Singapore Management University, through its Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE), and QBO, an innovation hub dedicated to developing a globally competitive startup ecosystem in the Philippines, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to expand the international activities of both parties through leveraging each other’s strengths and networks in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship.
The MOU was signed by Mr Hau Koh Foo, Director of IIE, and Ms Katrina Chan, Director of QBO, on the sidelines of Singapore Week of Innovation & Technology 2018 held at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
The collaboration will pave the way for SMU and QBO to jointly pursue synergistic projects in innovation and entrepreneurship. SMU and QBO will partner to facilitate internship placements for entrepreneurial students from SMU to startups accelerated by QBO in the Philippines. In addition, both parties will serve as a launchpad with access to resources and networks for startups from Singapore and Philippines looking to expand to the other country.
Mr Hau Koh Foo said, “Philippines is a fast growing market and we are excited for our students to be exposed to opportunities and challenges that complement their learning in Singapore. On a larger level, I believe that our partnership with QBO will build an innovation & entrepreneurship bridge between the two countries, allowing the best startups from each to cross over to the other market.”
“We view this partnership as a valuable opportunity to collaborate and add value to our respective startup innovation ecosystems by facilitating the exchange of ideas and talent. This cooperation between QBO and SMU also paves the way for Filipino startups to further expand their businesses, attract investment and strengthen linkages to Singapore and the region” said Ms. Katrina Chan
IIE’s Global Innovation Immersion programme
SMU has been appointed by the Singapore Economic Development Board as an operating partner for the Innovators Academy under the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA). IIE supports the Innovators Academy activities through its Global Innovation Immersion (GII) programme, which is designed to provide an experiential learning experience for students to expand their innovation network, as well as strengthen their entrepreneurial skill-sets in global innovation hotspots. Through an immersive experience in the various innovation ecosystems, GII hopes to develop students into future entrepreneurs, innovators and venture capitalists.
Students admitted into GII will undergo a 12-week internship with a venture-backed startup in various countries. They will also undertake masterclasses on innovation and entrepreneurship during the programme and have regular check-ins with our top-notch industry GII mentors. This structure allows students to reinforce academic theories taught in the classroom and “learn by doing”.
In response to the growing trends and demand, SMU is forging multi-layered partnerships with leading innovation and entrepreneurship institutions in key startup hubs in ASEAN. The University is one of the first universities in Singapore to send students to intern at Filipino startups. Its collaboration with QBO, who is one of the biggest players in the country backed by both the government and the private sector, is expected to significantly accelerate the scale of the GII programme in Philippines.
In 2018, IIE shifted the focus of its GII programme to Southeast Asian destinations in order to leverage the region’s fast growing startup ecosystems. 16 students have had the opportunity to live, work, and learn in Jakarta, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Manila between May to July this year.