United States-based accelerator firm Plug and Play has partnered with Singaporean government agency Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) to launch of the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) San Francisco Acceleration Program, providing an opportunity for Singapore startups to explore and expand their products in the dynamic tech hub of San Francisco and the United States.

Plug and Play said in a statement on Friday that the GIA is an initiative of Enterprise Singapore, comprising a network of Singapore and overseas partners in major innovation hubs and key demand markets with a focus on technology and innovation.

According to the statement, the program is set to begin this October and aims to empower Singapore-based early-stage tech companies with the resources and knowledge to thrive in one of the world’s largest and most diverse markets.

The GIA San Francisco Acceleration Program offers three main pillars to support participating startups:

Practical Training:

Interactive workshops led by industry experts will cover essential topics such as understanding the business culture in San Francisco, navigating the investment and fundraising landscape, legal and finance considerations, and talent acquisition.

These workshops will be accompanied by one-on-one discussions through office hours to provide personalized guidance.

Targeted Mentorship:

Each startup will be matched with a mentor who will provide tailored support across various aspects, including marketing, product development, partnership building, investment assistance, and pitch polishing.

Business Development Opportunities:

The program will culminate with a two-week in-market immersion in San Francisco featuring panel discussions, business meetings with startups, investors, and corporates, and a showcase during Plug and Play’s Silicon Valley Summit.

This summit will provide startups with an opportunity to pitch and showcase their solutions to a regional network of corporate partners, investors, and industry leaders.

Throughout the six-week program, startups will receive support and pitch polishing both virtually and in-person for each respective segment.

It is noted that the GIA San Francisco Acceleration Program is designed to mitigate market expansion risks and accelerate startups’ global business development.

Early-stage tech startups looking to gain insights into the United States market will benefit from the San Francisco program’s offerings, while startups with an existing presence in San Francisco can also tap into its resources to further scale their business.

“The United States presents immense opportunities as a market for business growth and San Francisco is a good starting point for Singapore companies and startups, in many areas of tech such as biotech, fintech, sustainability and digital economy,” said Lim Seow Hui, Director for Americas, EnterpriseSG.

She said the partnership allowed the agency to support tech startups in building connections and capabilities to grow their businesses as they expand into the United States.

Meanwhile, Plug and Play Asia Pacific (APAC) Managing Partner Jupe Tan said the firm believes that the GIA San Francisco Acceleration Program will be an exceptional opportunity for Singapore startups to tap into the innovation culture and networking opportunities in Silicon Valley.

“Through our tailored mentorship and business development support, we aim to empower startups to make valuable connections and accelerate their growth trajectory,” he said.

According to the statement, some well-performing tech industries in San Francisco include social media, mobile apps, AI, big data, biotech and clean tech – setting the stage for tech startups to achieve new success in this exciting market.

It said San Francisco remains at the forefront of innovation and is attractive to startups due to its highly-educated demographic, accessibility to funding opportunities, and business-friendly policies that make it a highly-sought after destination for startup expansion.

It is noted that in 2022, the region witnessed an impressive $238.3 billion in venture capital investments and more than 15,800 deals.

Such numbers reflect the continued interest from investors in funding startups and the promise of the startup ecosystem in San Francisco.

Beyond the sheer volume of investment, startups can also benefit from the attractive nature of the fundraising rounds, with seed rounds averaging $2.1 million, and median series A funding rounds standing at an impressive average of $14 million.

With such robust financial support and access to capital, the statement said startups are better positioned to scale their companies and pursue their growth ambitions.

The presence of seven leading tech companies, including the likes of Google and Apple, in San Francisco also cements the city’s reputation as a hotbed for innovation and technological advancements, according to the statement.

Plug and Play is a global innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley, driving technological advancement through accelerator programs, corporate innovation services, and an in-house venture capital.

Since 2006, Plug and Play’s presence has grown to 51 locations worldwide, supporting startups across diverse industries in Silicon Valley and beyond.

With over 30,000 startups, 500 corporate partners, active investments from 200 leading Silicon Valley venture capitals, and over 700 networking events per year, the Plug and Play ecosystem has raised over $9 billion in funding, boasting successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, and PayPal.

Plug and Play launched its Asia-Pacific (APAC) headquarters in Singapore in 2010, expanding into Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, multiplying innovation efforts through industry-specific accelerator programs with investments in 50+ startups and collaborations with various governments and multinational corporations.

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