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Startup SG Founder “Start” Track

Pollinate is an Accredited Mentor Partner (AMP) for the Startup SG Founder “Start” Track grant. Apply for the Startup SG Founder “Start” track with us.
For more information, please visit Startup SG Founder
Sign Up Here

What are the assessment criteria for Startup SG Founder "Start" Track?

As an AMP, Pollinate will assess applicants based on (but not limited to) the following criteria:

  • Differentiated business – how novel the idea/product/service/business model/process is compared to what is available in the market
  • Feasibility of the business – whether the revenue model is sustainable
  • Potential market opportunity – how large the size of the target market is, and how the company intends to reach out to its customer segments
  • Management team – whether the founding team demonstrates passion and entrepreneurial spirit, and have the relevant technical and business skills to execute the idea.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for Startup SG Founder "Start" Track?

The grant is open to all Singaporeans/Permanent Residents who meet the following conditions at the time of application and throughout the grant period:

  • The team has at least 3 SC/PRs, who are the main applicants of the grant;
  • At least 2 of the 3 main applicants are first-time founders;
  • The main applicants who are first-time founders must hold a minimum of 30% equity* in the company collectively;
  • The main applicants must register/have registered a private limited company in Singapore upon approval;
  • The company must have a minimum 51% SC/PR shareholdings;
  • The company must not be more than 6 months of incorporation at the point of application to the AMP;
  • The business activities run by the company should be conducted wholly or mainly in Singapore.
  • The main applicants must register/have registered a private limited company in Singapore upon approval;
  • The 3 main applicants must contribute meaningfully to the company, and not be engaged in any form of external employment (employment where employers, apart from the entity recipient of the Startup SG Founder grant, contribute CPF for their employees), including full-time National Service;
  • At least 2 of the 3 main applicants, who are first time founders, should be committed full time to the company, and must be key decision makers of the company;
  • The main applicant(s) must not have received any funding for the proposed business idea from another government organization;
  • Previous Startup SG Founder grant awardees (S$30,000 or S$50,000 grant) are not eligible for subsequent Startup SG Founder grants;
  • The proposed business idea must not be in the following list: cafes, restaurants, night clubs, lounges, bars, foot reflexology, massage parlours, gambling, prostitution, social escort services, employment agencies (including recruiting foreign work permit holders and workers/support staff, relocation services, and manpower services), and geomancy.
*All main applicants who are first-time founders are to hold non-zero equity.

How do I apply for ESG Startup Founder’s Grant?

Sign up here and attach your pitch deck for the AMP’s consideration.

Is the Startup SG Founder grant equity-free?

Yes. It’s an equity-free grant, meaning that ESG does not take shares in company in exchange for the grant. However, the grant disbursement is tied to certain milestones and will only be unlocked after the achievement of the milestones. Please approach the AMPs to find out more about the milestones component of the grant.

What if I have a co-founder who has founded a company from a long time ago – is he/she considered a first-time entrepreneur still?

ESG will be assessing applications with such scenarios on a case-by-case basis, acknowledging that there have been entrepreneurs who had started up and failed before, and are looking for a second chance of starting a successful venture.

Do the 3 applicants need to commit full time to the startup?

All 3 applicants cannot be employed by another organization besides the startup. However, only 2 of the 3 main applicants, who are first-time founders are required to commit full time to the startup.

What happens if one or more of the initial 3 main applicants leaves the startup before the end of the grant?

The startup should notify both the AMP and ESG immediately, and they will be given 3 months to find a replacement. If the startup fails to find a replacement, ESG reserves the right to terminate the grant and activate a clawback of the grant monies disbursed.

What are the roles of the AMP under the “Start” Track?

Before award of the grant, AMPs must:

  • Assess and recommend to ESG quality startups for the grant
  • Check if startups meet the eligibility criteria (which now includes having a minimum of 3 SC/PR employees)
  • Recommend suitable developmental milestones for startups to unlock funding
After award of the grant, AMPs must:
  • Provide mentorship for startups for at least 12 months
  • Provide networks and resources to help startups grow
  • Work closely with ESG on the progress of the startups

Apply for Startup SG Founder “Start” track with us


Benjamin Mah

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Startups from IHLs