Telstra-backed startup accelerator muru-D has launched in Singapore today. The accelerator hopes to attract the region’s best digital talent, foster local technology innovation and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem across Southeast Asia.
Ten technology startups across Southeast Asia will be selected to partake in the six-month accelerator program, which kicks off in August this year. Successful applicants will receive SGD$40,000 in seed capital, work space in muru-D Singapore’s central business district office and introductions to mentors, coaches and investors.
Co-founded by Charlotte Yarkoni and Annie Parker, muru-D’s first launched in Sydney in October 2013. Its first group of alumni (nine startups) have together attracted more than AU$3 million (SGD$3.15 million) in additional funding.
Launching its second startup accelerator in Singapore was a strategic decision, not only because Singapore has one of the most advanced startup ecosystems in the world, but because it also falls in line with Telstra Services Group’s international expansion strategy. The Singapore accelerator program is the latest avenue for TSG to grow its global footprint, following recent acquisitions and partnerships across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the United States, including Silicon Valley-based video delivery platform Ooyala.
“With its fast-developing startup ecosystem, pro-business policies and access to local capital, Singapore offers entrepreneurs a tremendous launch pad into Southeast Asia, which has a burgeoning population of more than 600 million people and GDP in excess of SGD$2.4 trillion. muru-D will help accelerate technology innovation throughout Southeast Asia and we look forward to, not only attracting the best digital talent but, critically, creating the right conditions for their long-term success,” said Annie Parker, Co-Founder of muru-D.
“With the launch of muru-D Singapore, we are paying it forward to the rapidly expanding Southeast Asian startup community. As industry leaders, we must be visionary to cultivate exceptional talent and nimble to adapt in a rapidly changing marketplace. This program provides us access to some of the world’s most exciting new startups, ideas and approaches to doing business, and we will do everything to help them on their way.”
Dr Alex Lin, Head of Infocomm Investments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, said muru-D’s entry into Singapore’s community of entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators and corporate partners is a positive addition to the country’s growing pool of scalable technology companies.
“We strongly believe the accelerator model is the best way to help high impact tech startups mature in the shortest possible time. It is strategic that Telstra is investing valuable corporate resources to support muru-D’s expansion, leveraging business and innovation opportunities throughout Singapore, as the country continues on its journey to become a truly Smart Nation,” Dr Lin said.
Kiren Kumar, Director of Infocomms & Media at the Singapore Economic Development Board, also welcomed the launch of muru-D in Singapore: “We are pleased that muru-D has chosen Singapore to house its second accelerator. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Telstra to build even more digital businesses across Singapore, while supporting the ongoing growth of Telstra’s business throughout Asia.”
muru-D Singapore will be headed by Joseph Ziegler (Entrepreneur-in-Residence) who has more than 20 years of experience in building and exiting startups globally, as well as Jamie Camidge (Head of Strategic Partnerships & Alliances) who is an experienced corporate strategy executive at Telstra.
The ten successful applicants from across Southeast Asia will be announced in August 2015, following a pan-Asian roadshow led by Ziegler and Camidge throughout May and June. Applications open next week.
Image: Jamie Camidge, muru-D Head of Strategic Partnerships & Alliances