Million-dollar gift from alumnus Jeff Tung to boost entrepreneurship at SMU

Singapore, 11 March 2020 (Wednesday) – Mr Jeff Tung, an alumnus of Singapore Management University (SMU), and the founder and Chairman of Sheng Ye Capital, has made an endowed contribution of S$1 million to enhance the P.A.K.[1] Entrepreneurship Fund which he and SMU alumnus Mr Benjamin Twoon had jointly established at SMU in 2015. Jeff graduated from SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB) in 2013 and founded Sheng Ye Capital in 2014.

This second endowed gift by Jeff was made in celebration of SMU’s and LKCSB’s 20th anniversary, as well as the 5th anniversary of the P.A.K. Entrepreneurship Fund. It is the single largest gift by a SMU alumnus to date.

The objective of the P.A.K. Entrepreneurship Fund is to support entrepreneurship activities undertaken by the University’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE), which include providing advice and guidance to a student entrepreneurship club Eagles Inc, and programming for the P.A.K. Challenge – an annual business plan competition for aspiring student entrepreneurs organized by the Eagles Inc.

With the new gift, the Challenge will henceforth serve as the Singapore Round for the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition - IIE’s flagship start-up competition.

SMU President Professor Lily Kong said, “I would like to express our appreciation to Jeff for his significant gift to support the growth of a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in SMU. The University has plans to step up efforts to cultivate innovation and entrepreneurship talent by scaling up our programmes and support towards venture-backed start-ups. We also aim to increase our ‘innovation density’ by positioning our city campus as a meeting point to connect like-minded people with different talents and ideas. Jeff’s gift will provide further impetus to these efforts. Jeff has remained deeply involved with SMU post-graduation. His contribution exemplifies the SMU ethos of giving back to society and paying it forward for the next generation of students, and will continue to inspire other SMU alumni to do the same.”

On his latest gift to SMU, Jeff said, “As an entrepreneur, I deeply appreciate the development and mentorship I had received during my time at SMU. As Sheng Ye Capital explores opportunities in Singapore, we are committed to local talent development. I hope that my additional gift will allow more aspiring young entrepreneurs to act on their passion and kickstart their journey into the world of entrepreneurship. Don't be afraid to take the plunge. The road less travelled usually goes further.”

A part of the new gift will provide funding for the operations of Eagles Inc, with most of it to be channeled towards membership recruitment and marketing, as well as training and workshops for the members.

The bulk of the new gift will be used to enhance the P.A.K. Challenge. Organised by Eagles Inc, the competition seeks to discover the most commercially viable business ideas, enabling aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their start-up dreams into reality.

Incepted in 2016, the competition was initially openonly to SMU students, it was later expanded to include participants from local universities and polytechnics.

With the new gift,

  • A new Pre-Challenge Programme will be organised to coach SMU participants on skillsets such as pitching strategies, developing concept plans and financial evaluation. The objectives are to attract more SMU teams to join the Challenge, and to improve the quality of their entries.
  • The Challenge will serve as the Singapore Round for IIE’s flagship start-up competition – the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition. To ensure that the Challenge is well-planned and executed with sufficient resources, a sum will be allocated to provide foundational support for the Challenge, including expenses for marketing, logistics, and collaterals production.
  • Cash prizes for the winning teams of the Challenge will be increased, with the top prize of $50,000.
  • Winning teams will be offered co-working space at IIE’s new incubation space located at SMU Connexion.
  • Winning teams will be inducted into the network circle to support future Challenges through knowledge sharing and mentorship.

About Jeff Tung

Jeff is currently the Executive Director and Chairman of Board at Sheng Ye Capital, a sector-focused technology finance company listed on the Mainboard of Hong Kong Stock Exchange. 

As a self-made entrepreneur, Jeff firmly believes in the spirit of paying it forward as an individual as well as a corporation. Sheng Ye Capital has participated actively in several charitable activities, including Raleigh China, Handpicked Love Foundation, Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society Kowloon and Lok Sin Tong Leung Kau Kui College.

Jeff sits on the Enterprise Board of the SMU’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and SMU’s International Advisory Council (China). 

In January 2020, SMU had announced that Jeff Tung is one of 25 business school graduates honoured by AACSB International (AACSB) as the 2020 Class of Influential Leaders.  The annual award by AACSB - the world’s largest business education alliance - recognises notable alumni from AACSB-accredited schools whose inspiring work serves as a model for the next generation of business leaders.  It also lauds the business schools for their work in developing exceptional leaders and industry innovators. As the only honoree from Singapore and one of six from Asia Pacific, Jeff Tung joins a notable group of individuals who personify the role as a visionary figure or change agent, and who demonstrate positive impact on society.  Jeff is the third SMU alumnus to receive this accolade.

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[1] P.A.K. – “It starts with PASSION, ignited by a spirit of ADVENTURE, and fueled by the courage to KICKSTART your ideas.”