BLOCK71’s eighth location will be a key gateway, supporting innovation and entrepreneurship development in Vietnam
NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Becamex IDC Corporation (Becamex) to establish BLOCK71 in Vietnam with the aim of cultivating a vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in country and beyond.
The MOU was signed by Professor Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation & Enterprise) and Mr Nguyen Van Hung, Chairman of Becamex, at the Horasis Asia Meeting held in Binh Duong New City.
The joint initiative will support a two-way flow of talent, technologies and start-ups with the aim of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship development in both countries. Vietnamese and Singaporean start-ups may use BLOCK71’s global network of resources and contacts to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey and gain access to international markets. At the same time, the initiative will facilitate greater information exchange, connectivity and access to programmes between Singapore, Vietnam and the region.
Burgeoning Start-Up Scene in Vietnam
Vietnam is the third most active start-up ecosystem in ASEAN, behind Singapore and Indonesia, with a reported six-fold increase in invested capital in technology deals in the last two years.
With a large consumer market, the ecosystem has experienced a growing openness to foreign investment and support from government agencies in entrepreneurship, well-matched with Vietnam’s young 96 million strong tech-savvy population.
BLOCK71’s expansion will aim to serve and grow this demand, and be an aggregator of cross border support, funding and learning.
Enabling entrepreneurs and innovations to scale globally
BLOCK71 in Vietnam is the latest extension of NUS’ global network of entrepreneurial gateways to overseas hubs, enabling NUS start-ups and technologies to gain access to new markets, and vice-versa, to promote access to education and innovation programmes in NUS for Vietnamese students and entrepreneurs.
Set up and managed by NUS Enterprise in collaborative and strategic partnership with corporates and government agencies, BLOCK71 taps on the synergies derived from the deep experience of NUS Enterprise, widely acknowledged as the engine behind Asia’s leading university-based entrepreneurial ecosystem, and Becamex’s track record as a leading developer of industrial infrastructure in Vietnam with access to seven business parks and over 900 corporate partners.
“NUS is delighted to embark on this partnership with Becamex to expand BLOCK71’s presence in Southeast Asia. Our NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) programme has also expanded in this region by sending the first cohort of students for internships in Ho Chi Minh City in May this year. This new BLOCK71 in Vietnam will enable entrepreneurs and innovators to access new markets, provide NUS students with interesting internship placements, and provide information and access to technology innovation and entrepreneurship programmes and courses available in Singapore such as full-time Master of Science programmes and the NUS Technology Access Programme,” said Professor Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation & Enterprise).
“As we have embarked upon our journey to build the innovation ecosystem around our core business of industrial estate and services, we are delighted to establish the strategic cooperation with NUS, Asia’s leading university, to support entrepreneurs and local talent in their entrepreneurial learning and pursuits. We also welcome global start-ups who aspire to venture into Vietnam’s thriving market and gain access to local tech talents. This is an essential part of our larger strategy to facilitate the transition of Vietnam’s economy from labour-intensive to technology and knowledge activities.” said Mr Nguyen Van Hung, Chairman of Becamex.
In Vietnam, both NUS Enterprise and Becamex will work closely to cultivate a vibrant and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem and build bridges for business development in Vietnam and beyond. BLOCK71 supports entrepreneurs by providing:
- Access to global networks – NUS Enterprise and Becamex have a comprehensive network, including investors, corporate partners, mentors and industry. Singapore start-ups can gain easier market access, and Vietnamese start-ups can leverage upon NUS Enterprise’s entrepreneurial hubs in the US, Indonesia, China and Singapore, to venture into these markets;
- Incubation support – NUS Enterprise organises a range of support programmes to help entrepreneurs kickstart and develop their ideas;
- Opportunities to pilot and test business ideas and technologies;
- Opportunities to participate in entrepreneurial initiatives such as business competitions, validation programmes, talks and conferences, and other start-up related events; and
- An ecosystem and community – A strong start-up community provides synergies and opportunities for collaborations. It also enables sharing of best practices. Regular start-up events and activities are organised at BLOCK71 to strengthen the community further; and
- Access to education programmes in technology innovation and entrepreneurship at NUS such as full-time Master of Science programmes and the NUS Technology Access Programme where participants can tap on NUS intellectual property to move their innovation ideas into viable deep-tech start-ups.
BLOCK71 takes its name from its birthplace – the Block 71 building within the Ayer Rajah industrial estate in Singapore, where a disused industrial building was transformed into a renowned landmark for innovation through championing the aggregation and growth of the local technology start-up community. In addition to Singapore, BLOCK71 has been established in San Francisco in the US, Jakarta, Bandung and Yogyakarta in Indonesia and two locations in Suzhou, China.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Deputy Director, Marketing & Communications
Nguyen Dien Hong Hanh
Director, Becamex Business Incubator
About National University of Singapore (NUS)
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education, research and entrepreneurship, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. We have 17 faculties across three campuses in Singapore, as well as 12 NUS Overseas Colleges across the world. Close to 40,000 students from 100 countries enrich our vibrant and diverse campus community.
Our multidisciplinary and real-world approach to education, research and entrepreneurship enables us to work closely with industry, governments and academia to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and the world. Researchers in our faculties, 29 university-level research institutes, research centres of excellence and corporate labs focus on themes that include energy, environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases common among Asians; active ageing; advanced materials; as well as risk management and resilience of financial systems. Our latest research focus is on the use of data science, operations research and cybersecurity to support Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative.
For more information on NUS, please visit www.nus.edu.sg.
About NUS Enterprise
NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of NUS, plays a pivotal role in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at NUS and beyond. It actively promotes entrepreneurship and cultivates global mind-sets and talents through the synergies of experiential entrepreneurial education, active industry partnerships, holistic entrepreneurship support and catalytic entrepreneurship outreach. Its initiatives and global connections support a range of entrepreneurial journeys and foster ecosystem building in new markets. These initiatives augment and complement the University’s academic programmes and acts as a unique bridge to industry well beyond Singapore’s shores.
For more information, please visit https://enterprise.nus.edu.sg/
About Becamex IDC
Becamex IDC is Vietnam’s leading industrial infrastructure developer with an extensive network of integrated industrial parks & township across the country. In order to provide an integrated solution to investors, Becamex IDC has been gradually building a comprehensive ecosystem of business portfolio around the core business of industrial parks & township, including: Transportation, Logistics, Telecommunication & ICT, Healthcare, Education, Social housing, Trading & services. Becamex IDC has been the key driver of Binh Duong’s industrialization and economic transformation over the past 2 decades. It continues to be the key driver of Binh Duong Smart City Strategy via the “Triple helix” model to continue creating new breakthrough foundations for Binh Duong’s next phase of development.
For more information, please visit http://becamex.com.vn
BLOCK71 is an initiative by NUS Enterprise in collaborative and strategic partnerships with established corporates and government agencies. It forms part of a global network of innovation and entrepreneurial gateways to and from NUS, through providing programms as as a technology ecosystem builder and business connector with an objective to catalyse, aggregate and develop competencies of the start-up community/.
In every instance and location, BLOCK71 embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship, collaboration and partnership by optimising the unique experience of each entity, the research capabilities and technologies of the university, and the investment and business acumen of the partners, to support entreprenuerial journeys within the local geography and beyond.
BLOCK71 locations provide a physical locus for expanding start-ups to access new markets while leveraging NUS Enterprise’s global network of resources and contacts. Entrepreneurs in the BLOCK71 family also enjoy comprehensive support services from NUS Enterprise such as dedicated mentoring support, access to funding, exclusive networking opportunities that go beyond physical space, and assistance to integrate into the local ecosystems seamlessly. In addition to Singapore, BLOCK71 has been established in San Francisco in the United States, Jakarta, Bandung and Yogyakarta in Indonesia and two locations in Suzhou, China.
BLOCK71 takes its name from its birthplace – the Block 71 building within the Ayer Rajah industrial estate in Singapore. It is there that NUS Enterprise, along with Singtel Innov8 and the then Media Development Authority of Singapore, averted the fate of a disused building through championing the aggregation and growth of the local technology start-up community. In continuing the support of entrepreneurial journeys beyond Singapore, it is a fitting reminder of its heritage.
For more information, visit www.block71.co