EntrePass is a work pass scheme under Startup SG Talent for foreign entrepreneurs who are keen to start businesses in Singapore. Introduced in 2003, the scheme was enhanced recently to facilitate the entry and stay of global entrepreneurial talent who can complement the local startup ecosystem. The scheme came into effect from 3 August 2017. Here we discuss the three new criteria that were added in the newly enhanced EntrePass scheme.
Broader Evaluation Criteria
The following three new criteria have been added to the qualifying criteria:
Business network and entrepreneurial track record
- Investment track record
- Key achievements in the areas of expertise
1. Business network and entrepreneurial track record
If you have significant business experience or business network and have track record of establishing scalable business you can qualify for an EntrePass and if you are able to prove any one of the following:
- Have founded and sold a tech company.
- Have raised significant funding from investors for a current or past venture.
- Have been or are being incubated by an internationally renowned incubator or accelerator.
- Have strong industry networks and business contacts that are related to your proposed business.
- Have substantial track record related to your proposed business.
- Have received recognition by a national body, recognised media publication or credible industry organisation for your professional, business or entrepreneurial achievements.
This criterion opens the gates for serial entrepreneurs who have the experience of establishing, growing and exiting startups. Even otherwise, those who have outstanding connections that could be proved through supporting documents such as, letters of commendation, referrals or expression of interest to collaborate in the proposed venture from industry contacts or other networks and associations of merit, would substantially qualify the applicants.
Although the criterion only requires one of the above requirements to be fulfilled, serial entrepreneurs and experienced start-up founders would effortlessly fulfill more than one of the above requirements. Founders of start-ups that have progressed beyond the ideation phase to the validation phase have better prospects of qualifying. Novice entrepreneurs would potentially qualify if they could prove substantial experience and expertise related to the proposed business.
2. Investment track record
If you are an investor with good rack record of investing in businesses and have intentions of investing and growing Singapore companies, then you could qualify for EntrePass, provided that you are willing to invest substantial amount of money in a local company and you have track record in one of the following:
- Investing in and driving the growth of highly-scalable businesses.
- Substantial experience as a senior management professional or executive in a large corporation.
It must be noted that EntrePass is generally meant for applicants who have outstanding entrepreneurial talent and a viable and scalable business plan but lack the educational qualification to obtain the conventional employment pass. The enhanced scheme now allows investors to apply for the pass, provided that they invest substantial sum in a local company. However, the criteria requiring the applicant to have work experience in a large corporation is a little touchy. This requirement could preclude investors who have the business acumen and investing experience but no work experience, unless they have had a formal entity that performed investment task as a business activity and have records to prove this claim.
3. Key achievements in the areas of expertise
You could qualify for an EntrePass as an innovator if you have outstanding accomplishments to your credit in the area that is relevant to your business. You must fulfill both of the following requirements:
- Your area of expertise must be related to your proposed business; and
- You have outstanding achievements or received international recognition in your area of technical or domain expertise.
Innovators who have no prior experience of running a startup or any form of entrepreneurial experience could also qualify under this criterion. Most often, bureaucratic hurdles and legal maze confound innovators when they attempt to develop their innovation beyond the ideation stage. Often they find themselves disadvantaged by lack of infrastructure or the requisite ecosystem to develop their ideas and are also apprehensive about the protection of their ideas. Innovators facing such challenges could now take advantage of the enhanced EntrePass scheme to establish their startups and develop their ideas in Singapore if they are able to substantiate their claims of expertise.