Dip your feet into the design thinking mindset with the
Innovation Made Possible module for all NP freshies – a must-have toolkit for your journey!
The Sandbox (or TSB) is the go-to place for ideas supporting innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E).Join
TSB advocates and run the show with us – not only will you get others excited, you’ll find yourself living and breathing I&E!
Take your idea off the ground with our
Kickstart Fund of up to $5000. Great things happen to those who try. Even if it doesn’t, your first failure is on us.
Turn your idea into a prototype at NP’s Makers’ Academy. We have six lab facilities to meet every maker’s needs – even 3D printing is possible!
Free up your curriculum time to launch and build your business with our
Entrepreneurship Programme – an elective module with no fixed curriculum. Truly own time, own target!
Submit your café idea for the
BYOB competition. When shortlisted, you could stand to win up to $5000 funding to realise it on campus!
Delve into the next economic powerhouse’s business and culture with the
China Readiness Programme, culminating in an immersion trip to China!
Not here, but overseas! Take up our
Overseas Innovation Challenge and team up with peers from different courses to propose solutions for real world problems.
Hear first-hand from alumni
Entrepreneurs-In-Residence about their commitment, challenges, and the difference they’ve made, as well as get valuable advice from them.
Immerse in the fast paced startup culture with
Global Entrepreneurial Internship Programme – you’ll intern at a leading innovation hub abroad for six months!
Apply for the
Startup Incubator’s grant of up to $10,000 as well as the use of facilities, support and networking opportunities are available.
Gain work experience, score a Certificate in Entrepreneurship AND an attractive salary with
Startup Talent Factory’s work-study programme.
Pollinate, our very own version of Silicon Valley is a joint-poly incubator. Here, cross-pollination takes place when like-minded founders influence and inspire each other in their entrepreneurship journey.
Moharum Siti Jannatul Arfiyah (right) is a first-year student who is currently completing the second half of her year-long Innovation Toolkit module, which develops an innovative mindset and creative confidence, supplementing the core diploma skill sets. The module trains students to spot opportunities through a user-centric approach and poses a challenge to generate groundbreaking value-adding ideas.
“I learnt to generate creative ideas and improve my problem solving and critical thinking skills in class. My lecturer taught us theories such as the SCAMPER (Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Reverse) technique which is something new and different from what I learn in my diploma. We did market research on existing products last semester and learnt how to further improve it, while this semester we’re utilising the theories we’ve learnt to create a new product for the market. I realised I had an interest in creating something new through this module!”
The current President of TSB Advocates, Arif Ahmad Woozeer, a final-year Engineering Science student, started his CCA track by managing the operations and logistics for TSB events. He gradually gained confidence and branched out his skills to inter-school outreach and leadership. He is the head planner of the inaugural joint-polytechnic competition, ideaSLAM!, which is to be held next year.
“I became more involved in and learnt the importance of networking and forging connections with many individuals even from other polytechnics through networking sessions, conferences and learning journeys. Along with my engineering background, I learnt a great deal about event management and marketing, and problem-solving while on the go. I also gained important leadership skills and refocused on my priorities. With Innovation and Entrepreneurship playing a critical role in Singapore’s goal to be a smart nation, TSB Advocates often share business ideas, discuss on business models and even start businesses together! We are our own Silicon Valley within NP.”
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When Advertising & Public Relations graduate Alif Bin Adam was in Year 2, he came up with an idea to start a local waist trainer brand. With the support from NP’s Kickstart fund, which celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit among our students, Alif was able to receive funding support of up to $5000 to make his business idea a reality.
“When I was doing my research, I realised that the current trainers sold in Singapore were all overseas labels. And so, Waistlab: Body Shapers was born! With the funds I received from the Kickstart Fund, I created my own branding and marketing, leveraged on social media influencers to promote the product, and sourced for suppliers during my six-month internship in Jakarta!”
Joylynn Chua Ming Er is a second-year Product Design and Innovation student who frequently utilises the facilities of Makers’ Academy. Amongst her prototypes, she has made a nightlight where its light intensity can be adjusted for parents with sleeping children, an upcycled leather pouch and a cute wooden coaster (shown above).
“Makers’ Academy provides many tools for me to experiment, explore and create prototypes for both my school and side projects. Not only are the tools readily available, the environment is air conditioned. I don’t have to worry about perspiring when working even though I’ll be running around a lot! Most importantly, Makers’ Academy have many staff personnel who are very knowledgeable and always ready to help and guide me. Thanks to them, I learnt and understood how to go about doing my prototypes better. I’ll definitely recommend Makers’ Academy as the go-to place when you’ve an idea to work on!”
2nd year Sustainable Urban Design & Engineering student, Dorcas Tang has taken on the Entrepreneurship Programme, an elective module offered by NP's School of Interdisciplinary Studies that allow students to develop their business ideas during curriculum time. With no fixed curriculum, students can personalise their own learning milestones which can range from creating a product to securing funding. Plus, students will be tagged to an industry mentor!
"I'm currently working on my watercolouring business, The Magically Studios! Through this module, I want to improve my business model and be more financially sustainable. I'm also excited to test out another idea, to start a social enterprise. I've seen how art and design can have a huge social impact, and as an architecture student, I would like to create an impact as well!"
A passionate cook and baker, Karin Ng decided to submit her business application to open an American-style dining café with her friend for the Be Your Own Boss Competition. The Fifties Cafe has a completely different concept from all the other food stalls in school. The self-made bosses strive to keep their food affordable, popular and trendy while allowing customers to enjoy a unique dining experience of American café food in school.
“We try to explore new menu recipes, but I always tell my staff that I would want the quality and customer service to be consistent as I’ve learnt that these factors are crucial for a café to do well. Setting up a business is not as easy as it seems; I’ve learnt skills such as critical thinking, creativity and crafting business plans to make myself stand out among the crowd in school while creating recipes that all would enjoy. The BYOB competition has given me valuable experience for my own future café plans – it’s a reminder to remain passionate about my goals!”
The first of its kind among polytechnics in Singapore, the Certificate in China Readiness offered by our School of Interdisciplinary Studies gives our students an edge in engaging with the innovation powerhouse! Through the 22-week programme endorsed by Business China, students are challenged to debunk stereotypes about the Chinese, examine the impact of the country’s rapid growth and develop strategies for Singapore-China collaborations. Azrinnizzah Binte Mohammad Azhar who graduated with a Diploma in Mass Communication, had the opportunity in her second year to gain an insider's perspective of China’s business and culture through networking sessions with Chinese entrepreneurs and business leaders. She even ventured east on a 12-day immersion trip to China!
“I fell in love with China after my parents took me to on a trip to Beijing and Xi’an in 2014. I was very excited to immerse myself in Chinese culture and learn all about the real China. Even though I’m not a native Mandarin speaker, I want to go into the media industry in China, and this certificate programme is helping me to stand out!”
Final-year Business Studies student Cheryl Dee participated in the week-long Overseas Innovation Challenge (OIC) in June, which was held in Hong Kong. She had gotten the chance to visit Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and made new friends from there! The industry visits was also a learning opportunity for her to know about the different recruitment methods Hong Kong employs to find new employees for companies.
“Hong Kong’s demographics are highly similar to Singapore, hence it was the chosen destination for OIC. We got to visit big firms and even interacted with the directors of MNCs. Although the panel of judges deemed our pitch unfeasible because of cultural differences, it was good exposure for us to experience working in the real world where we have to accept criticisms. OIC had set me on experiencing various possibilities that really expedited my exposure to real-life company processes. It was definitely gruelling, spending long nights discussing about the solution, but the effort was worth it.”
Since 2016, we’ve had numerous notable alumni creating a name for themselves and their business in NP’s entrepreneurship repertoire. Every week, they spend time with fellow alumni embarking on their entrepreneurship adventures by providing guidance and advice. That’s why they’re called our Entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIR)! NP’s Business Studies graduate, Eugene Cheng is now the co-founder of HighSpark, a company that trains presentation storytelling for professionals. In 2015, when Eugene was first setting up HighSparks, he met Lynn Tan, the Managing Director of Fusion Cosmetics and a Mass Communication alumnus, through the EIR programme.
"Meeting Lynn and having access to her valuable time and advice really gave us a lot to think about. It's one thing reading about concepts in a book, and another to hear it directly from someone who has been there, done that. Her wealth of experience helped us to avoid pitfalls that would have cost us time and money and we're very glad to have had the opportunity of her mentorship."
Titus Chin, a third-year Product Design and Innovation student, spent a semester in Silicon Valley where he interned for a start-up, Biruni Designs. A semester abroad may seem intimidating, with work and culture differences, but through this startup experience, Titus has gained a clearer sight of his future entrepreneurship goals in the leather-crafting business.
“Being the only Junior Designer, I was in charge of many different aspects of the design process. All these experiences were first-hand classes on entrepreneurship. I've learnt so many things I never imagined I’d have, made friends I’d never forget, and grown as an individual. The year in entirety has been memorable, from working for a company that values every individual equally, living in a new environment, having road-trips with my buddies, eating good food, to going for concerts. All of these made up a wonderful and – I would go ahead and say it – the best year of my life,” said Titus.
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Aerospace Technology graduate Jasper Yap is a partner at Eezee.sg, an online marketplace where businesses can buy and sell items such as electrical and hardware supplies. Along with his partners, he applied for an NP Incubator Grant which grants up to $10,000 and even a loan from up to $50,000. As part of the incubator, incubatees are provided the facilities, (think hot-desking workstations, private rooms and meeting rooms, printing and copying equipment, secretariat support, website designers) mentoring support, and even networking opportunities with investors to jumpstart their business.
“NP’s Sandbox Incubator has provided us with much needed mentorship, and helped us open new doors and opportunities. We’ve often attended events like InnovFest and SWITCH where we connected with industry partners and gained expertise in running a successful startup. Most importantly, being part of the Ngee Ann family gives confidence and assurance to our stakeholders!”
Taking a gap year after graduation to travel is so last season! Arts Business Management graduate Nikita Freda Laurens made the decision to spend her gap year immersing herself in the exciting world of startups with the Startup Talent Factory (STF) instead! This flexible 9 to 12 month work-study programme consists of a Certificate in Entrepreneurship, including employment in a startup! Earning a decent salary while studying and getting a first-hand experience into startup life? What’s not to love?
“I didn’t want to rush into university without being sure of my ambition. I wanted to do work that I’m fully committed to and truly have a passion for. Preschool Market, the company I am attached to as part of STF is giving me just that. We’re a social enterprise that run community-centric events for preschool teachers, children and families. Getting this stint — along with gaining experience and doing work that really matters to me — is probably the absolute best decision I’ve made for myself in a while. There’re a lot of bright minds in startups like this, and the way they work is very team-oriented. I’ve received so many opportunities!”
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Your journey with us doesn’t stop after you graduate. Consider being a part of Pollinate, an off-campus startup incubator that supports the entrepreneurship efforts by poly alumni entrepreneurs. Get the opportunity to put your enterprising smarts to the test by collaborating with other startups housed in Pollinate. Take your business to the next level, the same way our alumnus Winson Tan did with his app called FoodZaps, which combines the best of cloud-based technology with the traditional legacy system – without having to rely heavily on the internet.
“A startup is very vibrant. You are building your own business and legacy. Through Foodzaps, we want to make the running of a restaurant smarter, to rely more on technology and less on humans to do repetitive tasks.”
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Don’t lose your network with fellow alumni entrepreneurs when you graduate! Join the NP Founders’ Club on Facebook to stay notified about future events and opportunities. It’s the one-stop place for NP Alumni entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs to connect with one another even after graduation!
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