In line with its goal to inject an innovative and enterprising dimension to the University’s core research and educational activities, the NUS Entrepreneurship Centre (NEC) was originally established in 1988 as a university-level centre called the Centre for Management of Innovation and Technopreneurship (CMIT).
In 2001, it became a division of NUS Enterprise, and was renamed as the NUS Entrepreneurship Centre (NEC) established as part of NUS Enterprise (ETP) to nurture entrepreneurial learning and venture creation among the NUS community.
At NEC, we offer a wide range of services to nurture start-ups by NUS professors, researchers, students and alumni. Among them is the NUS Enterprise Incubator (NEI), a place with physical facilities to give aspiring entrepreneurs the infrastructure they need to bring groundbreaking ideas to the next level. Incubatee companies enjoy access to NEC’s support services,which include training workshops, introductions to venture capitalists and angel investors, linkages to business networking contacts and other corporate shared services. Through the active mentoring programme, they also regularly meet with the centre’s team of experienced local and international mentors to benefit from their assistance with global marketing, fund raising, business advice and international expansion.
By helping fledgling start-ups overcome initial obstacles such as a lack of business connections and funding, we free them to focus on maximising the full potential of their business ideas. Through the years, a robust start-up eco-system has evolved as more incubatee companies flourish and achieve key milestones on their road to success.
NEC’s activities are organized into 4 key areas: Experiential Education, Entrepreneurship Development, NUS Enterprise Incubator and Entrepreneurship & Innovation Research.
NEC creates and develops experiential learning-based entrepreneurship education programmes for the NUS community. Since 1999, the Centre has successfully developed a Technopreneurship Minor Programme open to all NUS undergraduates, before transferring it to the NUS Business School in 2006. Other educational initiatives launched by NEC include the annual intensive Entrepreneurship Summer Schools for foreign students, the New Venture Creation workshops for working technical professionals, and a series of practical half-day workshops for CEOs of startups from NUS and Singapore. In 2008, NEC initiated a new innovative Local Enterprise Achiever Development (iLEAD) programme to provide internship-based entrepreneurial learning opportunities for NUS students in local knowledge-intensive enterprises. The program is now run by NUS Overseas College (NOC) office. More recent educational initiatives include the Extra Challenge (XCC) fellowship program for doctoral students with potentially commercialisable discoveries or inventions to learn about the commercialization process and the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Practicum seed grant for NUS students with innovative ideas to test & develop them through action-based learning. In collaboration with the Stanford Technology Venturing Programme (STVP), NEC has also been producing teaching cases on high-tech startups. In 2011, NEC has also initiated collaboration with the Grameen Creative Lab (GCL) to establish GCL@NUS to promote experiential learning of social entrepreneurship.
NEC fosters the development of interest in entrepreneurship in NUS and Singapore through a series of entrepreneurship development programmes that exposes the NUS community to real-world entrepreneurial practices and engages them in experiential learning. These include the annual Start-Up@Singapore national business plan competition since 1999, monthly Techno-Venture Forums, and major events such as the Global Wireless Venturing Forum (2004-06), the NUS-Global Entrepreneurship Summit (2006) and Social Business Bootcamps (2011). Since 2008, NEC has served as the Singapore country co-host for the Global Entrepreneurship Week. NEC also actively nurtures student initiatives and organisations that promote entrepreneurship among youths, including the NUS Entrepreneurship Society, E27, Energy Carta, iSAGE and CEO.
NEC provides a wide range of services to nurture startups by NUS professors, researchers, students and alumni. NEC runs the NUS Enterprise Incubator (NEI) - a place where physical facilities provide the necessary support and infrastructure for the start-ups incubated there. NEC also administers an active mentoring programme for startup founders and offers various support services such as organising training workshops, match-making with venture capitalists and angel investors, as well as providing business networking contacts and corporate shared services. In addition, NEC manages a number of seed funding programmes to jumpstart promising technology startups from NUS. For more information on funding schemes, please go to http://www.nusentrepreneurshipcentre.sg/funding/get-started
NEC conducts both scholarly as well as applied research on high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship to advance knowledge in technology venturing policy and practice. NEC regularly participates in international collaborative research projects with leading foreign universities such as the Stanford Project on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE), the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Project & the Global Entrepreneurship University Student Survey (GEUSS) project. NEC also produces high-impact applied research reports commissioned by various government agencies such as the Asia-Pacific IP ScoreCard (commissioned by IPA), Study on High-Tech StartUps in Singapore (commissioned by NRF) & study on the Impact of ASTAR’s GET-UP program (commissioned by Exploit Technologies). NEC’s research findings are disseminated through scholarly journals like the Journal of Business Venturing, Research Policy, Scientometrics and Small Business Economies, international conferences, public seminars and workshops.