Chinese Students Secured Funding for their Start-ups at SMU
The inaugural SMU-Peeli Rural Entrepreneurship Program concluded on a high-note at the closing ceremony held at Singapore Management University (SMU) on 6th August 2015. Three out of the six student groups secured funding from the judging panel for their start-ups after an intense business plan competition! Mr. Tan Yinglan, Venture Partner at Sequoia Capital, Mr. Zhang Xiangdong, Venture Partner at SoftBank and Founder of HiChina Group, and Peeli Ventures are part of the esteemed judging panel. Each student group consisted of both Chinese students from rural China and SMU students.
The inaugural SMU-Peeli Rural Entrepreneurship Program was jointly organized by Singapore Management University (SMU) and Jiangsu Tao Shing Pee Education Foundation (TSPEF) which was founded and funded by the famous Singaporean entrepreneur and philanthropist, Mr. Tao Shing Pee and his wife, Mdm. Liu Kwan Li. TSPEF provides bursaries to needy Chinese undergraduates, known as “Tao Students”. TSPEF also provides innovation and entrepreneurship programs to equip Tao Students to create start-ups, as part of their contributions to their rural hometowns. Although the Nanjing-born Mr Tao immigrated to Singapore many years ago, his heart is always on the development of education in China, especially for the underprivileged students.
During the one month program, 29 Tao Students, who were selected from over 3000 Tao Students, interacted with SMU students and participated in interactive classes given by SMU lecturers and industry leaders. In addition to visiting global enterprises such as Google, Microsoft and Mondelez, they have also visited local start-ups, including 4 start-ups created by SMU students, to nurture their innovative and entrepreneurial mindset.
Mr Yu Yunfeng, Counsellor (Education) of China’s Embassy in Singapore, and Professor Pang Yang Hoong, SMU Vice Provost, were among the dignitaries at the closing ceremony.
Mr. Yu Yunfeng commented that the SMU-Peeli Rural Entrepreneurship Program was a timely event as 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Singapore, the 50th anniversary of the founding of Singapore, and the 15th anniversary of SMU. He added that this program resonated very well with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s national call for mass entrepreneurship and innovation. It also played a significant role in deepening Sino-Singapore bilateral relations by encouraging youth interactions in both two countries.
Professor Pang Yang Hoong praised the program as a special pilot initiative that equipped Tao Students with a global business perspective as well as an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset. She said that SMU was proud to contribute to this meaningful initiative that aimed to empower Tao Students so that they could further impact the wider society.
Mr. Andrew Chin, Head of SMU China Initiatives, greatly applauded the performance of the 29 Tao Students. He highlighted that the program was very meaningful as it provided opportunities for students from both countries to interact meaningfully, and contributed to the Sino-Singapore relationship in both educational and cultural aspects.
Mr. Zhang Liwei, CEO of TSPEF said that the foundation created a new model of charitable work in China. In addition to providing bursaries to “Tao Students”, TSPEF is also providing free long term entrepreneurship programs to help them create their startups. Mr. Lee Kang Ho, Board Member of TSPEF, believed that the inaugural program was a success. He added that TSPEF plans to work with SMU on a long term basis and will expand the scale of program partnership.
More information, please click the following links:
Xinhuanet News (web) (14 Jul 2015)
Xinhuanet News (web) (07 Aug 2015)
Xinhuanet News (pdf) (07 Aug 2015)
Xinhuanet English News (web) (24 Aug 2015)
Xinhuanet English News (pdf) (24 Aug 2015)
Last updated on 14 Oct 2015 .