If you are reading this article, chances are that you are looking to build a new web or mobile app for your business, and the mention of ‘grants’ has caught your attention. The good news is that you’re at the right place.

Grants don’t come easily, and knowing how to source for them increases your chances of getting your ideas off the ground. Funding is essential in supporting new entrepreneurs with launching their product, especially for large-scale custom apps. With a good list of resources in your hands, you can gain clarity of the range of grants eligible to you, prepare your documents ahead, and increase your chances of grant approvals.

As solution architects, Binary Thinktank has had extensive experience in helping our clients in Singapore obtain the funding they need, whether through grants or partnerships. In this article, we have compiled a condensed list of government grants specifically catered to support small business in developing web/app solutions for your reference.

Note: The information below is current as of November 2016. Please review the latest information before committing to any particular application.

ACE Startup Grant Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) Funding support to entrepreneurial Singaporeans who want to take their first step in starting up differentiated businesses.

  • Singapore Citizens and PRs who are first-time entrepreneurs
  • You will be classified as a 'First time entrepreneur' if you have never registered any type of business entities with ACRA.
  • hold at least 51% equity in the company
  • are the key decision makers and committed to the company on a full-time basis
  • have parental consent if they are below 18 years old at the point of application
  • Your company must not be registered or incorporated for more than 6 months at the date of submission and/or have received any funding for the proposed business idea from another Government agency.
SPRING will match S$7 to every S$3 raised by the entrepreneur, up to S$50,000.

i.e. For you to receive a grant of $50,000, you will need to raise $21,429 for co-matching upon acceptance of the Letter of Offer.
Capability Development Grant (CDG) SPRING Singapore To encourage more SMEs to build business capabilities. Companies can take on large scale upgrading projects in areas like increasing productivity, process improvement, product development and market access

  • Registered and operating in Singapore
  • At least 30% local shareholding
  • Group annual sales turnover ≤ S$100m or group employment of ≤200 employees
The grant defrays up to 70 percent of qualifying project costs such as consultancy, training, certification and equipment costs.
Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) The PIC scheme was introduced to encourage productivity and innovation activities in Singapore. It provides support to businesses that make investments to improve their productivity.

All businesses, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, companies, registered branches and subsidiaries of a foreign parent or holding company, are eligible for PIC.

6 Qualifying Activities:
  1. Acquisition and Leasing of PIC IT and Automation Equipment
    - PIC benefits may be claimed on development costs incurred on the provision of a new website, including costs incurred for the one-time registration of a domain name for the website. You cannot claim PIC benefits (both cash payout and enhanced allowance) if the website is under development. The claim can only be made when the website is functional i.e. accessible over internet.
  2. Training of Employees
  3. Acquisition and Licensing of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
  4. Registration of patents trademarks designs and plant varieties
  5. Research & development (R&D)/innovation activities examples
  6. Design Projects Approved by DesignSingapore Council
Under the PIC Scheme, businesses can enjoy 400% tax deductions/allowances and/or 60% cash payout for investments made in any of the Six Qualifying Activities from the Years of Assessment (YAs) 2013 to 2018.
Sector Specific Accelerator (SSA) program SPRING Singapore The government established Sector Specific Accelerators (SSA) to identify, invest and grow start-ups in strategic but nascent sectors, such as medical and clean technology.

The four accelerators...
  1. Clearbridge BSA
  2. Singapore Medtech Accelerator
  3. Zicom MedTacc
  4. Medtech Alliance
...have been appointed to identify and co-invest with SSC in high-potential medical technology start-ups.

Besides co-investing, the accelerators take a hands-on approach to help the start-ups build up their management teams, meet regulatory requirements and connect with potential customers. SPRING SEEDS Capital, SPRING’s investment arm, co-invests with the accelerators on a 1:1 basis.
A total of $70 million has been committed under the Sector Specific Accelerator (SSA) Programme to encourage the formation and growth of start-ups in medical technology.
SPRING SEEDS SPRING Singapore SPRING Start-up Enterprise Development Scheme (SPRING SEEDS), an equity-based co-financing option for Singapore-based start-ups with innovative products and/or processes with intellectual content and strong growth potential across international markets.

  • A Singapore-based company with core activities carried out in Singapore.
  • Incorporated as a Private Limited company for less than five years.
  • Have paid-up capital of at least $50,000.
  • Evidence substantial innovative and intellectual content for its products and/or services and/or applications.
  • Have high growth potential with clear scalability for the international market.
  • Have identified a ready, independent third-party investor(s).
For approved deals by the SPRING SEEDS Investment Panel, SSC matches the sum invested by third-party investor(s) dollar-for-dollar up to a maximum of $2 million.

The first round of contribution by SPRING SEEDS is usually capped at S$300,000.

Both SPRING SEEDS Capital and the third-party investor(s) will then take equity stakes in the company in proportion to their investments.

Subject to the company's specific progress and performance, additional investments can be considered at a later round for up to $1 million, inclusive of the initial investment.
Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme (TECS) SPRING Singapore The Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme (TECS) aims to catalyse the formation and growth of such start-ups based on strong technology Intellectual Property and a scalable business model.

Projects must fall under the following categories:
  1. Advanced Manufacturing / Robotics
  2. Biomedical Sciences and Healthcare
  3. Clean Technology
  4. Information & Communications Technologies
  5. Precision Engineering
  6. Transport Engineering / Engineering Services
  • Registered for less than 5 years at time of award
  • At least 30% local shareholding
  • Company’s group annual sales turnover is not more than $100 million or group employment size is not more than 200 workers
  • Core activities to be carried out in Singapore
For Proof-Of-Concept Project:
Up to 100% of qualifying costs for each project will be supported, subject to a maximum of S$250,000.
Your solution is at the conceptualisation stage, and the technical / scientific viability still needs to be proven.

For Proof-Of-Value Project:
Up to 85% of qualifying costs for each project will be supported, subject to a maximum of S$500,000.
You already have a technically / scientifically viable concept (proof-of-concept available), and you wish to carry out further development of a working prototype, to validate the commercial merit of an established concept.
Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS) National Research Foundation (NRF) The Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS) is an initiative under the National Framework for Innovation and Enterprise (NFIE) programme, which was set up in March 2008. Under the TIS scheme, the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore could co-invest up to 85% of investment (up to S$500,000 per company) into a Singapore-based start-up, on recommendation from the Technology Incubator.

The Technology Incubator will be required to co-invest the remaining 15% of investment into the start-up. In addition to funding, the Technology Incubator will be required to provide active mentorship and guidance to the start-up.

As an incentive, the Technology Incubator will be given an option to buy over NRF’s stake in the start-up within three years by repaying the capital plus interest. This will align the interests of all parties towards the success of the start-up companies, and help to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Singapore
Business Improvement Fund Singapore Tourism Board (STB) The BIF is open to all Singapore-registered businesses/companies embarking on projects with a clear tourism focus.

These companies are:
  • Tourism companies taking on capability development initiatives
  • Technology companies that create innovative technology products and services for tourism businesses​.
  • At least 30% local (Singaporean or Singapore Permanent Resident) shareholding
  • Group annual sales turnover not more than S$100 million or group employment size not more than 200 employees.
Proposed projects should fall under one of the following categories:
  1. Branding & Marketing Development
  2. Service Excellence
  3. Financial Management
  4. Human Resource
  5. Product Development
  6. Business Process Redesign
For SMEs
Successful SME applicants will receive funding support of up to 70% of qualifying costs.

For Non-SME
Successful non-SME applicants will receive funding support of up to 50% of qualifying costs. Funding support is awarded based on STB's evaluation of the scope and merits of the project.

Qualifying Costs
Include costs related to third party professional services, testing and certification costs associated with the development of the solution and delivery of products, processes, and services meeting the desired standards, training costs that are an intrinsic component of the project, hardware and/or software associated with proposed business concept or system/process redesign, travel costs associated with the project and internal manpower cost.

Non-Qualifying Costs
Include hardware and software costs not related to the project (e.g. solutions for basic business functions), off-the-shelf packaged solutions, maintenance cost and marketing cost.
AdWords for Nonprofits Google Google Ad Grants works just like Google AdWords online advertising, by displaying your message to people who are searching for non-profits like yours.

To qualify for Google Ad Grants, your organisation must:
  • Begin by applying to Google for Non-Profits.
  • Hold valid charity status. Please see the Google for Non-Profits site for definitions of charity status in your country.
  • Acknowledge and agree to Google’s required certifications regarding non-discrimination and donation receipt and use.
  • Have a live website with substantial content.
Governmental entities and organisations, hospitals and medical groups, schools, childcare centres, academic institutions and universities are not eligible for Google Ad Grants, but philanthropic arms of educational institutions are eligible.
If you’re a qualifying non-profit, you’ll receive $10,000 USD in AdWords advertising credits every month.
Innovation Sandbox Amazon Web Services As you build your business on AWS, you may be eligible to access the Innovation Sandbox. This benefit extends AWS promotional credits toward the development of new offerings on AWS and the ability to trial new services with and for customers. The goal is to enable your firm to effectively integrate AWS services into your solution or launch a product in general availability on AWS. AWS Credits
Proof of Concept (POC) Program Amazon Web Services The AWS Proof of Concept (POC) Program is designed to facilitate AWS customer projects executed via eligible APN Partners. To accelerate a customer’s AWS adoption, the Proof of Concept (POC) Program provides AWS funding to facilitate qualified APN Partners in pursuing strategic or enterprise customer projects on AWS. APN funding benefits may include free AWS usage or co-funded Professional Services. Ultimately, the goal of the POC Program is to accelerate customer onboarding of enterprise workloads to AWS and to develop customer references and/or case studies that APN Partners can use to demonstrate their AWS expertise. AWS Credits and Co-funding


When applying for any of these grants, you will have to answer questions about your business and your products or service platform. Solution Architecture helps to make your business and technical plans clear through research, scoping and planning. Showing that you have thoroughly planned out your business can greatly help your chances of success when applying for a grant. Read more about Solution Architecture here.