BIG Incubation Programme

BIG Incubation Programme

The BIG Incubation Programme is a 4 month incubation programme for entrepreneurs and startups. It is designed to help early-stage founders validate their product and get ready for seed investment. Selected teams receive support including grant opportunities, world-class mentors and advisors, masterclasses, perks as well as a work space in the heart of downtown Singapore.

Find out more about our startups here.



The BIG Incubation Programme accepts and runs 2 cohorts a year in January and August. Startups can send in their applications at any time and if selected, will be invited to pitch at BIG’s intake panel in the preceding month of December and July for the 2 cohorts respectively. Applications should come in at least a month before the commencement of intake panel sessions.


Criteria & Selection

Applications are reviewed and assessed based on the following criteria:

Round 1: Founder Traits

  • Coachability
  • Integrity
  • Grit
  • Community-driven

Round 2: Startup Traits

  • Differentiated business
  • Validated market need and potential
  • Feasible business model
  • Committed and strong management team



1) What is the application process for incubation programme, IIE Acceleration Grant or Startup SG Founder grant application? 

Step 1:  Apply for the grant within the BIG Incubation Application Form (Please check your eligibility prior to applying)
Step 2: If first screening is successful, we will arrange for a meeting with the founder(s). 
Step 3: Selected founder(s) will be invited to pitch in the next available intake panel.
Step 4: Panelists in the intake panel will evaluate and make their recommendations and recommend startups for the BIG incubation programme.
Step 5: The IIE team will inform founders of the final results of the application(s).

2) Does IIE take equity for incubation? 
No, this is an equity-free programme   


3) I graduated from SMU. Can I join the incubation programme? 
Yes, SMU alumni are welcome to join the incubation programme. 


4) Does BIG take non-SMU affiliated founders? 
Yes, non-SMU affiliated founders are also welcome to apply for BIG. 


5) Am I allowed to work full-time outside? 
For the SG founder’s grant, the main applicant must be a full-time founder. While it is recommended, it is not mandated by the BIG Incubation Programme there is at least one full-time founder.  


6) I’m interested in entrepreneurship but have not decided on what to startup yet. Can I join IIE events? 
Definitely! You can join our Telegram channel here for updates on our events.  


7) How is the program different from other incubation programs? 

We provide customised support and resources to teams such as: 

  • An entrepreneur-in-residence, CMO-in-residence and CTO-in-residence who are hands on with the journey of each incubatee. 

  • Curated industry experts and mentors to assist startups in their growth 

  • Access to working space in the heart of Downtown Singapore 

  • Unique curriculum and pedagogy designed for early-stage founders


8) How many people can be on my team? 
There is no limit to the team size. However, there is a maximum of two permanent desks assigned to each incubated startup in the co-working space. The rest of the team can occupy the hotdesking area.   


9) What is required of my team once I am part of the programme? 
During the course of the programme, teams are expected to attend foundational masterclasses, founders’ update sessions and work towards milestones mutually decided by the teams and the entrepreneur-in-residence. Additionally, active participation in events organised by BIG is expected. Teams should also update on their progress regularly. 


IIE is looking for teams who are currently working on a business idea or have a new and innovative approach to solving a business problem. Team members are fully committed and passionate about their venture and are willing to work relentlessly to see their ideas transform into a successful business. Teams should exhibit the skill sets necessary to run their venture, as well as be open-minded to suggestions from both mentors as well as peers.

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