Antler and NUS launch Executive Programme to create successful Deep Tech Ventures 

Singapore, | 8 November 2019 | Global start-up generator and early-stage venture capital firm Antler and the National University of Singapore (NUS), via the Graduate Research Innovation Programme (GRIP), has launched an Executive Programme to enable more entrepreneurs to build successful deep tech start-ups. The bespoke six-month part-time programme will combine the best of both organisations including platforms, funding and ecosystems.

Antler and NUS aim to enable and invest in around 30 deep tech start-ups annually through this joint initiative. They will provide founders with the support to form the right team, investment funding of up to S$240,000 each, and access to their combined global advisory networks.

This unique programme  allows talents to keep their current jobs, while they explore finding the right partners and launching their new ventures. With Antler’s methodology, founders with software or deep tech skills will be matched to those with a business background, to create a strong founding team. NUS will provide teams with access to its rich repository of research-based technologies and innovations, which the teams can tap on to formulate their start-ups.

The programme will run in two phases for a total of six months. Under Phase 1, participants will form a team to identify and validate a business idea. At the end of Phase 1, teams will be evaluated for a US$100,000 investment by Antler. Companies selected by Antler for investment that are eligible will enter Phase 2 to further develop their prototype and business case to be market-ready. At the end of Phase 2, companies will be evaluated for a further funding of S$100,000 by NUS.

“We see a lot of entrepreneurial talents tied by “golden handcuffs” to their jobs in leading corporates, late stage start-ups, universities, etc. They are highly capable and experienced, have deep domain expertise, and intrapreneurial experiences, such as launching new products and developing new markets. They want to start their own companies but are unable to take the “leap of faith” and quit their jobs; at least not before building their teams, validating their ideas and securing initial investments,” said Mr Mike Nikou, Partner, Capital, Antler.

“Research, innovation and enterprise are the cornerstones of Singapore’s national strategy to develop a knowledge-based innovation-driven economy and society. Our country has committed more than S$30 billion in the last decade to establish Singapore as a global research and development hub. We also have a strong scientific base with more than 8,000 PhDs being trained locally every year. With a strong talent pool and substantial R&D investment, Singapore and NUS has the potential to build more and greater deep tech companies,” said Professor Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation and Enterprise).

The partnership between Antler and NUS will kick-off in a pilot in the first quarter of 2020 with an expected intake of more than 60 commercial and tech founders. Participants will be selected based on their expertise (business or technical), entrepreneurial amplitude, and commitment to starting up if their project is funded. For a start, the programme will support start-ups across four categories: bio & health-tech, sustainability & environment, industry 4.0, and artificial intelligence.

“This joint programme brings together the best of NUS’ tech talents, cutting edge IP, tech advisors and facilities, and the Antler’s global network of advisors and investors, to help start-ups be competitive at a global level from the onset,” said Ms Irene Cheong, Director, NUS Industry Liaison Office.

“Our programme will help commercial founders pair up with software and deep tech founders, and form scalable and defensible start-ups. Both NUS and Antler are bringing our validated methodologies in successful start-up generation to create international deep tech champions,” said Mr Dimitri Maroulis, Senior Director, Program, Antler.

Applications for the joint executive programme are open from now until 5 January 2020. Representatives from Antler and NUS will be present at the upcoming Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH) event, from 11 to 13 November 2019, to share more about this new programme with interested attendees at their respective booths. Business and tech candidates (NUS and non-NUS) can apply at

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About Antler
Founded in Singapore in 2017, Antler ( is a global startup generator and early-stage VC helping to build the next big wave of tech. With the mission to turn exceptional individuals into great founders, Antler aims to create hundreds of companies globally. They select the world’s most brilliant and determined people, help them find the right co-founder and connect them to a top tier network of advisors and experts worldwide. Antler breaks the barriers to entrepreneurship by providing funding from day one and building strong teams from the ground up while enabling founders to rapidly launch and scale their ideas. Antler has 8 locations globally- Singapore, London, New York, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Sydney, Nairobi & Oslo. Since its first programme in Singapore in 2018, it has generated over 80 new high growth tech companies.

For more information on Antler, please visit

About National University of Singapore (NUS)
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education, research and entrepreneurship, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. We have 17 faculties across three campuses in Singapore, as well as 12 NUS Overseas Colleges across the world. Close to 40,000 students from 100 countries enrich our vibrant and diverse campus community.

Our multidisciplinary and real-world approach to education, research and entrepreneurship enables us to work closely with industry, governments and academia to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and the world. Researchers in our faculties, 29 university-level research institutes, research centres of excellence and corporate labs focus on themes that include energy, environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases common among Asians; active ageing; advanced materials; as well as risk management and resilience of financial systems. Our latest research focus is on the use of data science, operations research and cybersecurity to support Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative.

For more information on NUS, please visit

Launched in 2018, the National University of Singapore Graduate Research Innovation Programme (NUS GRIP) is the Industry Liaison Office’s flagship innovation programme. It provides step-by-step guidance to NUS Postgraduate students and researchers to cultivate deep tech entrepreneurs, to transform the university’s world-class research into their own deep technology startups.

Teams will undergo a one-year journey to be equipped with entrepreneurial skills and experience through workshops, mentorships, industry linkages and incubation support, to develop commercially viable and investible deep tech startups, generating a pipeline of up to 250 teams in five years. NUS will invest up to S$100,000 in startups demonstrating high commercial potential to accelerate their growth.

For more information, visit

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