Singaporean media company MediaCorp has launched a strategic investment vehicle targeted at startups particularly in the digital media space.

The investment vehicle, called The Mediapreneur, is made up of an investment fund that helps startups in seed or series A capital, and an incubator program for startups to test their business ideas and products. This ties in with its spending spree in the tech scene recently, after it led a $40 million investment in luxury shopping site Reebonz and acquired a majority stake in online gaming site Cubinet Interactive.

The company’s move indicates an obvious strategic shift toward the digital space, as traditional television is being threatened by a rapid uptake of tablet and mobile video viewing according to a recent report from online video firm Ooyala. Interestingly, MediaCorp’s latest statement also confirms it invested in Ooyala last year, after Ooyala previously declined to confirm such a deal.

MediaCorp’s incubator program will be in the form of a bootcamp where startups can be mentored by specialists at the company – namely Chief Technology Officer Joseph Igoe, Head of Strategic Planning Guillaume Sachet (who also sits on the board at Cubinet) and Head of Organization Development Joe Piamthipmanus.

These startups will be able to test their products and services in a live media environment (though Mediacorp clarifies that this will not translate into a reality TV program), and by the end of the program, MediaCorp says they “would have developed early traction and scale, and be well positioned to be commercially viable in the digital media space environment”. Sachet says:

Through brainstorming new business models and co-developing new technologies, we plan to strike a commercial partnership once the development is mature, anchoring ourselves in the digital media space.

Applications for the program have now opened and will be closed on 31 July. A spokeswoman at MediaCorp says the program will kick off once there are enough selected applicants to form three groups of three persons.

The startup scene in Southeast Asia is booming, as many firms have their eye on getting a slice of the huge market with a nascent tech scene projected to grow rapidly. Singapore-based JFDI Asia has just opened applications for its third 100-day accelerator program, and in July BootstrapAccelerator Asia – formed by San Francisco-based BootstrapLabs and Malaysia’s MAD Incubator – will be launched in Malaysia.

➤ MediaCorp Startup Program Application

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