40 NUS Business School MBA candidates gathered at The Hangar at NUS Enterprise on October 19 for an insightful opening keynote speech and panel discussion with esteemed luminaries from the world of venture capital and private equity. The day was jointly hosted by NUS MBA Clubs, NUS Enterprise, and the Centre for Asset Management Research & Investments (CAMRI) at NUS Business School.

The panelists included:

  • Mr. Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Startups
  • Prof. Veronica Eng, Founding Partner of Permira and Practice Professor, Finance, NUS Business School
  • Prof. Wong Poh Kam, Angel Investor, Senior Director of NUS Enterprise and Professor, Strategy & Policy, NUS Business School

The Opening Keynote was delivered in a very inspiring, humorous and yet thoughtful manner by Khailee. Some highlights of the day:

#1 Khailee shared how his personal life experiences and 500 Startups’ vision have led him to strive to empower capable individuals anywhere in the world to build solutions for the world

#2 Venture capitalists, private equity and angel investors look out for one key selection criteria –– the competence and capabilities of the founders of the company, and their ability to build a cohesive and effective team

#3 Passion, resilience, humility, honesty, integrity and teamwork are essential characteristics for success in an entrepreneurial journey

#4 Own your narrative, embrace your background and be intensely curious –– wise advice from the panelists for anyone who might be keen to venture into the world of venture capital

The session ended with inspiring pitches from 3 promising local startups nurtured by NUS Enterprise –– Pitchspot, ProSpace and SoundEye. All teams did a great job in their pitches, and the three judges – Prof. Eng, Khailee and Prof. Wong – carefully evaluated all teams’ performance in terms of their business model canvas, market potential, achievements, people (the team) and soft skills, before coming to their final decision.

The winner of the pitching session was SoundEye, which received SGD5,000 in a cash prize sponsored by CAMRI.

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