Enterprise Development

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Enterprise Development

Developing and Growing Enterprises with Tech




This module focusses on how to develop new or grow existing enterprises using technology.

The course is a primer on identifying & validating market opportunities, and how to create value with technology. In each session, new tools and methodologies will be presented. Teams will then apply the new tools in their search for opportunities in their specific market and technology. Teams will be challenged to confirm their conclusions through validation with externals before presenting their findings to other teams to provide constructive feedback. The rigorous process allows students to develop practical skills in communication and teamwork, as well as provide a foundation for the building up of value-creation and capturing skills.

Teams will work on projects provided by tech enterprises that will

  1. Define opportunity statements for student teams to work on;
  2. Give input to teams throughout the process;
  3. Challenge teams as they would any internal unit with a business development idea; and
  4. Inject reality to classroom exercises.

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The module is led by Adjunct Associate Professor Vinod Vasnani, assisted by Lecturer Randall Sie to help guide the teams throughout the module.

Students will be provided opportunities to:

  • Learn and apply market validation techniques in an experiential setting;
  • Learn frameworks to evaluate customer needs and come up with viable solutions;
  • Differentiate mere ideas from valid business opportunities;
  • Contextualise and position presentations to different stakeholder units;
  • Craft business development proposals including return on investment and internal rate of returns data;
  • Hone professional and career skills; and
  • Strengthen team and leadership skills.

Students will be assessed based on their creativity, team collaboration, progress made in developing their project, peer reviews and overall participation. Successful students will receive 4MCs for this module, registered under MT5920 Enterprise Development.

There are no pre-requisites for this module.

Classes will take place once a week.

In each session, new tools and methodologies will be presented. Teams will then brainstorm how to apply the new tools to their search for opportunities in their specific market and technology. Teams will then be challenged to identify and interview outsiders and the tech enterprises hosting the problem statements, to confirm their conclusions before the next session. Teams will also update on the insights from the market from the week before.

In an informal setting, each team reports weekly on their progress and presents their next steps for the coming week. Other teams have an opportunity to critique and build on the team’s efforts for new opportunity identification. Participants will get an opportunity to present their ideas, get feedback and hone communications skills.

Each team will be asked to put together reports summarizing their findings – an interim report of the top 3 promising opportunities and a final report for the most promising market opportunity with a proposed technology product as well as the business model. The teams will also create and deliver presentations summarising their reports.

Classes start 15 August 2017, and will be held from 6-9PM at TechHub.

Have some questions? Please email Teaching Assistant Himanshu Kathuria at himanshukathuria01@u.nus.edu.

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Opportunity sought: Healthcare innovations for chronic disease management in aging populations

Chronic diseases are a significant cause of illness and death in Singapore. Chronic conditions, if not managed properly, often lead to more serious complications. This is a phenomenon common to all developed countries.

Singapore is undergoing a rapid pace of ageing. By 2030, 1 in 4 Singaporeans will be aged 65 and above. There will be fewer working-age adults to support residents in that age group.

The combination of these will result in a growing burden of disease in our local population. A key challenge will be the increasing demand for health services under limited resources.

How can we employ innovations in healthcare to better respond to people’s health needs? What business models and technologies are required to effectively address the health needs of the population?

Needed Team Composition: Biomedical Engineering, Data Science, Business

Opportunity sought: Innovative applications with chatbots & AI 

MediaCorp is Singapore’s leading media company with the most complete range of platforms, spanning television, radio, newspapers, magazines, movies, digital and out-of-home media. Initiatives in the new digital space include Internet TV-on-demand, High Definition TV broadcast and Over-the-Top (OTT) interactive services

They’re looking for ways that Chatbots and AI it can add value to Mediacorp in driving engagement and value creation. These include exploring application of chatbots for Customer Support, Dynamics Customer Profile Enrichment, Content Marketing, User Feedback

The team(s) assigned to this would be investigating new markets and opportunities where these technologies can add value to Mediacorp. What are the new areas where Chatbots & AI can have impact?  How can Chatbots & AI help in driving engagement and increase revenue to Mediacorp? What are further innovations that needs to happen to make chatbots & AI viable in these new areas?  What are the potential business models?

Mediacorp representatives would be available to provide feedback and for your team to bounce off and validate ideas

Recommended team composition: open to all who are interested

Opportunity sought: New Innovative ways/application s that biometrics could be used 

NEC Global Safety Division (GSD) focus is on growing and developing NEC expertise in public safety, an area which has attracted a great deal of attention and investment by governments around the world. NEC is known globally for its biometrics identification technologies, which have been provided to a wide range of customers in many countries around the world. This includes solutions for counter terrorism, immigration control, national identification, law enforcement, urban surveillance, cyber security, and emergency and disaster management.

NEC GSD is looking for new innovative ways that biometrics could be used. What are the new areas that biometrics can have impact? How could it add further value to the organization?  What further innovations need to happen to make biometrics viable in these new areas. What are the potential business models?

NEC Representatives will be present to provide feedback and validate ideas.

More Info: http://www.nec.com/en/global/solutions/safety/index.html

Recommended team composition: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical& Electronics Engineering, Data Science, Computer Engineering, Business/MBA.

Opportunity sought: Developing Digital cards and payment ecosystem for new markets

DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia. They are headquartered in Singapore, with a growing presence in Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. As a bank born and bred in Asia, they are well-positioned as your partner to capture opportunities across the region.

DBS is looking at new and innovative uses for Digital cards and its payment ecosystems. Specifically it’s looking at meeting the needs of millennials and SME’s. What are the new areas that these new technologies can have impact? How could it add further value to the organization? What further innovations need to happen to make them viable in these new areas. What are the potential business models?

DBS representatives will be available to provide feedback and for your team to validate ideas

Recommended team composition: All who are interested in this area






Opportunity sought: Exploring new markets and uses for Dyson’s Motor and Vacuum technology

Dyson is a global technology company with 3,500 engineers and scientists based in the UK, US, Singapore, Malaysia and Shanghai Dyson technology can be found in more than 75 countries around the world and invests £7m in research and development every week.

In Singapore, Dyson is investing S$580 million in its future. In February this year, Dyson moved into its new technology centre at Science Park One. The space has the latest development labs, bringing together the latest hardware and software expertise. Dyson plans to grow the Singapore-based engineering team by 50 per cent. Located in the heart of Singapore’s start-up community and next to the National University of Singapore, the new centre’s engineering teams will focus on developing new technologies for the future. Dyson also has an advanced manufacturing centre for the making of its digital motor in Jurong where 13 million motors roll off its highly automated lines each year.

The patented digital motor has completely revolutionised the way people use the vacuum cleaner. Dyson’s cord-free machines, powered by the fastest, smallest motors in the world, now achieve the same performance as mains vacuum cleaners. Today, Dyson is the market leader in major markets including UK, France, Germany, Australia, China and Japan as well as Taiwan and Korea.

For this course, the students assigned to this statement will explore new and innovative uses for Dyson’s patented digital motor and cyclone technology. In what are other market areas could these similar innovations be applied to?  Perhaps in manufacturing, medical, industrial users?  What are the further innovations or considerations needed to make it viable in these other areas?  What are the potential business models?

Dyson representatives will be available to provide feedback and for the team to validate ideas.

Recommended team composition: Engineers and anyone who are interested in this area

Reference material: https://www.dyson.com.sg/

Opportunity sought: Application of identified novel technology – carbon fibre aerogel

Budding Innovations and its start-up is innovating on and commercializing novel technologies in the Cleantech area. With a focus on wastewater remediation, the company is addressing and helping to solve today’s issues in waste & wastewater management. Given the need for water for consumption and industrial-agriculture, most countries face challenges with the management of waste & wastewater impacting environment and people. There is a huge opportunity to positively impact people’s lives by introducing sustainable technologies that reduce waste, turn waste into value-add products, and eliminate environmental impact of polluting industries.

The students will focus on one innovative technology, a so-called Carbon Fibre Aerogel (CFA) which has unique benefits in highly-efficiently absorbing and recuperating organics while reducing the environmental impact by turning waste into value-added materials. The objective is to come up with a viable business proposition based on applying Engineering expertise covering the following areas:

  • Which are the relevant key markets/applications that can be addressed with this technology?
  • What is the best way of scaling up the technology meeting quality, capacity and price?
  • What is the best application design that builds on the unique removal and recuperation benefits of the CFA materials and how can it be best integrated into existing systems?

Recommended team composition: A combinations of skills is required to scale-up the technology, design and implement the Engineering solution and to achieve a viable business proposition that can be implemented by the industry. Seamless collaboration between Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical Engineering as well as Science & Business is required.

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List of Market Opportunities for Semester 1, AY2016/2017

  1. Air & Vacuum Technology
  2. Waste from Reverse Osmosis
  3. 3D Printing in MRO
  4. LED technology
  5. Packaging Technology for Perishable Products

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