Singapore has come a long way indeed! The country now needs to advance to the next stage of innovation and creativity to remain competitive.
“We are going under a ­dramatic transformation in the last few years. Injecting enterprise in education is important. Universities need to act as a stimulus for economic growth,” says Peter Yu Hin Pang, assistant vice president, (university and global relations), NUS.
NUS Enterprise came into existence to infuse an entrepreneurial spirit and cultivate a global outlook within the community.
Lily Chan, CEO, NUS Enterprise says, “NUS Enterprise comprises three major divisions — the NUS Overseas Colleges Programme employs early experiential learning for university students to gain work experience in high-tech start-ups, Industry Liaison Office administers all matters relating to university-generated intellectual property and manages research and industry agreements and NUS Entrepreneurship Centre and Incubator work to form and develop new start-up ventures from university student projects as well as from high tech research.”
NUS Enterprise assists incubatee companies in getting funding to facilitate them to apply for grants and seek investments from external parties. It also supports new companies and entrepreneurial projects with a number of physical facilities, such as office space, access to meeting rooms and shared office equipment. However, more important than the physical facilities are the core services to support basic business needs, such as mentors, business clinics and funding assistance.
Instrumental in strengthening Singapore’s start-up environment and supporting young entrepreneurs, NUS Enterprise saw the need to establish a strong entrepreneurial community that went beyond the NUS campus. This led to the inception of Blk71, which is now home to hundreds of tech-related organisations, including start-ups, venture funds and incubators.
“Incubation centres form a nexus of community where like-minded individuals and projects can intersect and share trade knowledge and resources. There are a number of incubators/accelerators located at Blk71, and many of them provide a range of funding support, including angel investment, seed funding, and beyond. These include local organisations such as NUS Enterprise and JFDI, as well as international players, such as Plug & Play, Pollenizer and iMinds etc,” says Chan.