SGInnovate unveils ‘Deep Tech Nexus’ strategy

  • A result of one year’s worth of insights and evolving market needs
  • To focus on two key areas – human capital and investment capital


SGInnovate unveils ‘Deep Tech Nexus’ strategy


SGINNOVATE on Nov 29 announced its ‘Deep Tech Nexus’ strategy as a direct result of experiences and insights gained in its first year of operation.

The Deep Tech Nexus represents SGInnovate’s commitment to add tangible value to the Singapore deep tech startup ecosystem in two key areas – human capital and investment capital.

As part of this strategy, SGInnovate has partnered with like-minded industry players and global brands including General Assembly, GIC, IBM, National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore,, Nvidia, Red Dragon AI and SingularityNET – all of whom will play instrumental roles in strengthening the deep tech startup ecosystem in Singapore.

“SGInnovate was formed in 2016 because we believe Singapore can create globally-relevant deep tech products and companies.  Singapore has great strengths in academia and scientific research, but we saw a gap in the critical ‘business-building’ capabilities needed to create a viable deep tech company.

“Over the past year, we have met and worked with hundreds of researchers, founders, corporates and investors.  Being so immersed in the deep tech founder community has given us a rich understanding of the specific challenges facing these entrepreneurs.  Tackling these challenges gives our second year of operation great clarity and focus – and this has led to our Deep Tech Nexus strategy,” said SGInnovate founding CEO Steve Leonard.

SGInnovate’s focus areas are in transformational technologies that have horizontal applications to many industries, as well as MedTech which will impact the healthcare industry.

Two such transformational technologies that now – or soon will – affect most industries include Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain.

For 2018, SGInnovate will be intensifying its efforts around AI, aligning with AI Singapore (AISG)’s mission to bring together Singapore-based research institutions, AI startups and corporates to enhance and expand Singapore's AI capabilities. SGInnovate will focus its efforts on the AI startups.

SGInnovate’s work in the area of human capital will be pursued in three ways:

  • Strengthening individual talent capabilities through a range of deep tech related learning opportunities, delivered by SGInnovate partners.
  • Expanding deep tech talent network through active engagements locally and internationally to build an ever-increasing network of ambitious and capable people who want to build startups.
  • Strengthening deep tech communities through a range of deep tech related networking events, bringing together researchers, entrepreneurs and investors to share experiences on a wide range of topics.

SGInnovate’s work in the area of investment capital will be pursued in three ways:

  • Investing equity in early-stage deep tech startups. The goal is to make direct investments into at least 20 deep tech startups founded in Singapore in 2018, including investments made at pre-seed, seed and Series A stages.
  • Business building support where SGInnovate will work closely with startups in which it has invested in areas such as customer sales and talent recruiting.
  • Collaborative spaces where deep tech startups, education events and community events can co-exist for mutual benefit. All activities will continue to take place at SGInnovate’s locations at 32 Carpenter Street (more than 16,000 square feet) and BASH (more than 25,000 square feet).

By the end of 2017, SGInnovate will have completed equity investments in 15 deep tech startups, played a part in generating 400 potential-customer leads for early-stage companies and built a network of more than 1,000 technical individuals interested in joining early-stage tech companies. 

In addition, as part of its deep tech community building efforts, SGInnovate has created and hosted more than 100 events at its premises attracting a total of 9,000 participants.

Leonard added, “SGInnovate is itself a startup and, to echo DPM Tharman’s point when he launched us last year, we will keep prototyping and pivoting in the coming years. Building deep tech companies takes time. We feel good about the impact we have already made, and are looking forward with confidence to the year ahead.”


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