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Singapore to host MIT global innovation and entrepreneurship programme

Zafirah Salim | July 24, 2015
Called REAP, this programme helps participating regions – Singapore, London, Morocco, Moscow, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Seoul and Valencia – to design and implement strategies to build robust innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Singapore has successfully won the bid to host MIT's Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Programme (REAP) for the first time ever.

Over the past three days (July 22 to 24, 2015), the MIT faculty delivered a series of interactive workshops to guide the participating regions in promoting economic development and job creation.

Participating regions in the current cohort include Singapore, London, Morocco, Moscow, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Seoul (South Korea) and Valencia (Spain). Each region comprised of a diverse team of stakeholders, including representatives from government, corporates, universities, risk capital and entrepreneurship sectors.

According to a media statement, REAP helps these regions to design and implement strategies to build robust innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystems. The programme also seeks to cultivate a global community of regions and builds bridges for greater exchange of idea and sharing of best practices.

"Regions around the world aspire to become the 'next' Silicon Valley, but few realise they should play to their own region's strengths, and fewer know how to get there. REAP provides real-world solutions for participating regions to develop the building blocks necessary to create an economic ecosystem that is attractive to high-growth start-ups. By having the opportunity to collaborate with MIT and with similar regions around the world, participants are able to get a systematic view into how they can create an environment that boosts economic and social progress," said MIT Professor Fiona Murray, Associate Dean at the Sloan School of Management and co-director of the MIT's new Innovation Initiative.

"Singapore is clearly a burgeoning hub of innovation, and we are delighted to be hosting our MIT global initiative here. By participating in REAP, Team Singapore is helping its nation take the next steps to becoming a global powerhouse for technological development that soon other regions will look to as an example," she added.

Team Singapore is headed by Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA); and the team comprises of seven key influencers in Singapore's ecosystem, including Dr Alex Lin, Head of Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd; Ong Peng Tsin, Partner of Monk's Hill Ventures; Jeffrey Paine, General Partner of Golden Gate Ventures; Wong Meng Weng, Co-Founder and Chairman of Joyful Frog Digital Incubator; Dr Lily Chan, Chief Executive Officer of NUS Enterprise; Edgar Hardless, Chief Executive Officer of SingTel Innov8; and Teo Lay Lim, Senior Managing Director, ASEAN of Accenture.

As the host country, Singapore will also be organising ecosystem engagement tours to share with the overseas delegates how Singapore's journey towards being a Smart Nation helps to drive innovation and entrepreneurship as it aims to tackle some of the world's most important urban challenges.

One such key initiative is the local and global accelerator partnerships seeded by the Government since March last year, which have helped build a steady stream of scalable tech companies through enabling a community of investors, corporates and start-ups to work together to develop solutions that serve global markets.


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