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Singapore initiative for digital media industry

Veronica C. Silva | April 6, 2011
Up to US$3.1 M is being offered to Lion City digital media industry (DMI) start-ups to develop their solutions for the interactive digital media industry.

SINGAPORE, 6 APRIL 2011 - Singapore has unveiled a three-party initiative aimed at building up its interactive digital media (IDM) industry by nurturing start-ups.

The Media Development Authority (MDA), NUS Enterprise and SingTel Innov8 recently signed a memorandum of understanding to kick start a start-up support programme that includes funding, technical support, industry guidance and government support.

MDA, the Singapore government body promoting competitive media industries, and SingTel Innov8, the corporate venture arm of the SingTel Group, have committed up to S$2 million (US$1.6 million) each for the next three years to fund start-ups.

Initial funding of S$50,000 (US$39,600) will be provided to start-ups that will qualify for the programme. Additional follow-up funding of S$200,000 (US$158,600), or even more will also be available.

Incubation facility

The joint programme is dubbed as Blk 71 to indicate the incubation facility to house and support these start-ups. Blk 71 at the Ayer Rajah Industrial Estate houses the MDA's Mediapolis Phase Zero, which is an initiative to accelerate the development of Singapore's creative industries.

Blk 71 is where NUS Enterprise and SingTel Innov8 have already signed on as anchor tenants. MDA has also committed to allocate office and incubation space in the same block for this latest initiative. Blk 71, therefore, will act as a one-stop facility for budding entrepreneurs to grow their ideas with the help of partners.

NUS Enterprise at the National University of Singapore, plus the MDA, will help manage the incubation facility where start-ups will get the opportunity to work with investors, technology incubators and other industry partners.

Aside from funding, Innov8 will also provide mentorship support, infrastructure and opportunities to showcase the start-ups' solutions.

Vibrant start-up environment

Lily Chan, CEO, NUS Enterprise said bringing together industry players under one roof creates a "vibrant start-up environment ... that will build up a critical mass for increased synergy, entrepreneurial dynamism and economies of scale."

"Blk71 will form a key complementary component of NUS Enterprise's eco-system, which includes NUS Enterprise's office and the NUS Enterprise Incubator, where we support some 80 technology start-up companies," Chan added.

Michael Yap, executive director, Interactive and Digital Media Programme Office, MDA said: "We are glad to have the support from both SingTel Innov8 and NUS Enterprise to drive this incubation programme. Their support will bring about greater sophistication and effectiveness in helping our start-ups. This augurs well with our aspiration to develop IDM products and services targeted for the "Next Billion Internet Users" emerging from Asia."

Among the industries being supported by the Mediapolis digital media hub initiative include film, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation and interactive digital media.


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