University incubators key to propelling Singapore start-ups in region

SMU alumni Benjamin Wong, Hafiz Kasman and Joshua Pua launched an edtech start-up, named Kinobi, in 2020. They learnt plenty of know-how on how to be successful entrepreneurs while studying at SMU. Benjamin said he pins much of his success today down to his time at the entrepreneurship programme at the SMU Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE). IIE’s incubator, the Business Innovations Generator, was established in 2009 to support innovative and promising ideas and to guide aspiring entrepreneurs in their start-up journey by helping them navigate the process of taking their ideas to market. As South-east Asia’s digital economy takes off, university incubators can help to propel more startups to be commercially successful, said IIE Director, Hau Koh Foo. Kinobi, which raised US$1 million in seed funding last year, helps students draft resumes and cover letters as well as offers short online courses and job interview practice. The firm has helped more than 400,000 students to date and works with over 60 universities across Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines.

The Business Times