September 21, 2018


Start-ups are valuable members of every industry as they are considered the new generation of businesses, especially for the tech industry. With fascinating new uses for the new technology being developed, this sector is always on the lookout for new ideas and people to put these new ideas into practise.

One of the more technologically advanced universities, the National University of Singapore, clearly sees the great potential of investing in start-ups, with the President of the University, Tan Eng Chye stating how “Mentorship and funding are crucial for early-stage start-ups”. So they have subsequently announced that they plan to spend $25 Million on around 250 start-ups in the next five years, but where do they hope to get all this money from?

Thankfully they have a plan for this too, they are using the funding from a specialised branch working with the University, called the Graduate Research Innovation Programme.

With an investment as large as $25 Million, the University does have a plan in place to get the best out of its investment, so instead of finding some random start-ups to throw some money at, they plan to use it primarily on their own students as well as research staff. They also plan to pace their investments, granting 50 projects every year with money from the Graduate Research Innovation Programme.


As a testament to their commitment, they have built a whole new building especially for their lucky 250 start-up fledgling businesses. This isn’t your average building either, it has a variety of impressive features including, as one report suggests, a “Smart Café” that uses machine learning to give specific coffee to specific people thanks to the facial recognition technology. Which is fitting, as artificial intelligence, data science and analytics are all areas that the research teams actually specialise in.

Start-ups can be a risky investment, but like most things, high risk often means high reward. If they invest in the right people at such a crucial point in their careers, they may be responsible for the next Bill Gates or Elon Musk. Although this is speculation at this point, it is very much realistic, especially with the quality of facilities and amount of money that the Graduate Research Innovation Programme is investing in these potentially revolutionary start-ups. Regardless, it will be very interesting to see what the outcome is five years from now.

Cafes with machine learning features

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