Singapore startups and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) looking to expand their business into global markets such as Germany can now look to Enterprise Singapore’s Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) programme, Scaler8, for support.

The three stage Scaler8 market expansion programme was developed based on the specific needs of Singapore based startups and SMEs, and will address the challenges faced by local companies when entering a mature market like Germany.

Image: Scaler8 programme overview

The programme is run by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, and taps on German Entrepreneurship’s established network and experience in Germany. Claus Karthe, CEO of German Entrepreneurship Asia, said: “Scaler8 will open doors and connect entrepreneurs with potential customers and ecosystem partners in Germany. It is a comprehensive, process-driven programme where entrepreneurs are guided by mentors, industry experts and the whole Scaler8 team every step of the way.”

A strong partner to Singapore’s enterprises

As to why German Entrepreneurship Asia was chosen to support Singapore startups and SMEs with market expansion to Germany, Edwin Chow, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Innovation and Enterprise at Enterprise Singapore said: “German Entrepreneurship Asia has done very well in helping German startups expand into the rest of the world and also to help companies go into Germany. The network of mentors have the right blend of industry and startup experience and they will be able to give good advice to our startup entrepreneurs, and help open doors to the right business partners.”

He added: “Scaler8 actually is a key part of what we want to do with our GIA nodes in Germany – Berlin and Munich. It will help startups get a better sense of what it’s like to do business in Germany, to be able to access finance, markets and talent, and to know how to navigate the differences in doing business between Singapore and Germany.”

The strength of the German Entrepreneurship network includes:
i) Over 70 corporate clients, 10 of which are DAX Corporates
ii) Over 1,000 entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs
iii) Over 1,000 innovators in Scaler8’s network of corporations and startups

Market opportunities

The total turnover of all German companies amounts to approximately EUR 6.7 trillion, with 35 percent coming from German SMEs.[1] Known as the Mittelstand, German SMEs form the backbone of the German economy. Approximately 900 of the 3.3 million SMEs in Germany have revenues between EUR 500 million and EUR 2 billion.[2] Besides being the world’s manufacturers, German SMEs represent new business opportunities and potential customers for international startups looking to expand to Germany.

Germany has also opened up to international collaboration, with an observed trend of strong partnerships between established companies and international young companies to understand the international markets and culture better. This is an output of the open and business-driven ecosystem in Germany that is willing to collaborate if there is a strong solution and good business case presented.

Singapore-based businesses can also look forward to governmental and regulatory support, a strong technological base and a skilled labour force in Germany.[3]

Key sectors and verticals

The identified verticals where there would be a good fit between Singapore’s leading sectors and the market opportunity in Germany include: Industry 4.0, Fintech and Insurtech, Smart City, Digital Health and Medtech, Logistics, and Software and Analytics.

Singapore-based startups and SMEs can express their interest in the Scaler8 program at: www.scaler8.com/apply

About Scaler8

Scaler8 is a comprehensive three-stage market expansion programme that enables Singapore-based startups and small-medium enterprises (SMEs) to successfully expand to Germany. As a trusted partner of Enterprise Singapore’s Global Innovation Alliance, it helps startups and SMEs to leverage Germany’s leading innovation hubs in Berlin and Munich to unlock business opportunities. The programme fast-tracks local companies’ expansion by providing market insights, access to customers and partners, customised mentoring, and supported market entry in Germany.

Scaler8 is a programme by German Entrepreneurship Asia. Together with their group of leading mentors and experienced entrepreneurs, they bring vast experience in building strong businesses in Asia and Germany.

For more information, visit www.scaler8.com

About German Entrepreneurship Asia

German Entrepreneurship Asia connects the innovation ecosystems of Asia and Europe to advance cross-border synergies between startups, investors and corporates. It runs three key innovation programmes – the flagship programme for German startups to scale into Southeast Asia, German Accelerator, the Asian market immersion programme Next Step Asia, as well as Scaler8, a programme for Singapore startups and small-medium enterprises to expand to Germany.

For more information, visit: www.german-entrepreneurship.asia

[1] Economic overview Germany: Market, Productivity and Innovation by Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI). URL: https://www.gtai.de/resource/blob/63824/b43c3f08a45892076323cf4c40f3b4a7/economic-overview-germany-market-productivity-innovation-en-data.pdf

[2] Transforming the Mittelstand: Fit for Growth for mid-size Germany companies. URL: https://www.strategyand.pwc.com/de/de/studie/2018/transforming-mittelstand

[3] Digital hub DE. URL: https://www.de-hub.de/en/