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NUS commits up to S$2.5 million in seed-funding scholarship for enterprising undergraduates

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Stephen Riady Centre at the National University of Singapore's UTown.

THE National University of Singapore (NUS) has pledged to commit up to S$2.5 million in a new bond-free scholarship that will serve as seed funding for enterprising freshmen.

Upon graduation, scholarship recipients who are keen to start a new business venture can apply for seed funding of up to S$50,000. In 10 years, the university expects as many as 50 startups to be spawned by these scholars. The new scholarship is open to freshmen from all disciplines and will provide the seed funding on top of covering the tuition fees and living allowances for four years of study at NUS. 

A gift from Dr Stephen Riady, philanthropist and executive chairman of OUE Limited, the Stephen Riady Young Entrepreneur Scholarship will also offer scholars access to mentorship and guidance from NUS Enterprise and an opportunity to gain entrepreneurial and international exposure through the NUS Overseas Colleges Programme, during which they will study in partner universities and intern in startups in entrepreneurial hotspots overseas.

To secure this scholarship, students need to demonstrate a keen interest in creating startups, on top of academic excellence and outstanding leadership qualities. In the new academic year that commenced in August, six freshmen have received the scholarship.

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In September, NUS had also committed S$25 million to co-create up to 250 companies over the next five years.

Dr Riady said: "Entrepreneurs are drivers of innovation, and they will play an increasingly significant role in Singapore's economic progress, especially in the digital age. I am therefore pleased to support NUS with this gift, which recognises the challenges and impact of the entrepreneurial spirit, and also underscores my commitment to enable young entrepreneurial talent to develop their fullest potential."

NUS president Tan Eng Chye said: "Our new scholarship is dedicated towards nurturing entrepreneurial talent for Singapore. This initiative will also accelerate NUS' continuous efforts in building a conducive and vibrant ecosystem that nurtures entrepreneurs and startups capable of creating and deploying powerful solutions to benefit businesses and communities in Singapore and beyond."