knowledge to its fullest potential.
Moreover, UOB provides the startups with their deep domain expertise through strong mentorship and vast connections within the bank’s network. This gives The FinLab's participants an unmatched advantage in scaling quickly in the financial industry.
Many startups leverage Singapore’s unique position as a launch pad into various markets afterwards, and this is strongly supported by both UOB and SGI’s vast connections in Southeast Asia, Greater China, Europe and the United States.
A Journey With The FinLab's First Batch
The FinLab ran its inaugural program from May to August last year, and eight startups in different FinTech verticals graduated. The FinLab is proud to say that some of these startups have gone on to win various FinTech awards and accolades at Singapore’s inaugural FinTech Festival in November 2016.
Both Attores and Turnkey made the Top 40 of the MAS FinTech Awards. Turnkey Lender went on to take second prize in the Singapore SME Category, which earned them a cash prize of SGD$100,000. In another competition, the Global FinTech Hackcelerator, CardUp was chosen as 1 of 19 teams from 655 applications worldwide.
Commitment to your growth
The FinLab's goal has always been to connect your startup to potential partners to enable your expansion into new markets. This includes showcasing your solutions at leading FinTech conferences and events in Asia. For example, The FinLab brought its first batch of startups to pitch at Echelon Asia, an acclaimed regional tech conference held in Singapore. Even after the program ended, the program continued to help its startups by bringing them to FinTech events not just in Singapore but in the region, such as Japan (FinSum) and Indonesia (FinTech Festival & Conference).
Hear what some of its startups have to say
Every team selected into the program will receive S$440,000 in cash and benefits, comprising:
- S$30,000 in cash in return for a small equity stake
- S$400,000 in software credits (cloud hosting and other software tools) sponsored by partners of The FinLab
- S$7,000 in complimentary office space
- Assistance with grants provided by the Singapore government
- Mentorship and guidance on business model and go-to-market strategy by domain experts from the bank
- Ability to tap on the regional network of partners that The FinLab, UOB and SG Innovate have
- Connections to business opportunities ranging from large corporates to SMEs
- Opportunities to participate and pitch in leading FinTech conferences and events in Asia
- Access to network of investors and VCs for further fund-raising
- Introductions to regulators to understand the regulatory framework
How to Apply
Find out more, click here.