Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the STAR Fund?

The STAR Fund is to help tech companies tide over the challenges arising from COVID-19, with the following focus:
a) Business Growth – To assist SGTech members to acquire SME customers
b) Capability Upgrading – To assist SGTech members in training and reskilling their workforce, in order to harness new digital capabilities and/or deepen current skills, and be poised for further business growth. 

2. How much is the support from STAR Fund?

The STAR Fund has a total funding size of S$660,000. It will provide cash support for the following requests:
a) S$500 per tech solution
b) S$300 per training per pax

3. What is the makeup of the STAR Fund?

The STAR Fund comprises:
a) Donation from SGTech member, Facebook
b) Funding support from Enterprise Singapore (ESG) SG Together Enhancing Enterprise Resilience (STEER) Programme

As per the STEER Programme, ESG matched $1 for every $2 raised by SGTech.

4. Who is eligible to apply for the STAR Fund?

The applicant company must meet the following criteria:
a) A locally-registered SME with more than 30% local shareholding and operating in Singapore
b) Annual revenue of not more than S$30 million generated from the Singapore market(Note 1)
c) Possess a valid SGTech membership at the time of application and disbursement of fund
d) The qualifying solution or training programme must not be already supported by a government grant(Note 2)

(Note 1) Revenue is self declared by the applicant company. If actual audited financial statement or equivalent document evidence is required for any purposes including audit, 
    applicant company is required to furnish the needful upon request. If an applicant company fails to comply, SGTech, at its discretion, shall claw back the amount disbursed.
(Note 2) The applicant company will declare that its tech solution is not already supported by a government grant. The same applies to training programmes.


5. What is supported by the STAR Fund?

The applicant company can apply for support on the following:
a) Tech solutions that help non-tech SMEs to digitalise 
b) Training programmes that

i. Assist entrepreneurs or management team in growing their business (e.g. fundamentals of business expansion, design thinking and etc) 
ii. Assist employees to broaden or deepen existing tech skillsets


6. What are the evaluation criteria?

a) For applications under tech solutions:

i. Does the solution fit the purpose?
ii. Is it reasonable in addressing an SME’s needs?
iii. Does the solution have a track record of adoption?(Note 3)(Note 4) 
iv. Is the cost of the solution reasonable?

(Note 3) Evidence as in local SME / Non-SME adoption is preferred. However, if a solution is newly launched in local market, adoption by overseas clients, SME / Non-SME may qualify.
(Note 4) If a new solution has yet to have an adoption, it may be submitted for review.

b) For applications under training programme:

i. Does the training programme fit the company’s purpose or need?
ii. Is the cost of the training programme reasonable?
iii. Is the training provider accredited and certified to conduct the training?
iv. Does the trainer possess ACTA or similar qualification?
v. Did the applicant’s employee attend at least 75% of the course? 


7. For how long will the STAR Fund be available?

a) The STAR Fund is valid for 18 months, with effect from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2022. 
b) The STAR Fund may close earlier than 31 Mar 2022 if the Fund is drawn down sooner.

8. When can I apply for the STAR Fund?

Applicant companies can submit their requests online, starting from 1 October 2020. 

9. How many times can I apply for the STAR Fund?

a) Each applicant company may submit any number of requests but can only receive approved Fund support up to 5 times in each qualifying period. Each Fund support received, regardless for tech solutions or training programmes, counts as one time. 
b) There are 3 qualifying periods, each of six months' duration.
c) Hence, an applicant company can receive Fund support up to a maximum of 15 times, unless the Fund is drawn down earlier.
d) The qualifying periods are shown below.


10. How do I apply for support for tech solution?

The process consists of 3 steps. 
a) One-time application to qualify that the applicant company is eligible for support. 
b) Application for funding support on a tech solution proposed to a SME. 
c) Submission of document proof of deal. 

11. How do I apply for support for training programme?

The process consists of 3 steps. 
a) One-time application to qualify that the applicant company is eligible for support.
b) Application for funding support on a training.
c) Submission of document proof of attendance.

12. What are needed to qualify as training provider?

The process consists of 2 steps. 
a) One-time application to qualify as an eligible training provider.
b) Application for a training programme to be included in the curated list.

13. Can I submit my application on the last day of validity period, i.e. 31 March 2022?

a) No, the STAR Fund will close on 31 March 2022. All qualified applications but with outstanding payments will be paid by 31 March 2022. 
b) All outstanding applications will be nullified and not processed.

14. Do I have to submit a previously approved solution for another customer?

Yes, as each solution is evaluated with due consideration to each SME customer's requirement.

15. Can one employee qualify for multiple training support?

Yes, the Fund can support one employee to attend multiple training programmes. However, the Fund will not support a repeat of a training programme. A training programme for a different level of proficiency is regarded as a different programme.

16. Do both local and non-local employees qualify for training support?

The Fund will only support a member’s employee who is a Singapore citizen or permanent resident. The Fund will not support a member’s employee who is a foreigner on work pass. 

17. Can I request for support for a sale that has only hardware?

No. The intent is to help SMEs to digitalise and the solution must deliver on digitalisation. Hardware is supported only if it forms an integral part of the solution. E.g. scanner in a POS solution.  

18. What if my solution is monthly subscription based?

The Fund will support if the invoice amount before GST is at least S$500.

19. What if my solution or training cost is lower than the support amount of $500 and $300 respectively? Can I request for support? Can I keep the balance amount?

The Fund will support applications for which the invoice amount is equal to or more than the prescribed support amount for tech solution and training programme. If the amount is less than the prescribed amount, it will not be supported.

20. When can I expect to hear back on my application?

Applicant companies will be notified of the result within 14 business days, if all necessary information is furnished. 

21. My solution is already supported by the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG). Can I use the Fund support to further sweeten the deal for my customer?

No, the fund will not support a tech solution if it is already supported by a government grant. This is regardless of what the grant is called or the government agency or ministry administering it. The same applies for training programmes.

22. My solution with PSG support is version 1. Now I have an improved version 2 which is not supported by PSG. Can I apply for support from the Fund?

No, if an earlier version of a solution is already supported by a government grant, the same solution with a newer version will not be supported by the Fund.


Updated on 30 Sep 2020.

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