Ngee Ann Poly, UOB launch campus incubator to nurture start-ups, spur student entrepreneurship

Hangout@UOB has areas where students can sit and share ideas. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
Called Agile, the 10,000 sq ft space on the NP campus in Clementi will have three main functions. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - Students at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) now have a dedicated space where they can brainstorm ideas and get hands-on training in innovation and entrepreneurship.

The polytechnic, together with United Overseas Bank (UOB), on Friday (Dec 11) launched a campus incubator to nurture start-ups, drive student entrepreneurship and encourage partnerships.

Called Agile, which stands for Accelerating Growth in Innovation, Learning and Entrepreneurship, the 10,000 sq ft space on the NP campus in Clementi will have three main functions.

The first is to provide a space to encourage collaboration. Hangout @ UOB, designed by graduates from NP's School of Design and Environment, has areas where students can sit and share ideas.

UOB also plans to work with NP to hold events and seminars there to share insights on fintechs and innovation, among other things.

Hangout @ UOB will be co-managed by student interns under the supervision and mentorship of UOB employees.

The interns will complete a 24-week stint, during which they will be trained in customer service and operational risk and compliance.

This aims to nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs, said UOB and NP.

The second function of Agile is to serve as an incubator, which will be managed by The Sandbox, NP's innovation and entrepreneurship office.

It will house 10 start-ups, giving them access to resources such as work spaces, mentoring and training.

Agile's third function is to provide a venue for programmes such as financial literacy workshops, talks with experts in innovation, entrepreneurship and career guidance, as well as hackathons and competitions.

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung, who also sits on the board of Monetary Authority of Singapore, attended the launch.

Minister Ong Ye Kung (right) launching Agile with Ngee Ann Polytechnic principal Clarence Ti. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

NP principal Clarence Ti said: "By leveraging UOB's fintech expertise and financial services, our incubatees will have more direct access to financing resources and consultations, and thus enable them to scale more quickly.

"At the same time, we hope that the space will encourage fintech innovation, and complement our efforts in seeding entrepreneurial ideas among our youths."

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