Singapore’s undergraduates can look forward to a unique entrepreneurship initiative, the Singapore Valley Awards (“SVA”), which was launched this week.
The prize: a rare chance for internships with leading innovation companies in China. The internships will give the winners first-hand access to China’s start-up ecosystem and the opportunity to learn from the founders of these companies.
Full-time third- or fourth-year Singaporean or Singapore Permanent Resident undergraduates studying in the six Autonomous Universities are eligible to apply for the award. Shortlisted students will then need to pitch business ideas to a panel of 10 judges, from a wide range of backgrounds, to secure the award. The panel comprises:
The SVA is seeded by S$3.35 million in funding from five entrepreneurs – Mr. Pang Shengdong, Mr. Eddie Wu, Mr. James Sheng, Mr. Wang Yue, and Mr. Calvin Cheng – and supported by local private equity firm Tembusu Partners.
In the first edition of the annual Awards, up to nine winners will secure three-month internships in China, starting from 2018, with Chinese internet giants such as e-commerce platform Alibaba Group, internet portal 2345.com, as well as venture capital firms GGV Capital and Matrix Partners. Awardees will also receive S$2,000 per month during the internship period.
“The Singapore Valley Awards initiative has twin objectives – to broaden the mindset of innovation beyond employment to include entrepreneurship, and beyond the traditional Western models of disruption to include China. The internships will provide students with first-hand exposure to and a better understanding of the factors driving China’s successful technology companies,”
said Mrs. Lim Hwee Hua, Co-Chair of SVA and Executive Director of Tembusu Partners.
“In an age of disruption and rapid growth of Chinese internet businesses, the Singapore Valley Awards has been conceived to promote innovation and also raise understanding of and links with China’s IT giants. As an entrepreneur myself, this initiative is a means of giving back to the industry that has taught me so much,”
said Mr. Pang Shengdong.
The launch was attended by students from the six participating universities – National University of Singapore; Nanyang Technological University; Singapore Management University; Singapore University of Social Sciences; Singapore University of Technology and Design; and Singapore Institute of Technology.
Featured image via pixabay