MIT REAP Team Singapore’s regional focus is on the city-state as a whole. SG Innovate is the backbone organization in MIT REAP Team Singapore. This is a strong team with aligned stakeholders representing government, risk capital, corporate, and university stakeholders, including Infocomm Investments.
Innovation Ecosystem Stakeholder Model
Champion Executive Deputy Chairman, Singapore Infocomm Development Authority
CEO, NUS Enterprise
Senior Partner Manager, Infocomm Investments
CEO Singtel Innov8
Senior Communication Manager, Infocomm Investments
Head, Infocomm Investments
Lay Lim Teo
Senior Managing Director ASEAN, Accenture
Meng Weng Wong
Social Engineer, Joyful Frog Digital Incubator
Challenge & Opportunity
Strategy & Action
Change the mindset of parents and teachers towards a culture that fosters entrepreneurship not just innovation.
One of the challenges facing Team Singapore during their MIT REAP journey was the reality that many ambitious and capable men and women in Singapore don’t see entrepreneurship as a viable path for them. However, Team Singapore was also aware that the country has a good mix of the “five parts” of any successful ecosystem (venture funds, government, corporates, academia and entrepreneurs). In addition, Team Singapore knew that while government had been a strong supporter of significant and sustained investment in scientific research, government also felt much more value could be generated from that research.
As a result, the Singapore Government recently formed a new entity called SG Innovate. This organization is focused on working with individuals and teams, primarily from within the universities’ research community, who believe their work can create positive impact in the world, but are unsure how to start and build a company.
SG Innovate is now working with investors and mentors who will work closely with these individuals who want to turn their science-based research into potential products. The goal is that these products will serve as the foundation for high-potential startups.
Working on a program called “EntrepreneurFirst,” which is a training program to teach top students entrepreneurial skills by funding them to join a startup.
Government bond system where the government will pay for a student to study at a top university and then assist them in starting a new business. The student will then pay the bond back through proceeds from the startup.
National Infocomm Scholarship– supports students planning to attend university by shaping the student’s and their parent’s opinion on entrepreneurship as a career path.
IIPL Management Associate Track established with the Entrepreneur First program – helping young people obtain entrepreneurial education and understand how joining or founding a startup can be a great opportunity.
Metrics of Success:
Series A investments in relevant startups is the metric of success
Worked with Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia who is working to help celebrate and promote local entrepreneurs.
Core Regional Metrics
Economic & Social Progress
Social progress and economic prosperity as a collective measure of development in a region.
Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurial Ecosystems are regional environments that effectively support startups focused on addressing global markets based on technological, process or business model innovation.
Ability to develop new to the world innovations from inception through to the market.