2nd Kumar Sustainability & Innovation Prize

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About the Prize

NTU Entrepreneurship Academy is proud to present the highly anticipated 2nd edition of the Kumar Sustainability & Innovation Prize (KSIP). Following its successful launch in 2023, this competition strives to foster entrepreneurship and innovation among students from Institutes of Higher Learning. 

Under the theme “Digital Innovations for a Sustainable Future”, KSIP aims to inspire participants to develop most promising and impactful solutions to address sustainability issues or introduce innovations that benefit people and society, not only in Singapore but also on a global scale.

Click here to view the e-brochure.

Key Benefit

Shortlisted teams will have access to experienced entrepreneurs and mentors, industry experts, and investors.


Dr Chan Ying Lock

Dr Chan Ying Lock  
Executive Director, Oaktree Impact Consulting 

Dr Chan Ying Lock started his career as an accountant and auditor in PMM (now KPMG) and moved on to corporate finance with a British merchant bank and venture capital with Transpac Capital.   

He managed an international publishing business and was invited by the Tote Board to set up SEHub, Singapore's first statutory impact fund, now called raiSE Singapore. In 2015, he joined Garden Impact Investments as Director of Investments and now heads Oaktree Impact Consulting.   

His domain knowledge and experience are in helping new businesses manage their growth and expansion in their financial management. He also teaches management accounting for 17 years at Nanyang Business School (NBS) and financing for new ventures at NTU Entrepreneurship Academy (NTUpreneur) and NTU School of Biological Sciences (SBS).  

Chin Tahn Joo

Mrs Chin Tahn Joo 
Managing Director of the Beijing Hina Group and Founding Partner of Venture TDF, 
Venture Capitalist and Mentor to Tech Entrepreneurs  

Mrs Chin Tahn Joo has over 20 years of venture capital experience from working and living in Singapore, Silicon Valley (US), and Beijing (China). She has a short stint as an investment banker focusing on China cross-border M&A.   

She was Managing Director of the Beijing Hina Group, and Founding Partner of Venture TDF, a fund sponsored by the Singapore government.  Investments made by her include Framedia (acquired by Focus Media), Chineseall (300364.SZ), Best Logistics (Nasdaq listed), Alibaba.com, Sina.com, Webex, and Mediaring.com (SGX listed).    

Tahn Joo has spent most of her career pursuing technology innovation and investment.  She started one of the earliest IT R&D institutes in Singapore, and was been involved in the Singapore government's early national IT and Technopreneurship development master plans, before moving to the VC career.  She also started the Singapore Israel Industrial R&D Fund (SIIR Fund) with the Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel.  

Tahn Joo was also an Adjunct Professor with the Enterprise Centre, Business School of the National University of Singapore, and School of Applied Science with Nanyang Technological University.    

She holds an MS in Computer Science Computer Engineering from Stanford University, MEng (Ind) and BEng (Elect) from the National University of Singapore, and Dip Management Science from University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. She was a Loke Scholar.   

She enjoys playing Bridge and nature walking.   


Herbert Gillig

Professor Dr Herbert Gillig  
Professor, Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation, Hochschule München University of Applied Sciences (HM) 

Professor Herbert Gillig is a full professor of Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation at the Department of Engineering and Management at Hochschule München University of Applied Sciences (HM). He has been intensively involved in entrepreneurship teaching, start-up support, and entrepreneurship research for 19 years. In addition, he has extensive experience from his roles as founder, authorised signatory of an Entrepreneurship Center, board member, and early-stage investor. For instance, he has been instrumental in establishing the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE) as the deputy of the CEO, he is co-founder and member of the Investment Committee of an Early-Stage Investment Fund (SCE Freiraum Ventures) and is a co-founder and member of the Executive Board of the Think Tank for Entrepreneurial Universities (Denkfabrik Hochschulen & Entrepreneurship).  

In collaboration with its Entrepreneurship Center, the SCE, HM stands as one of the leading universities in Germany in the field of entrepreneurship and is an active participant in Munich's dynamic Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. From August 2023 to March 2024, Professor Gillig will be engaged in a research semester at the NTU Entrepreneurship Academy at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.   

John Kim

Mr John Kim
Founder/Managing Partner, Amasia

 Mr John Kim is the co-founder at Amasia, a thesis-driven venture capital firm which invests in founders fighting the climate crisis through behavior change. He started his career as an entrepreneur, founding music internet and e-consulting businesses before joining Merck & Co as a Systems Specialist. He left Merck to start his third company, a Delaware incorporated rock band called The Ally and had the chance to tour around the US and collaborate with top artists across the US and Korea.

He spent the next decade managing trading and investment strategies across multiple asset classes for Goldman Sachs, Korean National Investments and Mercuria Energy Group.

Over the years he has been affiliated with various organizations at the intersection of entrepreneurship and education. He is a Kauffman Fellow, a member of the Young Presidents Organization and sit on the advisory boards of the Institute for Carbon Management at UCLA and The Choson Exchange, a non-profit focused on training entrepreneurs in North Korea.

He graduated from the Jerome Fisher Dual Degree Program in Management and Technology at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Science in Economics from The Wharton School and a Bachelor of Applied Science from the School of Engineering.

Jiacai Lau

Mr Lau Jiacai    
Co-founder, TreeDots  

Upon graduating in 2016, Mr Lau Jiacai joined professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers as a financial services auditor and fintech associate. Spending time in Germany during his student exchange programme has introduced Jiacai to sustainability and the global issue of food waste.   

Aware of the amount of food waste generated by suppliers, the number of restaurants drowning under the ever-rising cost of ingredients, and the number of families desperate for more affordable ways to shop, Jiacai and his two friends, Tylor and Nicholas, decided to come up with a solution. Their company, TreeDots, lets suppliers sell food at discounted prices to hospitality venues and households via an online platform, handling up to four tonnes of produce daily.  

Jiacai believes in a world that is environmentally friendly and sustainable. As a keen believer in technology, he is determined to leverage on technology to resolve the current environmental issues. 


Dr Yi-Chen Lee

Dr Yi-Chen Lee 
Associate Professor (Practice), School of Biological Sciences 
Associate Professor in Practice appointed jointly by Nanyang Business School and School of Biological Sciences, PhD in Biology and Immunology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany 

Dr Yi-Chen Lee’s career spans diverse sectors, including the Pharma/Biotech industry, venture capital, and digital healthcare start-ups. In her advisory capacity, she offers her insights to technology ventures, aiding them in navigating critical areas such as product development, regulatory compliance, and the formulation of effective funding strategies. Armed with academic foundation and industry exposure, she remains committed to bridging the gap between academic knowledge and practical applications. Her passion lies in contributing her interdisciplinary expertise to the various domains she engages with. 

Her research encompasses a broad spectrum of healthcare initiatives, with a particular focus on developing Point-of-Care and digital health solutions tailored to address the complexities of chronic conditions and the unique challenges presented by an aging population. 

Jolene Lum

Ms Jolene Lum 
Head of Business Development, Nurasa 

Ms Jolene Lum is the Head of Business Development of Nurasa, a Singapore-based company dedicated to accelerating the commercialisation and adoption of sustainable food across Asia. She works closely with promising food tech start-ups to facilitate new industry connections and provides guidance on leveraging Nurasa’s end-to-end capabilities, including the pilot-scale facilities at the Food Technology Innovation Centre (FTIC). 

In her role, Jolene also champions the development and growth of the ecosystem base for the FTIC and leads the development of new or complementary business opportunities for Nurasa. 

Driven by a passion for sustainable development and innovation, Jolene founded and served as CEO of Urban Tiller, prior to joining Nurasa. Urban Tiller is a farm-totable agritech start-up that connects viable urban farming with hyper local supply chains. During this time, she worked with over 20 farms in Singapore at peak and served more than 500 unique customers. 

Jolene’s entrepreneurial experience led her to become a Venture Builder for AgTech at Singaporean innovation firm, RENERGii, where she managed and supported regional start-ups in scaling their innovation and operational capabilities. During her tenure, she co-built and supported the operations of Feedwerkz, an insect farming enterprise for sustainable animal feeds in Singapore, and helped to establish Mycovation, one of Asia’s first mycelium alternative protein start-ups. 

Jolene received her Bachelor’s in Chemistry (Physical Science) and Comparative Literature from Yale-NUS College, and her International Baccalaureate from United World College of the Adriatic. 

Andrew TAN

Mr Andrew Tan 
Founder of Atomi & ACTUS Häuse and Managing Partner of Atomi Consulting 

Mr Andrew Tan is a visionary entrepreneur who skillfully manages three successful companies: Atomi, ACTUS Häuse, and Atomi Consultancy. He has been an educator for over 12 years, having developed two core modules in the Second Major in Entrepreneurship and lectured in postgraduate modules for MSc TIP in Chinese and English. Andrew also serves as a mentor to ELT businesses. With over 25 years of consultancy experience in IT, Financial Services, and Strategy, he inspires many who aspire to greatness in entrepreneurship, growth mindset and business expansion. He is also the mentor of the inaugural KSIP winning team. 

Eric Tan

Mr Eric Tan 
Managing Director of The Resource Group Pte Ltd and ACCE Advisory Services Pte Ltd 

Mr Eric Tan is the Managing Director of The Resource Group Pte Ltd and ACCE Advisory Services Pte Ltd. He started his career with PwC and later joined SPRING SEEDS Capital, a government venture fund, as a Senior Investment Manager. Prior to starting his consultancy practice, he also served as the CFO for a local SME in the fast-growing Tourism IT space. He has extensive experience in the various aspects of human capital development, financial management, risk management and investment structuring. Eric is an instructor for the Lean Launchpad programme, supported by National Research Foundation, for Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU). He is also mentoring with NTU, SMU, Institute of Engineers Singapore (IES) and Action Community for Entrepreneurs (ACE).   

Dr Ho Shen Yong

Dr Ho Shen Yong  
Executive Director, Institute of Pedagogical Innovation, Research and Excellence (InsPIRE), NTU 

Dr Ho Shen Yong is the Executive Director of the Institute of Pedagogical Innovation, Research and Excellence (InsPIRE) at NTU. Dr Ho joined Nanyang Technological University in 2011 as a Physics Lecturer. Prior to that, he was teaching at Hwa Chong Junior College from 1998 to 2003. He then pursued his graduate studies in Physics at University of Toronto from 2004 to 2009. Subsequently, Dr Ho did his postdoctoral research at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Center for Quantum Technologies in NUS from 2009 to 2011.  

Dr Ho is passionate about education. As the lecturer for the freshman engineering Physics course, he has been actively developing learning activities for students to help them enhance their thinking skills and appreciate connections between textbook knowledge and applications in the real world. Dr Ho has also helped set up the Making and Tinkering course in 2014 where students are free to design and construct almost any technological prototype within a semester. To date, the course has more than 120 student projects. Dr Ho was given a few teaching awards, including the Nanyang Education Award (University, Gold) in 2018.  He also chaired the committees that designed the ICC courses on Healthy Living & Well-being and Sustainability: Society, Economy and Environment. In recent months, he has been working closely with NTU faculty staff in response to the emergence of generative AI.  

Prof Andy Khong

Associate Professor Andy Khong 
Deputy Associate Provost (Student Life) 
Associate Professor, School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering 
Associate Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine 
Co-Director, Delta-NTU Corporate Laboratory, Delta-NTU Corporate Laboratory 
Director of Students, Innovation & Entrepreneurship 

Assoc Prof Andy W. H. Khong is currently an Associate Professor with the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and holds a joint appointment with the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at NTU. His research interests include machine learning techniques for acoustic signal processing, natural language processing, and learning analytics. Internationally, Dr. Khong currently serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing and, within NTU, he is currently serving as the Deputy Associate Provost (Student Life), Director of Students (Innovation and Entrepreneurship), and the Director of Delta-NTU Corporate Lab.    


Ms Kat Neo 
Deputy Director, NTUitive 

Ms Kat Neo, a venture builder at NTUitive, aims to unearth and grow the next generation of start-ups. With extensive experience in technology management and patent licensing, Kat has managed over 100 technologies in various fields such as Advanced Chemicals, Materials, Optics and Electronics, Manufacturing, Urban Solutions & Sustainability. Her tech start-up experience includes the growth of two B2B2C marketplace start-ups that involve forming strategic partnerships with professional service providers such as law firms, health providers, financial institutions, non-profit social agencies, with the hope to simplify life, death, and everything in between.  

Eric Tan

Mr Eric Tan 
Managing Director of The Resource Group Pte Ltd and ACCE Advisory Services Pte Ltd 

Mr Eric Tan is the Managing Director of The Resource Group Pte Ltd and ACCE Advisory Services Pte Ltd. He started his career with PwC and later joined SPRING SEEDS Capital, a government venture fund, as a Senior Investment Manager. Prior to starting his consultancy practice, he also served as the CFO for a local SME in the fast-growing Tourism IT space. He has extensive experience in the various aspects of human capital development, financial management, risk management and investment structuring. Eric is an instructor for the Lean Launchpad programme, supported by National Research Foundation, for Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU). He is also mentoring with NTU, SMU, Institute of Engineers Singapore (IES) and Action Community for Entrepreneurs (ACE).   

Andy Wee

Mr Andy Wee 
General Manager IES-INCA Pte Ltd 

With a strong engineering background, having spent 13 years in Hewlett Packard in Product Design R&D, Mr Andy Wee  has a keen interest in making technology work to create better life for everyone.  
 In 2014, Andy took time off to pursue a Master of Science in Technopreneurship and Innovation Programme at NTU Entrepreneurship Academy (formerly known as Nanyang Technopreneurship Center). He achieved a Director's List award for outstanding performance.
Andy's interest in technology spans from DeepTech, web and mobile app, personal mobility devices, online and offline data storage backup solutions, medical health supplements, natural fertility, and beyond.  

1. Electronics Engineering  
2. Product Design  
3. Deep Technology Ventures/ Start-ups  

4. Tech Venture Building and Growth  

5. Technopreneurship & Innovation   

20220728 Chen Hsi ADM_1 - cropped resized

Assoc Prof Wong Chen-Hsi
Acting Chair, School of Art, Design and Media
Associate Professor, School of Art, Design and Media

Assoc Prof Wong Chen-Hsi is an award-winning filmmaker with extensive creative practise in the independent  and  commercial  sectors  of  the  industry. Her debut feature film, Innocents (2012) won Best Director - Asian New Talents at the Shanghai International Film Festival. Her upcoming feature film, City of Small Blessings, was developed at the Cannes Film Festival L’Atelier, the Venice Film Festival’s Production Bridge, and Torino FilmLab. Chen-Hsi is currently Acting Chair of the School of Art Design and Media (NTU). She received her MFA from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California (USC). Her research focus is on narrative film directing, screen writing, adaptations, independent film, film aesthetics and South-East Asian filmmaking. 

Submission requirements

Participating teams will be required to submit online a Project Summary (PDF or MS Word document of no more than 1,000 words) and a video presentation (no more than 100 seconds long). All contents must be in English.



  • All current matriculated students (full-time or part-time) of Institutes of Higher Learning* are eligible.
  • Each team must consist of a minimum of three (3) and up to a maximum of five (5) participants.
  • The participating projects can be an idea, a venture plan, or a real venture at early start-up stage. At least one of the team members must be a founder of the project and be the pitch lead.
  • If the project has received prior funding, grants, or awards from other competitions or from other institutions, the participating team is obliged to disclose this to the Prize Selection Committee.
  • The Prize Selection Committee reserves the right to decide the eligibility of the application for the current competition.
  • All application materials and pitching shall be in English. 

*Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), EHL Hospitality Business School (EHL), Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), Republic Polytechnic (RP), Singapore Polytechnic (SP), Temasek Polytechnic (TP), ITE East, ITE Central and ITE West



  • Up to 15 teams will be shortlisted based on the application materials submitted.
  • Shortlisted teams will receive notification by mid November 2023.
  • Shortlisted teams will be invited for a briefing regarding the rules and requirement of Demo Day.


Evaluation Criteria

Teams will be judged on the unique value proposition of their proposed solution, market potential, business model, and execution for both shortlisting and final competition on the Demo Day. 

Criteria Description Weightage
Is there a specific pain point identified?
What is the unique value proposition of the solution?
Is the solution innovative, in terms of technology, business model, IP, value proposition, etc.?
Market Potential Would the solution (a product or service) lead to significant impact on an area of sustainability or innovation (e.g. climate change, energy efficiency, food sufficiency or healthcare)?
What is the addressable market size?
Could it be quantified in terms of growth and trend?
Business Model If it is for-profit, what is the revenue model? Who pays? What are the distribution channels? Is the business scalable?
If it is non-profit, are there clear social benefits and demonstration of how to make a positive and measurable impact on the society, people,  community, and how?
Execution Can the founder, key team members, and advisors operate and scale a successful business? Highlight industry knowledge, skill set, leadership, relationships, key successes and failures.
Demonstrate passion and commitment to develop and implement the project in Singapore; specific indication (proposed by the team) on the measurable outcome in six months or one year, the milestones, and proposed ways to update on the project's progress.  

The Grand Finale

Join us for an insightful panel discussion on “Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Singapore” as NTU Entrepreneurship Academy celebrates the conclusion of the 2ndKumar Sustainability & Innovation Prize. Find out which top three teams will walk away with prizes worth $100,000 at the Award Ceremony.

Click here to register for The Grand Finale on 14 March 2024. 

Prize money disbursement

The prize money will be disbursed over two instalments:

  1. 50% within one month of the Prize announcement;
  2. 50% after six (6) months, on the condition that the team submits satisfactory progress reports.

NTU Entrepreneurship Academy reserves the right in its sole discretion to modify or cancel the above without notice at any time for any reason.

About the donor

Mr Hari Kumar

Find out more

Register for The Grand Finale

Find out which top three teams will walk away with prizes worth $100,000 at the Award Ceremony.


Other Enquiries

[email protected]


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