Ngee Ann Polytechnic launches NP x Carousell Sustainability Lab and Singapore’s first alumni-angel investment network for polytechnic students to commemorate 20 years of innovation and entrepreneurship

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Note: This release was issued by Ngee Ann Polytechnic here.

Singapore, 16 November 2022 — In honour of nurturing entrepreneurial talent for 20 years, Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) launched the NP x Carousell Sustainability Lab in a Homecoming event today that brought over 100 alumni entrepreneurs back to their alma mater. The new incubator space was established in partnership with homegrown recommerce group Carousell, co-founded by two NP alumni Marcus Tan and Quek Siu Rui, as well as Lucas Ngoo. The NP x Carousell Sustainability Lab was officially launched by Ms Gan Siow Huang, Minister of State for Education and Manpower, who also graced the release of the second edition of “Those Who Dared”, a commemorative book that captures the innovation and entrepreneurial (I&E) spirit of over 130 trailblazing NP alumni.

NP x Carousell Sustainability Lab – Carousell’s first formalised partnership with an Institute of Higher Learning focusing on sustainopreneurship

A dedicated incubator space at Blk 31, the NP x Carousell Sustainability Lab will operate as an experiential testbed that celebrates sustainopreneurship i.e. innovation and entrepreneurship for sustainability. To address the environmental implications from overconsumption and inspire consumers to make secondhand their first choice, the co-creation space will empower students with the knowledge and fuel their passion to explore sustainable ideas. Each year, over 300 NP students are expected to leverage the facilities and Carousell’s support to take their I&E plans to the next stage.

Set to benefit students, incubated startups and NP alumni alike, the three-year collaboration will give students access to Carousell’s array of innovative solutions and products. For instance, NP students will be provided with complimentary CarouBiz (Carousell for Business) accounts. They can make use of premium digital tools, including technologies such as predictive artificial intelligence to drive personalised and frictionless experiences for end-users. They will also receive business analytics reports that will give them insights to grow their sales. 

The NP x Carousell Sustainability Lab is also a learning facility for students. NP’s School of Business & Accountancy (BA) and its Innovation and Entrepreneurship Office, The Sandbox, will work hand-in-hand with Carousell’s team of specialists to deepen students’ training in sustainable e-commerce. This includes co-delivery and co-assessment of relevant modules, as well as industry immersion and mentorship for BA students and NP students taking the Entrepreneurship Pathway under the Personalised Learning Pathway programme. Students will get the chance to collaborate with Carousell’s technology specialists to re-imagine secondhand shopping experiences, work with its marketing team to develop high recall sustainability campaigns, and connect with the strategy leads to use data to forecast trends and develop sustainable e-commerce strategies. 

NP Angel Network – Singapore’s first alumni-angel investment network for polytechnic students

As the first polytechnic that dedicated resources to nurture budding entrepreneurs, NP’s efforts have supported the growth of an extensive network of successful business founders, who in turn want to “pay it forward” to fund and empower the next generation of trailblazers. The establishment of the NP Angel Network further enhances NP’s startup ecosystem – which includes AGILE, Pollinate, Global Entrepreneurial Internship Programme, Kickstart Fund, Entrepreneurship First Steps and more – allowing it to offer a holistic suite of programmes to students with entrepreneurial aspirations. 

The NP Angel Network will see accomplished alumni entrepreneurs commit a minimum of $20,000 each as angel funders, and the final investment amount could increase following the biannual pitches by students. Spearheaded by a group of passionate alumni – Legatcy’s Dennis Poh, serial entrepreneur Desmond Lee, and ASEAN Fintech Group’s Douglas Gan – the NP Angel Network is on track to bring together 30 alumni angel funders in the next two years, with total committed funds standing at $500,000 to date.

“Those Who Dared” – A celebration of alumni entrepreneurs’ success to inspire the next generation

From tech innovators to beauty and F&B entrepreneurs such as Secretlab’s Ian Ang, Carro’s Aaron Tan and Kelvin Chng, Skin Inc’s Sabrina Tan and Sourbombe Artisanal Bakery’s Genevieve Lee, the latest commemorative edition of “Those Who Dared” chronicles the success stories of over 130 entrepreneurial alumni. With a foreword penned by Singapore’s Minister for Education, Mr Chan Chun Sing, the book aims to foster an innovative and enterprising culture in the generations to come.

Available in print and digitally, the new compilation builds upon the inaugural print edition of “Those Who Dared” published in 2016, which featured over 100 courageous alumni who forged ahead in their entrepreneurial endeavours.

“With NP’s head start in creating an entrepreneurial culture since 2002, we now have a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem in which alumni business founders are actively mentoring and supporting the next generation. Going forward, NP will build on this ecosystem to drive initiatives and partnerships that enable our students and graduates to ideate on ways to tackle the challenges of our time. This way, we will harness the entrepreneurial spirit for the good of society,” said Mr Lim Kok Kiang, Principal & CEO of NP.

“With a decade of enabling a circular economy through Carousell’s marketplace, empowering the community and giving underused items a new lease of life, we see a world where secondhand is the first choice. We are thrilled to partner NP, an institution that has been committed to igniting the entrepreneurial spark in its students, to nurture and groom the next generation of sustainability-conscious entrepreneurs. There is so much potential to work together with young minds to inspire fresh solutions to urgent environmental concerns such as overconsumption and climate change. We are excited to do the work to create a more sustainable future,” said Marcus Tan, Co-founder, Carousell. 

About Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Ngee Ann Polytechnic started in 1963 and is today one of Singapore’s leading institutions of higher learning with over 13,000 enrolled students in close to 40 disciplines. It seeks to develop students with a passion for learning, values for life, and competencies to thrive in a global workplace. The polytechnic also supports Continuing Education and Training (CET) through its CET Academy, which offers a wide range of part-time programmes and short courses. It works closely with industry partners to curate programmes for emerging skills, develop talent pipeline for the industries and help adult learners stay agile in today’s rapidly changing global economy.