Oct 21, 2022

Enterprise Singapore partners with Nordic expertise to support local entrepreneurs in their international growth

Stockholm, home to companies like Spotify, iZettle, and Minecraft. Oslo, home to EcoOnline, Ignite Procurement and Spacemaker. Helsinki, home to Wolt, Supercell, and Aiven. The Nordics is a unique place for innovation and producing global tech unicorns. South Korea and Singapore are now teaming up with Nordic Innovation House Epicenter to provide their most promising local startups with a scaleup program designed to gain insights into the Nordic model for entrepreneurship and international growth.

In March this year was the official inauguration of Epicenter Accelerate Singapore, a collaboration between the Swedish government and Enterprise Singapore, the local authority responsible for the country’s business development. The program is specially designed for Singaporian startups to get support in their international growth journeys and is led by the Epicenter Accelerate team. 

At Epicenter we carry out innovation and growth programs, both in-house and in collaboration with partners such as Microsoft, Google and the Nordic Council of Ministers. Over 400 startups and scaleups have participated in our programs over the years and we have also helped foreign companies in their international establishment, often in collaboration with state and municipal programs from e.g. Egypt, Finland, and South Korea. 

With Stockholm’s history of producing unicorns such as Klarna, Spotify, and iZettle, in combination with Epicenter’s track record of running successful innovation and growth programs, we see this collaboration as an unique opportunity for us to support some of our leading Singaporian entrepreneurs in their international expansion, says Jonathan Lim, Director Global Innovation Network at Enterprise Singapore.

The selected finalist companies who enrolled in the program got access to an individually adjusted program for each participating startup’s needs, with tailored coaching, mentoring and match making to maximize their growth. The final phase of the program starts on November 15th on site in Stockholm with Epicenter as a base.

– With Epicenter Accelerate Singapore Cohort the goal is to have Epicenter and Stockholm as a base and springboard for the finalist companies’ global growth journeys. We will spend a lot of time preparing the entrepreneurs to go from promising startups to global scaleups, with all the challenges that entails, says Jack Melcher-Claësson, Head of Accelerate at Epicenter Stockholm. 

The program is also part of Sweden’s efforts to strengthen the relationship with Singapore, where Business Sweden takes a leading role in building the bridge from Sweden to Singapore. 

– Singapore has for some time been a natural springboard for Swedish entrepreneurs in South East Asia. It’s now great to see how we can reverse the co-operation by nurturing our ecosystem with impactful ideas from Singapore, using Stockholm and the Epicenter team as a scaleup factory with our global unicorns and multinationals, says Jan Larsson, CEO Business Sweden. 

The Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) is a network of Singapore and overseas partners in major innovation hubs and key demand markets, with a focus on technology and innovation. It is a joint initiative between Enterprise Singapore and the Singapore Economic Development Board. Sweden has been identified to be a key innovation node for the Nordics region and hence there will be a GIA set up between Singapore and Sweden in 2022.

Under this alliance, Team Sweden will be supporting Singapore startups and SMEs keen on venturing into Sweden and the Nordics, together with Epicenter. The programme will run as a full-year pilot as a start and the long term goal is to continue the alliance, with Singapore as the main funding partner. This is a key collaboration platform, with investment from both governments and part Sweden’s talent attraction pilot of international scaleups to innovation clusters.

One of the key stakeholders to make this project real is Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency. For this specific project they have allocated co-funding from their Talent Attraction Program.

 – The Singaporean Government and its society is a front-runner within digital transformation. We are very much looking forward to connecting our ecosystems in Sweden and Singapore within the areas of digitalization, innovation, sustainability, and talent attraction, says Darja Isaksson, Director General, Vinnova.  

To learn more about Epicenter Accelerate or to get in contact with the visiting South Korean, or Singaporian companies, drop an email to jack@epicenterstockholm.com.



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