Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How advanced does a startup have to be to qualify for the ASEAN-Australia Smart Cities Accelerator? 

If you’re a founder working on your startup full-time and have at least one working minimum viable product (MVP), you can apply for the accelerator. Getting accepted well that depends on the application pool and other variables like your team, traction with users, fit within the cohort and potential to make an impact. 

Can I apply if I don’t have a product? 

To apply you need to have at least one minimum viable product (MVP). If you have an idea brewing, turn it into reality and come back to apply for our 2020 cohort. 

What’s the application process? 

After you submit your application (hyperlink to submit your application page on website), we will shortlist the top applications for interviews in person (should you be in Singapore) or via video. Then the top 25 startups are invited to a 2-day “bootcamp” at our office in Singapore where representatives from our investor, mentor and founder network will meet with you and help us choose the top 10 startups to join the cohort. The finale of bootcamp is a pitch to our judging committee who will make the final decision. Whether or not you get chosen to join the cohort, all startups who attended the bootcamp have said that it was an incredibly rewarding experience so you can’t really lose! 

What verticals does the ACCELERATOR focus on? 

The ASEAN-Australia Smart Cities Accelerator focuses on startups who have smart cities solutions. We’re looking for solutions that can be scaled, improve livelihoods through new business, career and economic opportunities, improve access to safe and affordable housing, public spaces, infrastructure and transportation. 

What smart city solutions are you looking for? 

We’re looking for smart city solutions that cover a whole bunch of things from improving economic inclusion and education to delivering data insights. Some areas might include: 

  • Startups helping to provide and deliver better services and utilities to citizens

  • Startups working on insights and better decision making for nations and their citizens 

  • Startups pioneering new farming techniques or alternative energy source 

  • Startups focusing on economic inclusion and education 

These are just some examples but if you think you’ve got a smart cities idea then we suggest you apply now! 

What types of startups are you looking for? 

We’re looking for startups with a full team, unique perspective, have a product and can scale impact. 

Can I apply if I’m not from an ASEAN country? 

You can but your solution needs to be applicable to an ASEAN market or have an ASEAN market presence such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia or Vietnam. 

Investment & Program 

How much equity do you take in startups? 

The ASEAN-Australia Smart Cities Accelerator is an equity free investment, so we don’t take an equity stake in your startup - that’s right, it’s just up to SGD$40,000. 

Wait, what’s the deal again? 

We invest up to SGD$40,000 into your startup - no equity taken. 

How long is the program?

It is designed to provide you, startup founders, with the best possible support to accelerate growth during a the program in Singapore.

What’s a typical week? 

When in Singapore for the first stage of the accelerator, a typical week will look like: 

Monday: Founder stand up and Entrepreneur in Residence

Tuesday: 1 on 1 with Entrepreneur in Residence

Wednesday: Workshop and masterclass 

Friday: Open House and pitching event 

We’re founder friendly and know you need to keep working, we estimate that you still spend around 90% of your time working on your startup. 

Why should I join? 

You should join the accelerator because we offer you access to resources and expertise to help you scale your startup. Our startups receive access to best-in-class mentors, investors, customers and our network of partners. You’ll have access to a great space in the downtown area in Singapore with a high-value and efficiently-run program that offers tremendous value while giving you time to run your business. You’ll also have access to a dedicated team including the Entrepreneur-in-Residence to help your startup journey. 

Living in Singapore

How do we deal with Visas for staying in Singapore? 

The ASEAN-Australia Smart Cities Accelerator team will help you with the required paperwork you need to apply for your visa and provide ongoing support during the accelerator. 

Do all founders have to be in Singapore for the entire 3-month period? 

No, while it’s encouraged and startups who have more founder participation get more out of the program, the minimum requirements for participation are: 

  • At least one founder must be at all required events - which normally means you will need at least one founder to be in Singapore during the week. 

  • All founders must attend demo day and demo day prep. 

Is it expensive to live in Singapore? 

Yes and no. It depends on the lifestyle you want to have. If you eat locally, use public transport, you can get by in Singapore at a reasonable cost. We can help suggest options to make your time in Singapore as comfortable as possible.  

Where is the ASCA program in Singapore? 

We run the accelerator out of Accelerating Asia’s offices in downtown Singapore, Telok Ayer. You’ll be given dedicated desk space during the program. 

Have other burning questions or concerns?

Drop us an email and we will get back to you soon!