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Why Singapore Is the Worst Place to Start a Startup - People Agree

Keith Tan
August 23, 2017

My original piece: Is Singapore a Toxic Place to Life
And I got SO much hate mail about it, because people disagreed, people said my article was shit. Well, well. 
Here's what one of my fine readers - Yuri - had to say about the Singapore Tech Ecosystem
Pros:
1. Plenty of money
2. Strategic Government programs
3. University ecosystems
4. Small - flexible

- BTW: These are all points I agree with 

Cons:
1. Expensive
2. Difficulty in attracting foreign talents – getting visa for foreigners
3. Small size – industries are NMCs with headquarters elsewhere
4. Risk taking propensity still low. 

Here's what another reader - Igor - said: 
I agree with you.
1. Very expensive all. Infrastructure, IT experts (technicians, programmers, etc.).
2. Very hard to bring experts from overseas because of EP issue.
3. All my startups registered in Singapore but all developers are in Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia.
4. Example: Discussed with bank (OCBC) regarding one of my startup. I am PR and own more than 30% of the company, we are developing very modern solutions (WEB 3.0, blockchain, etc.) asked for so call BUSINESS FIRST LOAN. (Company invested 800K SGD already by own capital). Just wanted to see how government assisted loans work. Bank refused to do so. (as per my understanding main reason behind: Banks in Singapore used to provide financing for big businesses with growing revenue. Small players too risky and too small.)
5. I think Singapore as a financial hub needs to just purchase innovation. They cannot innovate. 

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PS: This is an opinion piece by Keith Tan, Group CEO of Wonderlabs. Wonderlabs is the leading service provider helping companies build and manage software development teams in Indonesia and Vietnam. Across our various shared and dedicated centers, we have over 350+ active software developers. Since our founding in 2015, we have grown rapidly through innovation and our relentless mission focus - Connecting you to success and productivity. Alumni of Wonderlabs have gone on to work at some of the biggest companies in Southeast Asia.
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"I started Wonderlabs because I experienced the problems of building and managing a distributed software development team in Indonesia from 2011 to 2015. I wanted to make it seamless and frictionless for companies to build and manage teams. On the other hand, I found that there are so many amazing software engineers in Indonesia and Vietnam and wanted to connect them to employers in Singapore, Hong Kong and Jakarta" - Ivan Chang, Executive Chairman, Wonderlabs Group


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