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Grindstone gives Singaporean tech start-up an edge in South Africa


With the launch of the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) pilot acceleration program in Cape Town, tech startups in Singapore will have better access to innovation and business partnership opportunities in South Africa.

The GIA program is run by Grindstone, a top accelerator in South Africa. It is backed by Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), a government agency in Singapore that helps businesses grow. The Singaporean and Southern African markets are both served by an overseas center of enterprises, which can be found in Johannesburg. This center helps create business relationships and encourages collaborations that benefit both parties.

To begin, ten Singaporean technology startups will take part in the initiative to explore expansion potential in South Africa. The GIA is a network of Singapore and international partners in 15 cities worldwide. It aspires to connect Singapore to the global startup and innovation ecosystem.

The GIA acceleration programs are run in a hybrid way. They include workshops, one-on-one mentoring with industry experts, networking opportunities, and a trip abroad to connect Singapore startups and SMEs with potential partners and opportunities in other countries.

Participants will also receive access to in-market resources and co-working spaces provided by international GIA partners, which will assist them in establishing a foothold in foreign markets and growing their businesses there.

Catherine Young, the director of Grindstone, said, “We think that growing startups’ access to markets and funding opportunities helps them grow.”As growth engineers, one of our primary goals is to expand the reach of our networks so that the startups we work with can more easily gain access to markets and funding sources. The geographical expansion of Grindstone has made it possible for us to bring Africa to the world and the world to Africa.

This program will assist us in strengthening networks between startups based in Singapore and South Africa, and we look forward to partnering with enterprises in this effort.

Jonathan Lim, who is in charge of EnterpriseSG’s Global Innovation Network, said, “We are happy to work with Grindstone on this pilot program in South Africa.¬†

Singapore tech companies and startups are interested in the African region not only because it has a large consumer market but also because of how quickly digital technology, industrialization, and urbanization are spreading there. This creates new needs and opportunities in areas like digitalizing trade, fintech, edtech, health tech, and smart city solutions.

Singapore companies might be able to work with partners in the market to develop new solutions together. We also encourage African companies and startups to use Singapore as a base to come up with new ideas and grow in Asia.

The basic needs of a startup are met by the GIA Cape Town Acceleration Program, which lasts eight weeks. It will put their startup through a set of planned steps.

These include an analysis of the company that will pinpoint areas for improvement, access to leading coaches, training materials, and workshops, networking opportunities with prospective business partners, clients, and other new ventures, and, when relevant, introductions to potential funding sources, enabling Go-to-Market readiness and access to South African opportunities, such as business workshops to help with go-to-market strategies, individualized coaching and mentoring, meetings with potential clients, and several networking events in South Africa.

Entrepreneurs and startup companies based in Singapore that have demonstrated success in the field of information and communications technology and that are primarily focused on fintech, agritech, cyber security, ESG, and infrastructure are encouraged to apply for subsequent iterations of the program.

In addition, applications are also being accepted for other fields.

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