SINGAPORE – Silicon Valley-based venture firm and seed accelerator 500 Startups and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) have entered a two-way partnership to nurture the growth of start-ups in Singapore and San Francisco, ESG announced in a press release on Tuesday (Sept 24).

500 Startups is the latest partner to join ESG’s Global Innovation Alliance (GIA), a network of Singapore and overseas partners in major innovation hubs abroad. GIA is a joint initiative between ESG and Singapore’s Economic Development Board.

Under the new partnership, 500 Startups and ESG have teamed up to run Global Launch, a new acceleration programme under the GIA.

500 Startups will run the Global Launch programme in San Francisco, which will support Singapore-based start-ups in establishing a presence in the city. Up to 20 start-ups will be selected to be part of this 16-week programme, with the first cohort set to begin in November.

Global Launch will conduct a week-long series of workshops that will help the start-ups develop their market strategy for the US. This is followed by a two-week intensive boot camp in San Francisco where they will be coached on sales, marketing and pitching.

The start-ups will then take part in networking and business pitching opportunities, and then showcase their ideas to investors in an open house. In this process, 500 Startups will provide guidance on business development, briefings on business and technology trends, marketing support to the start-up ecosystem partners and mentorship.

Separately, 500 Startups will also run a 16-week programme to support global start-ups that want to establish a presence in Singapore, as a means to expand in Asia. The programme is expected to commence in January 2020 with 10 start-ups.

Participants will go through workshops on doing business in the region, curated mentor matchmaking and targeted business facilitation to connect with industry professionals and multinational corporations.

Christine Tsai, chief executive of 500 Startups, told The Business Times that the firm is thrilled to deepen its involvement in the Singapore ecosystem. It has long supported South-east Asian start-ups through its 500 Durians fund.

“Singapore’s vibrant start-up ecosystem has nurtured an exciting pool of startups chomping at the bit to scale globally. This strong innovation culture and talent make it a great gateway for founders who want to access the South-east Asian market. We’re excited to build a bridge through this programme between Silicon Valley and South-east Asia to help start-ups enter their next phase of global expansion,” she said.

Peter Ong, chairman of ESG, said the partnership with 500 Startups can help Singapore start-ups seek new partnerships and investors in Silicon Valley.

“We also welcome US-based start-ups to use Singapore’s established ecosystem as a springboard into the growing South-east Asia region. The two-way flow of exchange will strengthen Singapore’s position as a global-Asia node for technology, innovation and enterprise,” he added.