New venture fund launched - run by Singapore university students, for students

The Singapore Management University (SMU) campus at Bras Basah.
The Singapore Management University (SMU) campus at Bras Basah.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Entrepreneurship community Kairos Asean and the Singapore Management University's (SMU) Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship (IIE) have launched a new venture fund run by university students for students.

Called Protege Ventures, it aims to give undergraduate and postgraduate students from Singapore-based universities a shot at "practical, real-life venture capital experience" in sourcing, analysing and investing in technology-enabled Asean start-ups with at least one student founder.

Protege Ventures is backed by a number of venture capital firms, including Wavemaker Partners, Venturecraft, Marvelstone and TSR Partners.

"We noticed there were multiple student venture funds in the United States, but none in South-east Asia. We wanted to fill a gap in the space and empower students to experience and learn more by doing," said IIE director Hau Koh Foo.

Protege Ventures is looking for 15 full-time university students who have a strong interest in the start-up and venture capital ecosystem. They are expected to commit at least one year to the programme.

The students will be taken through a 10-week training programme to learn real-world venture capital (VC) skillsets.

Student VCs will get access to industry events, network with experienced VCs and entrepreneurs, and receive bi-weekly mentorship from industry leaders.

They will source for interesting student ventures, conduct due diligence, analyse potential deals, and pitch investment plans to the investment committee.

Selected student ventures will receive a $20,000 convertible note investment from the supporting VCs, as well as post-investment support from SMU.

Applications to join Protege Ventures are open until Aug 31.