S'pore body unveils digital media mentorship

Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation and Media Development Authority launch program to mentor country's interactive digital media startups.

The Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) has set up a mentorship program with the Media Development Authority's IDM Research and Development Programme Office (IDMPO), in a move aimed at boosting the country's interactive digital media (IDM) industry.

Under the two-phase mentorship program, the trade association will first shortlist and select IDM projects for IDMPO funding. Each project can receive up to S$50,000 (US$33,705) in grants.

In a joint statement released Friday, the SiTF and IDMPO said the grant is expected to help fledgling projects advance beyond proof of concepts. Companies working on the approved projects will also receive technical and business mentorship from SiTF members. According to the SiTF, its membership base counts some 400 enterprises ranging from local companies to multinational corporations (MNCs), including local broadcaster MediaCorp, Microsoft and SingTel.

In the second phase of the mentorship program, the SiTF will help drive and match selected projects to its members with the relevant expertise, for further investment. The SiTF said technology segments such as mobile digital media, broadcasting, IPTV and open source development, have sparked interest among its members.

Collectively, through harnessing industry support, the program aims to avail S$10 million (US$6.74 million) worth of project funding over the next five years to startups, said the SiTF.

The addition of the SiTF ups the incubator count in IDMPO's network to 10. This network is expected to nurture some 450 young enterprises through the joint program over the next several years. To date, the network has funded some 90 projects, out of which 15 were completed.

Michael Yap, IDMPO's executive director, said in the statement: "We welcome the joining of the SiTF in our effort to fuel innovation in the IDM space. We believe the SiTF's wide network of industry members would add to the vibrancy of our IDM ecosystem."

The Singapore government has in recent years been actively focusing on growing the local IDM industry. Such efforts include funding schemes and measures to grow local talent in the games industry.

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