Telstra-backed startup accelerator, muru-D1, launched today in Singapore, aspiring to attract the region's best digital talent, foster local technology innovation and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem across Southeast Asia.
Applications will open in May for ten technology startups from across Southeast Asia to be recruited for the inaugural six-month accelerator program, which begins in August 2015. The successful startups will receive SGD$40,000 in seed capital, space in muru-D Singapore's central business district office and introductions to world-class mentors, coaches and investors.
Annie Parker, Co-Founder at muru-D, said Singapore was the ideal location for its second startup accelerator and followed the successful launch of its first accelerator in Sydney in October 2013. Those first nine Australian-based startups have already attracted more than SGD$3.15 million (AU$3 million) in follow-on funding.
"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 trillion2. 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."
muru-D is one of a number of growth businesses under Telstra Software Group (TSG) – led by Charlotte Yarkoni who is the other Co-Founder of muru-D – and 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 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," Annie said.
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 close-knit community of entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators and corporate partners was 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.
muru-D Singapore will be headed by Joseph Ziegler, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, and Jamie Camidge, Head of Strategic Partnerships & Alliances. Joseph has more than 20 years' experience in building and exiting startups around the globe, while Jamie 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 Joseph and Jamie throughout May and June, designed to attract the region's best digital talent.
Kiren Kumar, Director of Infocomms & Media at the Singapore Economic Development Board, welcomed the launch of muru-D in Singapore and said Telstra's strong and reputable brand name, together with Singapore as the digital innovation capital of Asia, would draw technology entrepreneurs and startups from across the region.
"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," Mr Kumar said.