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The Role of University in the National Ecosystem for Entrepreneurship


The Role of University in the National Ecosystem for Entrepreneurship & Innovation: The case of NUS in Singapore Wong Poh Kam Professor, NUS Business School – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Role of University in the National Ecosystem for Entrepreneurship

The Role of University in the National Ecosystem
for Entrepreneurship Innovation The case of
NUS in Singapore
  • Wong Poh Kam
  • Professor, NUS Business School
  • Director, NUS Entrepreneurship Centre

Singapore has succeeded in the past by leveraging
foreign capital, talent technology
  • Singapores Global Ranking
  • Worlds Easiest Place for Doing Business (World
    Bank, Doing Business Report 2009 2010)
  • Least bureaucratic place for doing business in
    Asia (PERC Asian Intelligence 2009)
  • No.2 worldwide as the city with the best
    investment potential for 15 consecutive years
    (BERI Report 2009)
  • No. 1 in Foreign Trade and Investment
    (Globalization Report 2009, WEF Global Trade
    Enabling Report 2009)
  • Best business environment in Asia Pacific and
    worldwide (EIU Business Environment Ranking 2009)
  • Least restrictive immigration laws for foreign
    talent in the world (IMD World Competitiveness
    Yearbook 2008)

but up to the early 2000s, Singapore has
emphasized less, and has been less successful, in
nurturing indigenous high tech entrepreneurship
  • Propensity of Singaporeans to engage in start-up
    activities has been lower than international
  • Perception of entrepreneurship as career option
    and in terms of social status among Singaporean
    have also been below average among OECD countries
  • Financing for early stage start-ups (angel
    investment and venture capital funds) has also
    been less developed than economies like USA,
    Taiwan and Israel
  • There has been much fewer local high tech
    success stories compared to the other Asian
    Newly Industrialized Economies Taiwan and Korea

TEA (Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity) Rate
and GDP per capita, 2006
Singapores Key Policy Focus since the mid-2000s
  • Shift from primary dependence on foreign
    investment to a more balanced economy and
    diversified enterprise ecosystem, with both
    foreign MNCs and indigenous innovative
  • Growing importance of Knowledge-Based
    Innovation Entrepreneurship Support Ecosystem
  • Changing role of Universities

Vision of Singapores Knowledge Economy (ESC 2010
Source ESC Report 2010
Singapores Policy Shift Towards Supporting
Innovative Entrepreneurship since the early 2000s
  • Intensification of public investment in RD and
  • Promotion of venture capital, business angel
    investment to finance high tech start-ups
  • Liberalization of regulations for SMEs (e.g.
    bankruptcy laws, allowance for business in
    residential premises, liberalization of stock
    exchange listing requirements)
  • Attracting foreign entrepreneurs, promotion of
    Singapore as regional entrepreneurial hub
  • Reforming educational system to encourage
    creativity innovation and inculcate
    entrepreneurial mindset

  • Examples of Recent Public Policies to Promote
    Indigenous Innovation Capability
  • Investing in Strategic, Economically Relevant,
    Science-Based Research Capabilities (Pasteurs
  • Life Science
  • Biomedical Translational Research
  • Interactive Digital Media
  • Water Clean Technologies
  • Alternative Energies
  • Building Globally Competitive Universities
    Public Research Institutes, Infrastructures for
    Global RD hub
  • National University of Singapore (NUS) to become
    a leading university in the world in order to
    attract global talents to Singapore
  • International collaborative RD hub in Singapore
    in partnership with leading universities in the
    world (MIT, ETH etc) (CREATE)
  • Development of One North, a major science park
    that includes Biopolis Fusionpolis, and
    Deployment of National Broadband Network (NBN)

  • Examples of Singapores Entrepreneurship Support
  • SPRING Singapore
  • SEEDS BAS Schemes to provide co-investment
    funding for angel investors to invest in early
    stage start-ups
  • TECS POC and POV Schemes to fund
    proof-of-concept, proto-typing, market
    feasibility and product development costs
  • TIP Innovation Voucher Schemes to subsidize
    SME investments in new technology to enhance
    their competitiveness and productivity
  • NRF Academic Entrepreneurship Framework
  • co-funding of six early stage venture capital
    funds eight technology incubators (NRF TIS)
  • provision of Third Mission funding as a of
    RD funding to local universities
  • additional innovation grants to local
    universities to fund new academic
    entrepreneurship initiatives (UIF)
  • Establishment of Action Community for
    Entrepreneurship (ACE), a public-private
    partnership platform to promote entrepreneurship

New Roles of University in the Context of
Singapores Shift towards Knowledge Economy
  • Contribute to the Creation of New Knowledge-based
  • to support knowledge-based economic growth
    through the creation of industrially-relevant
    knowledge/innovation and their commercialization,
    and to attract global MNCs in new emerging
  • Attraction of Foreign Talents
  • Go beyond Education for the small local
    population to compete for global talents by
    attracting top students and faculty from
    overseas, as done by top universities in USA
  • Fostering Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • In the past, high economic growth has provided
    local university graduates with good career
    prospects as salaried employees, particularly in
    MNC subsidiaries and government
  • In the future knowledge economy, stable job
    opportunities no longer guaranteed, need to
    inculcate spirit of enterprise

New Vision of NUS in the 21st Century Towards a
Global Knowledge Enterprise -A leading global
university centred in Asia, influencing the future
  • To become a globally-oriented university, in the
    distinguished league of the worlds leading
  • To become a bold and dynamic community, with a
    no walls culture and a spirit of enterprise
    which strives for positive influence and impact
    through our education, research and service
  • To be a key node in the global knowledge network,
    with distinctive expertise and insights relating
    to Asia

NUS Key Challenges in Fostering Entrepreneurial
  • Injecting entrepreneurial dimension while
    maintaining focus on academic excellence
  • Promoting interest in entrepreneurial pursuit in
    an environment where opportunity costs are high,
    and social norm emphasizes corporate, public
    sector and professional career path
  • Compensating for weaknesses and gaps in the
    national ecosystem for entrepreneurship

Scientific Publications, selected Asian
Universities, Jan 1999 Feb 2009
NUS Aspirational Role in Singapores Knowledge
NUS Strategic Changes to implement the new
Entrepreneurial University Model
  • Incorporation of Enterprise as a Third mission
    in addition to the traditional missions of
    teaching and research
  • Creation of a new Organizational Division NUS
  • Broad mission to inject more entrepreneurial
    dimension to NUS education and research
  • Appointment of change leadership with academic
    excellence AND significant practical knowledge of
    entrepreneurship and venture investing
  • Corporatization of NUS in 2006 to provide the
    university with greater autonomy and flexibility

NUS Enterprise (ETP)
IP Management
Industry Relations
  • Promote collaboration
  • Strategic engagement with industry to identify
    research collaborations
  • Close interaction with faculties and research
    centers tuned-in to NUS research expertise and
    IP portfolio
  • Lead in negotiations for all external

Commercialize IP
Improve Diamond cutting tool life explore the
effect of lubricants in the high speed cutting of
super alloy
GEM4 - Global Enterprise for Micro-Mechanics and
Molecular Medicine
develop new supported metal catalysts for the
conversion of synthesis gas to high-value light
Research in new generation composite airframes
GE-NUS Partnership for Global Water Research
Honeywell Singapore Technology Centre develop
expert system to manage process transitions
IBM-NUS On Demand Supply Chain Solutions Centre
Research relating to Medical Imaging
Research in areas mobile networking ie. Bluetooth
Research relating Solar Energy
Research relating to Wind power generation
Research relating to Aeronautics, Space Defense
NUS Extensive Industry Engagement
NUS Entrepreneurship Initiatives

Experiential Education
Incubator Ecosystem(Incubators without walls)
Creates and develops entrepreneurship education
programmes for the NUS community, to infuse a
spirit of enterprise into NUS education.
Provides a wide range of hardware and
software services to nurture startups by NUS
researchers, students and alumni.
Entrepreneurship Development (outreach)
Fosters the development of interest in
entrepreneurship in NUS and Singapore through a
series of entrepreneurship development programmes.
Experiential Entrepreneurial Education
  • Intensive, immersive internship experience
  • Achieve a mindset change towards a more
    entrepreneurial outlook
  • Develop a global outlook and awareness
  • NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC)
  • innovative Local Enterprise Achiever Development
  • Extra Chapter Challenge Entrepreneurship/Innovat
    ion Practicum

Experiential Entrepreneurial Education NOC
  • NUS College in Silicon Valley (2002)
  • Work in Americas innovation habitat and study
  • Stanford University
  • NUS College in BioValley, Philadelphia (2003)
  • Work in Americas pharma hub and study at
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • NUS College in Shanghai (2004)
  • Work in Chinas commercial hub and study at
  • Fudan University
  • NUS College in Stockholm (2005)
  • Work in Europes No. 1 IT nation and study at
  • Royal Institute of Technology
  • NUS College in India (2008)
  • Learn about Indias grassroots innovation and
    take part in entrepreneurial workshops by top
    India institutions

Other Experiential Education Programs
  • Technology Entrepreneurship Minor Program
  • - Open to all undergraduates, esp. those in
    technical fields
  • Graduate Modules in Entrepreneurship/Innovation
  • - MSc (MOST) in Engineering School, MBA
    entrepreneurship electives
  • iLEAD - 6-month internship in Singapores
    technology-based enterprises 2-week overseas
    study visit
  • Extra Chapter Challenge Programme
  • A competitive fellowship that gives PhD
    students the
  • Opportunity to explore the commercial
    feasibility of their thesis research
  • Entrepreneurship/Innovation Practicum
  • Small grants to students to develop their
    innovative ideas

Annual National Business Plan Competition
  • The biggest annual national business plan
    competition in Singapore since 1999 , open to all
    teams with at least one Singapore-based
    participant in Singapore
  • Fully student-run since 2007
  • Many start-ups have been formed since

Entrepreneurship Outreach Activities
Student organizations supported by our centre
(Our centre is the national co-host for Singapore)
2. Supporting Infrastructure
  • StartUps by Students, Professors, Researchers

3. Mentors
  • Seed Funding
  • Overseas Lauchpad
  • Network Links to angel investors, VCs customers

NEI Entrepreneurship Incubation Process
12 months
12 --18 months
Accelerated Group
  • Incubation Development Program
  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Clinics

Normal Group
Graduation from the incubator
Faculty/ Researchers
Infant Group
Recent alumni/ Singapore Eco-system
NUS Incubator
NEI Overseas Centres

Bringing foreign start-ups into Singapore

NUS Enterprise Incubator Facilities
  • 4 bungalows GARAG3
  • GARAG3 Web 2.0 incubator
  • Faculty of Engineering Incubator
  • Potential Capacity 40 start-ups
  • Current Incubatees 30 companies
  • Also housed Entrepreneurship-related student
    organizations (NES, EnergyCarta, etc)
  • Block 71 Incubator for IDM Growth Companies
  • Overseas Launchpad I SV Plug Play
  • Overseas Launchpad II Suzhou NUSRI Incubator
  • GrameenCreativeLab_at_NUS

Moving Incubation Beyond Singapore first Leap
  • The first Leap Overseas (fLO) is an initiative by
    NUS Enterprise to help our start-ups expand
    overseas, beyond Singapore shores
  • fLO has received SPRINGs approval to provide a
    grant for up to 70 of approved expenses
  • Launchpad in Silicon Valley for the 1st year,
    China (Suzhou) in the second year

NUS Portfolio Companies in the News
NUS spin-off tenCube was recently acquired by
NUS Portfolio Companies in the News
NUS Portfolio Companies in the News
NUS Experience Some Lessons
  • Visionary Leadership at the top
  • Recruit Change Leaders who have both academic
    excellence AND entrepreneurial experience
  • Establish organizational structure that provides
    appropriate autonomy, resources incentives for
    implementing change
  • Learn from others, but experiment and develop own
    unique model to adapt to ones specific
    circumstances and aspirations

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