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​​ITE students’ business ideas get a boost with NTU’s entrepreneurship programme, #startable​​​

Published on: 22-Jul-2014


Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Student, Lim Hui Shi, 19, had always felt conscious about her posture. Correcting her own posture was something she had to work very hard on, but with little result. In recent times, Hui Shi noticed that there were other young people like her also suffering from bad posture, and how this could lead to kyphosis, or an exaggerated rounding of the back and frequent back pain, breathing difficulties and fatigue. To enhance self-confidence and avoid health problems of those who suffer from this condition, Hui Shi came up with the idea of developing a device that alerts users when they slouch or hunch. Called POSHFORT, the device gives out a vibration alert whenever the user’s posture is incorrect.

This is but one of the innovative ideas by budding young entrepreneurs from ITE who presented and pitched their business proposals to a panel of judges at the #startable Demo Day 2014 today at ITE College Central.

Launched in July last year by the Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) Nanyang Technopreneurship Centre (NTC) and ITE, #startable is an entrepreneurship programme which encourages and promotes entrepreneurship among ITE students, who aspire to start their own businesses. Together, NTU and ITE have worked closely in developing this programme to educate and enrich budding entrepreneurs with requisite knowledge and skills for entrepreneurship competence.

Supported by the Chua Thian Poh Entrepreneurship Education Fund managed by NTU’s NTC, the programme aims to equip ITE students with skills to nurture their potential to succeed as entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurship is a key driver of economies as it generates employment opportunities by creating new ventures, sectors and industries, which increases economic growth,” said Mr Chua Thian Poh, Chairman & CEO of Ho Bee Group. “It also provides vital ingredients crucial for national economic prosperity by enhancing service and technological innovation, and alleviating social problems through social entrepreneurship.”

This year, 29 students underwent an enriching 5-day boot camp organised by NTC which aims to develop their business competence through workshops, talks by entrepreneurs in the local scene, hands-on activities, and weekly mentorship sessions. The joint programme places strong emphasis on challenging and refining the premise of the students’ entrepreneurship ideas and plans at every step of the way. Out of 11 teams who challenged themselves, six teams with fresh and innovative ideas were selected for the Finals.

Said Mr Bruce Poh, Director & CEO, ITE, “The programme is an excellent platform for students to tap their creativity and to learn business skills. Through the programme, students learn not just business tools but also the ability to lead, to communicate and to collaborate. Most of all, they learn that to succeed, character is paramount. These are important skills and values we hope to foster in all ITE students.”

Associate Professor Hooi Den Huan, Director, NTC, said, “Through our donor, Mr Chua Thian Poh’s sponsorship, NTU is able to contribute effectively to the community by collaborating with ITE on the innovative #startable platform. We are encouraged to see an increasing number of students expressing their interest in this programme, which signifies the fertile entrepreneurial landscape in Singapore. Our collaboration with ITE will not only support aspiring entrepreneurs’ first steps towards business excellence, but also ensure that this strong culture of entrepreneurship continue to thrive in Singapore, and is carried towards the future.”

Last year’s finalists are making good progress in developing their business ideas. Liau Long Min and Brenda Loke Wan Li, 20, recently launched a website for toy enthusiasts to meet, share and enhance their interest and knowledge on all types of toys. They are currently looking at expanding their business further. Another duo, Carl Timothy Dutta, 18, and Mohamad Siddiq B Mohamad Sa’id, 18, who designed a slider tray to hold snacks have completed their prototype, and are now moving into the manufacturing phase.

For the current batch of finalists including Lim Hui Shi, their journey culminates at the Finals, where winning teams would stand a chance of winning a grant of up to $10,000 to turn their business plans into reality.

For details of the finalists, see Annex A.​


Media Contact

Ms Shalini Veijayaratnam


Corporate Affairs & Development Division

Institute of Technical Education

Tel: (65) 6590 2048


Mr Nur Amin Shah

Assistant Manager (Media Relations)

Corporate Communications Office

Nanyang Technological University

Tel: (65) 6790 4714


About the Chua Thian Poh Entrepreneurship Education Fund

NTU is the proud beneficiary of the S$5 million Entrepreneurship Education Fund, made possible by a gift from business leader Mr. Chua Thian Poh, Chairman & CEO of Ho Bee Group.

Together with a dollar-to-dollar matching by the government, Mr Chua Thian Poh’s philanthropic contribution has been endowed to Nanyang Technological University to foster entrepreneurship and innovation education in four key areas, namely the Chua Thian Poh Annual Distinguished Speaker Series, the Chua Thian Poh Overseas Fellowship, the Chua Thian Poh Venture Fund and the Chua Thian Poh Overseas Immersion Award.

As part of its reach out to the greater community, the Chua Thian Poh Entrepreneurship Education Fund is being extended to benefit ITE students as well, with its inaugural entrepreneurship training camp launched on 1 July 2013. A pioneer batch of 28 students with keen entrepreneurship interest went through 5-day camp and workshop to enhance their business knowledge and skills edge through the camp.

About ITE​

The Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Singapore, was established as a post-secondary education institution in 1992 under the Ministry of Education. ITE is a principal provider of career and technical education and key developer of national occupational skills certification and standards to enhance Singapore's workforce competitiveness. Under its "One ITE System, Three Colleges" Model of Education and Governance, ITE has three Colleges, comprising ITE College Central, ITE College East and ITE College West.

For more information, visit:

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

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