NUS GRIP Run 2 Lifts Off with a Bang
22 July 2019
Having undergone 3 months of intensive training through the “Venture Hothouse”, 21 deep technology start-ups from the NUS Graduate Research Innovation Programme (NUS GRIP) took off this Monday in a showcase of technology and market-readiness to over 300 potential investors, partners and key players of the Singapore innovation ecosystem. Attended by NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye, Provost Professor Ho Teck Hua, and Deputy President (Innovation & Enterprise) Professor Freddy Boey, the teams shared about their businesses based on a wide variety of NUS technologies in AI, food and medical tech, engineering, ICT and agritech – research-based innovations designed to address existing market needs while breaking new grounds.
One of the start-ups was Microtube Technologies, which offers the thinnest and most stretchable fibre sensor to capture motion and force. This platform sensor has multiple applications, and for the first application, the team has developed their patent pending sensors into the most comfortable gaming glove controller for a truly immersive mixed reality experience. Through the Venture Hothouse, they replaced bulky, heavy and expensive gloves with their initial prototype, and will be working with partners to scale this for the gaming industry.
“Going through the NUS GRIP was a challenging and yet fulfilling journey. We were grateful for the mentorship as well as the many investors and companies we have met and interacted with. In fact, we not only received great feedback from them on our product and business, some are even exploring potential partnerships with us.” – Yu Longteng, Co-Founder and CEO of Microtube Technologies
Another example is KleenSoil, with a sustainable and customised remediation solution for solid environmental waste. Their patented technology can seal and inactivate heavy metal contaminants in soil and solid waste for on-site remediation with less cost and higher effectiveness. Venture hothouse paved the way to the team’s first partnerships, and they are now exploring the ASEAN and Chinese markets for their first deployment.
To date, 14 teams from Run 2 have been selected to receive up to S$100,000 seed funding from the National University of Singapore. This will enable these start-ups to fine-tune their products and to scale their businesses. All start-ups will be further incubated by the University to solidify their footing in the market in the next nine months.
“Beyond venture creation in Singapore, we have been talking to key partners from substantial markets around the world, to create new opportunities for funding and rapid market access for our GRIP start-ups,” shared Professor Freddy Boey. “We are establishing strategic partnerships for China, and are now looking to make inroads into the rapidly growing ASEAN market, with Vietnam and Indonesia first. We plan to start up to 50 of these deep tech companies from NUS a year, so we definitely welcome more members of the innovation ecosystem to come and work with us to make them a success.”
During the event, Prof Boey also revealed plans to bring in young entrepreneurial talents from China and the ASEAN region to NUS, with the intention to help them establish start-ups based on NUS technologies back in their home country after they have graduated.