The National University of Singapore (NUS) Master of Science (MSc) in Venture Creation is an immersive one-year graduate degree programme that combines experiential learning with the academic rigour of Asia’s top university to transform mind-sets and cultivate aspiring entrepreneurs.
The application period for the July 2021 intake is open until 28 February 2021. Are you ready to embark on your entrepreneurial journey?
With the rise of the knowledge economy, the media has in recent years been focusing on stories about successful entrepreneurs. Articles discussing the vision, traits and philosophies of emerging entrepreneurs and business leaders have captured the attention of society. These risk-takers and change-makers share similar enthusiasm and determination, yet have rather different backgrounds and personalities. As they forge ahead on different tracks, it is difficult not to wonder: Did they achieve entrepreneurial success by chance?
And this leads to a crucial question for educators in higher education: Can someone be taught to become an entrepreneur?
With globalisation, regional economic development and the spread of Internet-based technology, the norms and conventions of the business world are constantly evolving. For those individuals and teams eager to start a business, this means convenience, opportunity and higher entry requirements. In many ways, learning and training have become pre-requisites to starting a business.
To cultivate a new generation of entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurial arm of NUS, NUS Enterprise tapped on its impressive background in nurturing talents and supporting start-ups to help introduce the MSc in Venture Creation in 2020.
NUS Enterprise has played a pivotal role over the past 20 years in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and developing Singapore’s start-up ecosystem. According to research statistics from 2017, 23% of start-ups in Singapore are linked to the ecosystem created by NUS Enterprise.
▲ A selection of notable start-ups founded by alumni of NUS Overseas Colleges. Search for the brands and you will find no shortage of “unicorn companies” among them.
The MSc in Venture Creation programme harnesses the expertise of NUS Enterprise and draws on over 20 years of experience and resources in venture creation, including:
NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC)
In the 1990s, technology companies such as yahoo!, Google and VMware were founded by university students on campuses across the United States. Observing this, NUS started to explore partnerships with institutions that provided a fertile ground to nurture entrepreneurship. This led to the signing of a memorandum of understanding in 2001 between NUS and Stanford University to allow NUS students to take up internships at science and technology start-ups affiliated with Stanford—marking the establishment of the first NUS Overseas College (NOC).
To date, NOC has set up a presence in Silicon Valley, Shanghai, Stockholm, Singapore, Beijing, Israel, New York, Southeast Asia, Toronto and Shenzhen. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic paused many events, but NOC continued to expand, launching the Nagoya College.
Over the years, students have expanded their horizons and developed a global mind-set with NOC-organised field visits to leading entrepreneurial hubs around the world.
▲ The development of NUS Overseas College is also an entrepreneurial journey.
As a global incubator, the story of BLOCK71 is quite a dramatic one. In 2011, building No. 71, a former industrial estate on the verge of abandonment, was given a new life and transformed into a start-up hub with support from the “Save the Buildings” campaign in Singapore.
BLOCK71 is an important platform for NUS Enterprise to establish collaborative and strategic partnerships: It is a technology-focused ecosystem builder and global connector that catalyses and aggregates the start-up community. It also provides mentorship and growth opportunities.
You will find at BLOCK71 everything an entrepreneur needs to start a business: technology, talent, market, finance, community and space.
Graduate Research Innovation Programme (GRIP)
The Graduate Research Innovation Programme (GRIP) is a comprehensive initiative founded to transform scientists into entrepreneurs. Through its industry linkages, GRIP allows researchers to gain insights into real-world problems as well as access to the knowledge, skillsets, mentorship, funding and other support needed to launch a start-up.
PhD candidates, Master’s Degree students, post-doctoral and research staff, as well as NOC alumni are eligible to join the GRIP programme. They use their outstanding strengths to transform NUS research into commercial successes, many of which have attracted the attention of the business world.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic this year, NUS launched (as part of the larger Resilience and Growth Initiative) GRIP MAKE, an Entrepreneurship Traineeship Programme for recent NUS graduates to transform NUS research into deep tech start-ups. The initiative not only promotes employment, but also support graduates in their race against time to create anti-pandemic products.
Students in the NUS MSc in Venture Creation programme have full access to platforms and resources such as NOC, BLOCK71, and GRIP. The programme offers a full range of resources to support entrepreneurship. We share a common guiding principle: Entrepreneurship is about using our powers to make our people, society and the world a better place.
▲ Core modules (28 modular credits)
The MSc in Venture Creation programme has a total of 40 MCs, of which 28 MCs are for experiential learning of Core modules. You will have at least a six-month-long immersive learning experience working in various businesses. This includes:
Students also have the opportunity to join a one-to-two week study tour abroad. Lay the foundations for your access to international markets with NUS Enterprise partners from around the globe.
With the coming of the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, diverse technologies are being integrated to improve manufacturing and business processes. The ability to anticipate and implement emerging technologies will be a key factor determining entrepreneurial success. No less important will be the knowledge and understanding of how businesses and industries operate, and how one can incorporate the latest in technology to improve and advance. If you are going to lead a great business, now is the time to step up your technical knowledge and competence.
This need for aspiring entrepreneurs to build more cross-functional competencies has informed the design of the NUS MSc in Venture Creation programme. Harnessing the expertise of six NUS academic units (Business School, Faculty of Engineering, School of Computing, Faculty of Science, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, and School of Continuing and Lifelong Education) the programme includes 12 MCs of elective modules, where you will share classrooms with students from the different academic units, and gain exposure in the modules of your choice such as Introduction to Industry 4.0 & Applications, Big Data Systems for Data Science, Pathways to Biomedical Innovation and Enterprise, Neural Networks and Deep Learning, and Valuation and Mergers & Acquisitions.
▲Elective modules (12 modular credits)
The challenges that lay ahead will be demanding, but the programme will support you in becoming a better innovator and entrepreneur, and expanding your future network of partners.
When applying for the programme, your Personal Statement (PS) is not only crucial to your application, but also will be used by the faculty for the first round of internship assignment. If you have a clear entrepreneurial ambition and understand your strengths and weaknesses, we will do everything in our power to help you develop faster.
The programme is open to applicants from a wide range of professional backgrounds. You can use your technical expertise for product development. You can search for technology for your business models. You will learn about team development from a human resources perspective. There is also a possibility for you to apply legal expertise to explore new channels of regional trade in Asia. You can even start your new business in the learning process. Open up your mind.
The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) in 2020 is bound to generate great opportunities for business and entrepreneurship. Graduates of the programme looking to start their own business can trust that the Alumni Team of NUS Enterprise will always be your partner.
To graduate from the MSc in Venture Creation programme, students are required to:
We welcome submission of creative materials by applicants such as video personal statement to showcase entrepreneurial ideas and visions. We look forward to meeting you for the interview, and subsequently working with you on the programme.