Acceleration Grant
IIE’s Acceleration Grant provide startups with additional funding to support the growth of their startup. Up to $10,000 will be awarded to startups who display promise in terms of growth and development.
 
IIE's Acceleration Grant provide startups with additional funding to support the growth of their startup. Up to $10,000 will be awarded to startups who display promise in terms of growth and development.
 
Size of Grant
In order to qualify for the SGD $10,000, the startup is required to co-fund $4,300 on the startup.
 
General Eligibility
  1. Non-incubated startups can apply but will have to accept incubation by IIE and accept mentoring upon the award of the grant
  2. One of the startup founders must be a current SMU student/faculty/staff and hold one-third or more of the equity OR an equal stake vis-à-vis other founders e.g 5 founders of 20% each.
  3. Startups who have received similar funding (e.g. Kickstart fund) support and any other government grant in the past 12 months are not eligible for application.
 
Selection Criteria
The applying team is required to articulate the following:
  1. Clear Problem Definition - Teams has to provide a clear articulation of the problem or pain situation they are targeting.
  2. Potential market opportunity - The team is required to conduct a research on the potential market numbers of demand for product or service. This will include an explanation on the general market and the initial target (beachhead) market.
  3. Market-Product Fit - The team is required to state the target market-product fit and clearly articulate the input and data collected from potential customers/buyers and businesses.
  4. Differentiation of product, service or technology - Applicants/team are required to illustrate and explain the differentiated features of their existing product, service or platform vis-à-vis the competitor analysis.
  5. Scalability - Applicants/teams have to explain their plans to acquire customers illustrate some projection on revenue and profits which the teams can present in graphs and charts.
  6. Well-thought business model /customer acquisition initiatives - A detailed explanation on the revenue model and the customer acquisition strategy
  7. Quality of Founding team - Founders are required to share their domain knowledge and demonstrate a strong understanding of the industry and market. Teams are also required to provide the commitment to their startup.
 
Areas of Expenditure
The grant aims to boost the growth of the startup and startup is required to spend the grant on the following areas
  1. Prototype development – on existing platform and startup needs to prove how the spending will improve the capabilities of their platform.
  2. Branding and marketing activities that will result in customer acquisition – signups and resulting revenues boost.
  3. Software licensing with platform enhancement
  4. Manpower costs – headcounts that will result in traction for the startup.
 
Deliverables
We will require startups to achieve the following by the end of their funding
  1. Prototype / Minimum Viable Product
  2. Resources for implementing a minor Proof-of-Concept with a prospective customer
  3. Customer Acquisition Activity – measured through a series of social media, direct marketing and outreach activities.
 
Process
The grant is awarded on a competitive basis and interested teams are required to submit their application to cassiedong@smu.edu.sg , with the following documents:
 
  1. Application form (click here to apply)
  2. One page executive summary (in PDF, not more than 500 words)
  3. Power point pitch deck that addresses 7 key points stated in the Selection Criteria above (less than 20 slides)
The shortlisted teams are required to present to a panel comprised of business mentors, angel investors and institute’s staff. 
 
Incubation
The teams are required to be incubated at IIE's Business Innovations Generator (BIG) upon award of the grant if they are not incubated at time of the application.
They will receive intensive mentoring support with assistance for follow-on funding.
 
Milestones tracking
Teams will be required to present their milestones to IIE on monthly frequency.
The incubation programme will last for 1 year and startup is required to utilize the funding within 6 months from disbursement.
 
 
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