On 19 September 2017, Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) formalised its partnership with Alibaba Cloud to jointly offer the Certificate/Minor in Entrepreneurship programme, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence, graced the ceremony, held at SUSS. Together with Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of SUSS; and Mr Raymond Ma, General Manager, ASEAN and ANZ, Alibaba Cloud, they witnessed the signing of the MOU by Professor Tsui Kai Chong, Provost of SUSS; and Mr Joey Tan, Head of Global Strategic Initiatives, Alibaba Cloud.
The entrepreneurship programme – designed to help local tertiary students scale up their start-ups – aims to provide all participants with the valuable lessons and experience of taking a business idea from conception to readiness for marketplace investment. Preference is given to existing start-ups which are scalable, show potential for growth beyond Singapore, or meet pressing societal needs. The programme saw its first intake of 31 participants in July 2017, with 16 accepted start-ups formed by both SUSS full- and part-time students, as well as non-SUSS students.
To complete the programme, participants must successfully meet these three requirements: participation in a two-day cloud computing workshop by Alibaba Cloud, participation in pitching sessions to investors organised by SUSS and Alibaba Cloud, and successful securing of funding.
To underscore the commitment to encouraging and recognising entrepreneurship and risk-taking, SUSS will not charge a course fee for this programme. In addition, participants have the option to audit, and without having to take examinations, any of the 500 SUSS modular courses that they deem relevant for their businesses. For the duration of the programme, participants will have unlimited free access to Alibaba Cloud services, including data analytics and Web-hosting services. They will also enjoy mentorship by Alibaba senior executives, as well as C-level industry experts who have extensive experiences relating to entrepreneurship.
Upon successful completion of the programme, participants who are SUSS students will be awarded a Minor in Entrepreneurship worth 40 credit units. Non-SUSS participants will graduate with a certificate and have their credit units recognised should they enrol in an SUSS degree programme subsequently.
The MOU signing ceremony presented the participants of the first intake the opportunity to rub shoulders and network with their mentors, including Mr Sabith Venkitachalapathy, Senior Cloud Architect, Alibaba Cloud.
(From left) Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, Mr Joey Tan, Minister Ong Ye Kung, Professor Tsui Kai Chong and Mr Raymond Ma.