BIG Incubation Programme

BIG Incubation Programme

The BIG Incubation Programme is a 9 month equity-free programme that helps founders validate and refine their product and startup. 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. More details about BIG’s offerings and perks can be found here

Find out more about our startups here




The BIG Incubation Programme accepts 3 intakes per year. Startups can send in their applications at any time and if selected, will be invited to pitch at BIG’s intake panel in December, April or August. Applications should come in a month before the intake panel. Each intake comprises of up to 10 startups. The new incubatees enter in: January, May, or September.

Month -2 

Month -1 

Month 0 

Month 1 

Month 4 

Month 7 

Month 9 


Intake panel 

BIG Kickoff 

Update 1: Milestone setting 

Update 2: Shopping list 


Update 3: 



BIG Demo day 




Criteria & Selection

Applications are reviewed and assessed based on the following criteria:

  • Coachable and community-driven founders
  • 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  
Step 2:  If first screening is successful, we will arrange for a face-to-face meeting with the founder(s). 
Step 3:  If founder(s) passes the face-to-face meeting, the IIE team will recommend for founder(s) to pitch in the next available intake panel. 
Step 4:  Panelists in the intake panel will decide if a startup will be incubated and if they should be recommended for the respective grants for which they have applied.  
The intake panel occurs 3 times per year in December, April and August. 

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 the BIG. 


5) Am I allowed to work full-time outside? 
At least one founder from the startup must be a full-time founder. As long as one founder works on the venture full-time, other members can work full-time outside the venture. 


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 and CTO-in-residence who is hands on with the journey of each incubatee. 

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

  • 24/7 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 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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