For those familiar with the startup ecosystem in Singapore, you’d probably be familiar with the National University Singapore Overseas College Programme (NOC), which essentially sends selected entrepreneurial students overseas for an exchange and internship programme with a startup.
Since its inception in 2001, there have been multiple NUS NOC colleges, and the ones that are still ongoing include those in Silicon Valley, Stockholm, New York, Beijing, Shanghai, Israel and Switzerland. Every year, the programme sends over 300 students overseas to take up entrepreneurial courses in partner universities (such as Stanford for Silicon Valley or Fudan for Shanghai) as well as for internships at startups.
This month, NUS has announced that it is setting up its eighth running overseas college at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), which is ranked the fifth most innovative university in Europe by Reuters.
As with some of my peers and myself who have been part of the NOC experience, we would testify with enthusiasm that the programme has definitely been beneficial to us as individuals. For the startup ecosystem in Singapore, here are some of the notable startups which has been founded by NOC alumni:
- tenCube (mobile security startup founded by Darius Cheung and friends – acquired by McAfee)
- Zopim (live chat widget founded by Roystan and friends – acquired by Zendesk)
- AllDealsAsia (e commerce site founded by Goh Yi Ping – acquired by Matahari Mall)
- Brandtology (social media intelligene site cofounded by Kelly Choo and partners – acquired by Media Monitors)
- MoneySmart (personal finance platform cofounded by Vin Nair and friends – raised S$2.8M from SPH Media Fund)
- Burpple (food discovery platform cofounded by Dixon and Elisha – raised S$6M in Series A funding)
- Honestbee (online grocery delivery site cofounded by Jonathan Low – raised US$15M in funding)
- Hipvan (lifestyle ecommerce site cofounded by Danny Tan – raised US$3.3M in funding)
- Carousell (mobile commerce site cofounded by Siu Rui, Lucas and Marcus – raised S$7.79 million in Series A funding)
- 99.c0 (property platform cofounded by Darius Cheung and friends – raised US$1.6M in Series A funding)
According to TUM President Wolfgang Herrmann, he shared, “We want students to gain practical engineering knowledge to be able to start or work in deep technology start-ups. It’s not necessarily about getting students to set up companies, but about developing the entrepreneurial mindset – being innovative and able to recognise opportunities and seize them.”
For students who are selected to be part of the NOC Munich experience, we’d have no doubt that they will learn a lot from the experience, and definitely have a lot of fun.
At the very least, there’s a 4 story high giant slide at the TUM campus!