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Scaling deeptech startups into Asia through House of Deeptech and Austrade

DeepTech incubators are essential if we want to achieve tangible industry transformations, smart funding, new partnerships and distribution, and viable product roadmap outcomes.”

— Professor Marianne Winslett

SINGAPORE, July 7, 2021 / / -- R3i Ventures has launched an inaugural Digital Economy accelerator at their House of DeepTech

. This “Singapore Calling” program is designed to support deeptech visionaries to land and expand in-country. It will accelerate commercial traction and introductions to capital across the South East Asian market.

The new program will focus on accelerating companies centred on high-performance computing, quantum, geospatial, fintech, supply chain, advanced manufacturing, digital health, and artificial intelligence into the region that can make a tangible contribution to the Digital Economy.

The House of Deeptech offers growth-focused founders a personalised 12-week no-equity pay-to-play "Land and Expand" immersion program. The program is followed by a 6-month incubation, with a personalised scaleup coaching program to accelerate exports specifically tailored to soft-land companies in the region. It all delivered without founders needing to travel. Entrepreneurs can establish South East Asian R&D options, manufacturing or export operations, hire early talent, and accelerate their sales and distribution remotely. "Land and Expand" offers founders millions in tech perks and direct pathways to specialised R&D partners and research institutes.

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), through its Landing Pad program, will be a co-delivery partner for Australian scale-ups participating in the House of Deeptech. This aligns with the Singapore-Australia Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) which aims to create an environment in which businesses and consumers can benefit from the digitalisation of the economy across both countries. The DEA has created an opportunity for R3i Ventures to deepen its engagement with Founders in Australia.

“The partnership with R3i Ventures is in line with our Landing Pad program which launches Australian technology scaleups into Singapore and the ASEAN region. Through The House of Deeptech, Austrade will jointly assist Australian scaleups to validate and access commercial opportunities in the digital economy as well as connect them to investors, corporates, innovators and mentors more effectively in this region.” said Stephen Skulley, Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner at Austrade in Singapore.

An expert team of Entrepreneurs in Residence provides personalised support to each company. It is drawing on more than four decades of experience and networking in cross-border scientific commercialisation and investment from across its global team. Deeptech founders can also supercharge their growth through connecting to the House of DeepTech proprietary digital market access platform via its incubation hubs in Singapore, Luxembourg and Silicon Valley. R3i's purpose-built DealDesk syndicates alumni into an ecosystem of intelligent capital and international non-dilutive funding pathways of up to 15 million euros.

The Program’s Entrepreneurs in Residence include professors emerita Tom Kosnik with over 30 years in technology entrepreneurship and global entrepreneurial marketing at the Harvard Business School, Stanford Engineering and NUS; Professor emerita Marianne Winslett, an expert in Computer Science from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Marianne was the founding director of the Advanced Digital Sciences Centre of Singapore; and Professor James G. Shanahan, UC Berkeley School of Information. They have joined the bench to help co-curate the ecosystem they believe is critical to founders surviving the VC acid test, establishing robust IP and commercialisation strategies, and scaling their companies internationally.

"Deeptech companies often have high information asymmetries, require regulatory certifications, and take longer to scale. Accelerators are typically 60 to 90 days in length, which is too short for deep technologies", asserts Professor Winslett. "Incubators are essential if we want to achieve tangible industry transformations, smart funding, new partnerships and distribution, and viable product roadmap outcomes," she adds.

Professor Henry Wong, who spent 38 years in the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial and venture capital ecosystem, will support the founders to fundraise across borders. He has experience exiting dozens of companies with double-digit IRR as a managing partner of Garage Tech Ventures and Diamond Tech Ventures. Peter Hlavnicka, 30+ years veteran in the high-tech industry, is leading the Program’s IP strategy, Brand Protection, Supply Chain and Anti Counterfeit. Olympic Gold and Bronze medal winning coach Steve Anderson also joins the ranks to support high-performance development and wellness.

R3i General Partner Leesa Soulodre notes that R3i has "established an elite international scientific and technical bench for our deeptech founders. We have forged funding, corporate and research institution pathways, an accelerated pathway to Singapore’s coveted Entrepass, and forged partnerships with syndicating deeptech VC firms across South East Asia. The World’s first Artificial intelligent coach is complemented by people analytics and high-performance scaleup coaching “When combined, this allows our founders to engage with strategic intent, friction-free, into new target markets, despite the travel constraints of COVID19."

Soulodre also sees cost advantages to R3i's approach: "With Southeast Asia lower cost bases, our companies can scale and succeed more reliably with longer runways, less dilution, substantial public dollar support, and an excellent ecosystem, with the deep 'guanxi' in which to thrive.

The House of DeepTech program will create 120 new jobs per year and contribute to workforce up-skilling and inclusivity of its ecosystem workforce. It will drive equal opportunities across Singapore's smart city and innovation ecosystems. R3i's annual impact report will measure the program's societal and economic outcomes.

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