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Robust sign-up rate for Kickstart Fund 23 proposals received for the first application cycle of the S$5 million Kickstart Fund

September 26, 2013 Tourist Boards No Comments Email Email

A visual arts festival on emerging Southeast Asian artists and an art and design literature fair will be among the first projects to be awarded funding of up to S$75,000 in the first application cycle of the Kickstart Fund.

These projects were selected out of 23 submissions after two months of evaluation and interviews that concluded in August.

The S$5 million Kickstart Fund, launched in June, is an incentive scheme designed to support untested yet innovative lifestyle events and concepts with tourism potential. Grant recipients can also get access to mentorship guidance from industry veterans. More grant recipients will be announced at a later date.

Ms Lynette Pang, the Executive Director of Arts and Entertainment and F1 and Sports at the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), says: “The robust sign-up rate for the Kickstart Fund shows that there are many entrepreneurial people out there who have fresh and innovative concepts to create distinct and compelling experiences for discerning locals and travellers. It is also an affirmation of our Kickstart Fund’s intention to support and accelerate these concepts to fruition. We now look forward to more creative concepts at subsequent application cycles.”

All proposals received were assessed by an evaluation panel that comprised representatives from the industry, government agencies and STB. After a final round of interviews with shortlisted applicants, the recipients were selected based on the originality of their proposed concepts, tourism potential, soundness of their business plans as well as track records and competencies of the respective management teams.

Kickstart Fund evaluation panellist Mr Aaron Boey, the former President of the Asia Pacific Division at Levi Strauss & Co. and STB board member, says: “The selected projects had innovative concepts that can plug existing gaps in the tourism and lifestyle sector and appeal to travellers and locals seeking niche experiences. We have also seen a wide range of interesting concepts from other applicants, though some need to be further fine-tuned in terms of their ability to integrate unique Singapore experiences more coherently, and to put together a more sustainable business plan.”  

SPOT ART, an international juried visual arts festival, will be the first Kickstart Fund-supported project to kick off.  To be held from October 25 to November 4, the inaugural festival will gather, for the first time, emerging artists under the age of 30 across Southeast Asia to exhibit their works to collectors, gallerists, experts, as well as education and art institutions in the region. The festival, held at the ARTrium@MICA, will feature over 200 works from more than 70 artists, of whom 22 are from Singapore. The annual event will add to the wide spectrum of Southeast Asian contemporary art experiences in Singapore.

Mr Jerry Gunn, the Director of SPOT ART, says: “The fast-growing contemporary art scene in Southeast Asia is highly fragmented, with no centralised location where one can go to view and buy the best of the region’s art works. The funding and mentorship guidance from Kickstart Fund will move us even closer to our goal of developing SPOT ART, and therefore Singapore, into a dynamic hub that will not only be a career launch pad for the region’s “Best of the New” artists, but also a preferred travel destination where locals, visitors, and art collectors can gather to appreciate art.”

Another Kickstart Fund-supported project, Singapore Art Book Fair, will debut at the Gillman Barracks in November. The annual fair, developed by creative consultancy Hjgher and independent bookstore and publisher BooksActually, will be the only art book fair in Southeast Asia specialising in art and design literature. There will also be ticketed fringe events such as artist talks, film screenings, book launches, as well as retail booths to attract more visitors beyond the arts community.

Mr Kenny Leck, organiser of Singapore Art Book Fair and the founder of BooksActually, says: “We are very happy to receive the support from the Kickstart Fund as it allows small companies like us to execute entrepreneurial ideas with the best possible resources. We look forward to realising our vision of placing Singapore along the likes of New York, London and Tokyo on the world map of art literature publishing.”

The second cycle of the Kickstart Fund is now open for application and will close on 30 Sep 2013, with the third cycle opening sometime in early December 2013. Details on the Kickstart Fund and application forms are available on

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