Stephen Riady Establishes a S$1Million Innovation Fund at SUTD

18 Aug 2015

Singapore, 17 August 2015 – The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Singapore's fourth public university, has received an endowed gift of S$1 million from Dr Stephen Riady for the funding of SUTD-developed technological innovations.  This newly set-up Stephen Riady Innovation Fund (Fund) aims to provide initial funding, ranging from S$1,000 to S$7,000 per team, to early-stage development of promising inventions, technological innovations and entrepreneurial projects by undergraduate students at SUTD.
The Fund will be used to support projects and research development and production work related to engineering and architecture-linked products, services and systems.  The Fund will support two types of grants:

Exploratory StartSomething@SUTD grant – for compelling entrepreneurial projects by SUTD students taking the StartSomething@SUTD programme, a programme that introduces students to business models, go-to-market strategies, and various practical aspects of setting up and running a startup business; and

Post-entrepreneurship Capstone Startup grant – for promising entrepreneurship capstone (final year) project teams to transition into an actual startup or enterprise. Please refer to the Annex for more information on the two grants.

Dr Stephen Riady, Executive Chairman of OUE Group, said: “I am pleased to support SUTD with this gift to help realise the young university’s potential through entrepreneurship. The Innovation Fund reinforces Singapore’s vision to foster a culture of enterprise and innovation, as well as underpins the Stephen Riady Group of Foundation’s commitment to important causes in the community, particularly for education.  I am happy to play a role in nurturing young talent to create their own enterprises for tomorrow.”

SUTD president Professor Thomas Magnanti said, on receiving the generous gift: “We are grateful to Dr Stephen Riady for his support of SUTD’s drive to create a brighter future through transformational innovations and enterprises. By doing so, SUTD will, through technology and design, become an intellectual hub and an engine of growth for Singapore and the world. SUTD’s aspiring young entrepreneurs will greatly benefit from not only the financial support, but also from Dr Riady’s vast business insights as a strategic advisor for the Fund.”

This will be SUTD’s first Innovation Fund focused on technology, design, engineering, enterprise and innovation. The gift from Dr Stephen Riady will contribute towards SUTD’s aspiration to develop future leaders and innovators with a revolutionary education in technology coupled with design to better the world, regardless of their background.

The Type 1 Grant is for students/teams under the StartSomething@SUTD programme.  Students/teams will be assessed by an evaluation panel on the last day of the programme through their proposal, pitching including a simple write up on how they will use the award to achieve their target, and Q&A.

The StartSomething@SUTD Programme (SS@SUTD) is an experiential programme to educate, expose and support the SUTD community in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship education is provided via a series of workshops conducted by invited entrepreneurs and industry experts. These workshops cover various entrepreneurship topics such as "Entrepreneurial mindset", "Lean methodology", "Customer discovery", "Business plan generation" and "Business finance", etc. Students will also be exposed to entrepreneurship via visits to different organisations (e.g., startups, incubators, co-working spaces and investors firms, etc.) in the Singapore startup ecosystem and by participating in entrepreneurial activities and events.
The Type 2 Grant is for students from the Entrepreneurship Capstone teams or teams under the SS@SUTD grant to further pursue their entrepreneurial goals. An innovation grant panel will evaluate the teams based on their pitching, including a demo of a prototype or via a PC (for systems or IT projects) and a Q&A to determine the potential of the team.