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4 Reasons Why Singapore Leads In Global Startup Talent

The main attributors of Singapore's success in the start-up scene.

The Start-up Genome Project credits Singapore start-up success as one of the leading global start-up talent

Singapore’s start-up ecosystem is thriving. In the 2017 Start-up Genome Project, we overthrew Silicon Valley as the world’s number one in start-up talent. But having a leading pool of talent isn't our only accolade. We are ranked 12 in a list of the top 20 cities for start-ups, a list that is dominated by places like Silicon Valley — no small feat for a small country like ours.

The Start-up Genome Project credits Singapore start-up success through a rigorous analysis of the 55 participating countries based on their performance and eight factors driving start-up success: funding, market reach, global connectedness, technical talent, start-up experience, resource attraction, corporate involvement, founder ambition and strategy. More information of the Start-up Genome Project can be found by clicking here.

However, the growth of Singapore’s start-up scene is a relatively recent phenomenon — Singapore’s start-up ecosystem only started picking up after 2012, after a series of seeds that were planted by the city-state’s government started bringing forth crops.

Here are the reasons for our success:

Quality Talent 
While one of Singapore’s main concerns in 2015 — the shrinking population — would have inevitably resulted in a rapidly depleting talent pool, Singapore has outdone itself by proving that numbers, or relatively large numbers in this instance, do not matter. The experience levels of Singaporean talent was found to be comparatively strong, with 80 percent of engineering and 74 percent of growth teams boasting at least two years of prior experience compared to the global average of 72 percent and 60 percent respectively.

Geographical Edge 
Situated in the heart of Southeast Asia, Singapore provides easy access to Asia’s growing markets. Any three- or four-hour flight could bring you to a major city in the region while a six to seven-hour flight can get you to all the other bigger cities of Asia. According to the compass report, about 50 percent of Singaporean start-up customers are located abroad with China and Indonesia leading as top target markers.

Globally Connected
Singapore has the third highest level of global connectedness of all top 20 ecosystems. Once again, outperforming Silicon Valley in that area. This is due to Singapore’s strong showing in the trade pillar, highlighting the country’s reputation as a major trade hub.

Innovative Policies 
The Singapore government has always been consistently rolling out initiatives to enable start-ups to gain access to properly fund their initiatives that include the backing of equity financing schemes, business incubator schemes, debt financing schemes and tax incentive. Ensuring that the government provides enough backbone for start-up initiatives, the Singapore government definitely has taken cognisance of the key role played by new businesses, providing the best support ecosystem for start-ups in Singapore.


Surplus of grants, loans and initiatives available to entrepreneurs in the city could be another reason for spurring start-ups in Singapore. A full list of what's out there can be found by clicking here.