Singapore's corporate venture launchpad selects BCG and McKinsey

12 May 2021 3 min. read

Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company have been named partners of a new growth initiative from the Singapore Economic Development Board.

Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) has selected the venture and incubation wings of strategy consulting giants McKinsey and BCG to support a new S$10 million business growth initiative. Together with venture-building firms Rainmaking and FutureLabs (the latter founded by McKinsey alumni Mario Aquino and Philippe Mauchard), Leap by McKinsey and BCG Digital Ventures will serve as the appointed studios for the ‘Corporate Venture Launchpad’.

The pilot programme is aimed at supporting up to 20 large, established Singapore-based companies to explore new areas of growth beyond their existing core business, with 50 percent co-funding grants up for grabs for a number of sprints over a six-month period, from idea generation through to concept validation and venture launch. The scale-up phase for high potential businesses may attract additional capital investment and value creation support through EDB New Ventures.

Singapore's corporate venture launchpad selects BCG and McKinsey

“While companies have the innovation capacity, much of their focus is often on optimising core business operations,” said Choo Heng Tong, Executive Vice President, New Ventures and Innovation at EDB. “Building ventures with an agile and autonomous entrepreneurial team will allow them to effectively search and build new growth areas. We want to support these large businesses, which have significant market reach and scale, in leveraging these advantages.”

For its part, McKinsey will assemble an eight-strong team to design and deliver a six-week Venture Program, with the firm noting its ability compared to ordinary venture-building enterprises to tap the expertise of 5,000 McKinsey Digital professionals firm-wide (including through a pair of regional digital acquisitions made this year). The Leap practice has helped to develop 380 new businesses over the past five years, and claims a 5.1x average return-on-investment.

“We are incredibly excited,” said McKinsey’s Singapore managing partner Badrinath Ramanathan. “A majority of CEOs of Singapore-listed companies earmark venture-building among their top priorities. We believe the next wave in creating value will come from innovation by incumbent companies, even more so than start-ups. This is a wonderful opportunity to create Singapore’s next generation of business leaders.”

Earlier this year, BCG celebrated the official launch of its Digital Ventures campus in Singapore, first announced at the end of 2019 with support from the EDB, with Deputy Prime Minister and finance minister Heng Swee Keat in attendance to deliver a speech alongside BCG South East Asia head Jaime Ruiz-Cabrero, Singapore chairman Jeffrey Chua, and BCGDV managing director Peter Cho. It was reported that BCGDV launched five new local ventures last year.

“Very honoured that BCGDV has been selected to be part of this initiative and looking forward to boosting Singapore’s corporate venturing ecosystem jointly with the EDB New Ventures team and the other venture studios and ecosystem partners in this vibrant community here,” said fellow BCGDV managing director Hanno Stegmann, the former Asia Pacific CEO of venture-building giant Rocket Internet. “I am sure we will see a lot of exciting ventures coming out of this!”