Singapore startup initiative launches sister site in San Francisco
Fri 9 Jan 2015
Block 71 (Blk 71), the renowned Singapore-based startup incubator, has expanded, transferring a branch to popular U.S. startup hub, San Francisco.
The new co-working site, backed by Infocmm Investments (IIPL), NUS Enterprise and SingTel Innov8, will help Singapore tech firms wanting to break into the U.S., understand the market and network with the local San Francisco tech community.
According to an official statement, the project aims to “strengthen ties between startup ecosystems in Singapore and the US.”
“In our four years of operation, there’s been a steady increase of US-based companies and venture funds looking to access the South-east Asian (SEA) market. Likewise, SEA-based startups and venture funds are looking towards Silicon Valley,” said Edgar Hardless, CEO of SingTel Innov8, SingTel’s venture capital unit.
“Beyond funding, SingTel Innov8’s mission is also to nurture and develop a vibrant innovation ecosystem in the region. Block 71 San Francisco will help create synergies for the greater ecosystem,” he continued.
Block71 Singapore was set up in 2011 and now hosts around 250 startups, with future expansion plans to increase this capacity to 500.
Lily Chan, CEO of NUS Enterprise, added that the new Block 71 in San Francisco enjoys an ideal location within the South of Market area – “a dynamic, up-and-coming area for the technology startup community.”
The U.S. site is available to organisations supported by IIPL, NUS Enterprise and SingTel Innov8. The facility houses a number of brainstorming rooms, a communal area for hosting events, as well as co-working business space managed by NUS Enterprise. It also has office space for IIPL and SingTEl Innov8, who will provide support to the startups from Singapore.
24 hot desks will be available for up to three months. There are currently no plans to house companies for longer than this period. The first event, run by IIP, will take place on 20th January.