Turn Your Idea Into Reality

​The NUS Alumni Start-up Catalyst (NASC) is an initiative by NUS Enterprise for pre-seed start-ups founded by NUS alumni.

Successful applicants will receive the following, with zero equity taken:

  1. A Validation Award of up to S$10,000
  2. A Validation Support Package (which includes free dedicated co-working space for six months, mentorship and legal consultation, as well as server credits)

The Validation Award is to be used by the founders to validate their start-up idea to achieve product/market fit, while the Validation Support Package includes resources to help founders commence their validation.

  1. At least two co-founders, one of whom must be an NUS graduate ("NUS Alumni Founder”). The NUS Alumni Founder must be a key decision maker.
  2. Must be tech-related, scalable, innovative, and not an “Excluded Business”. Excluded Businesses include businesses pertaining to F&B retail, bars, nightclubs, karaoke lounges, massage parlours, beauty and wellness salons, social escort services, employment agencies, gambling related activities, geomancy related activities and/or any business which would portray NUS in a negative light.
  3. Must not have obtained funding from any external party, including but not limited to institutes of higher learning, government bodies, angel investors and/or venture capital funds.
  4. Founders must also contribute at least S$1,000 of their own combined money to the start-up, and can only spend no more than half of their Validation Award on building and developing their prototype/minimum viable product.

  1. Applications are accepted until 23 October 2016, and the NUS Alumni Founder must be the applicant.
  2. Applicants must fill in the NASC Application Form (see "Application and Enquiry" section below), and submit their pitchdeck for review. Applicants must comply with the following instructions pertaining to pitchdecks.
    1. Be uploaded on Dropbox, with the link included in the NASC Application Form.
    2. Must not exceed 7 slides (inclusive of the cover slide), otherwise the application will be rejected.
    3. Begin with a cover slide with a one-liner description of the start-up, and include the following in bullet points, which is also the criteria which the start-up will be evaluated on (“Selection Criteria”):
      1. Unique Selling Proposition & Key Technical Innovation What is innovative about your start-up? What compelling benefits do you offer that are currently not being offered in the market? What is your “secret sauce” (e.g. team, relationships, intellectual property, new insights, domain expertise etc)?
      2. Potential Addressable Market What is your target customer, industry, market? What research have you done regarding your potential market and customers? What ideas/strategies do you have to capture the above?
      3. Competitive Analysis Who are your current and potential competitors? How do you differ from them? Are there any barriers to entry? What competitive advantages do you have?
      4. Team Elaborate on each of the founders’ background (academically and professionally). What are the previous accomplishments of the founding team? How will the founders work together and contribute to the team? Are there any missing pieces to the team? Include details on first employees as well (if there are).
      5. Validation Have the founders done any validation to date? If so, what kind of validation has the founders done? If not, what kind of validation will the founders do and the outcome which you hope to achieve from the validation.
      6. Milestones and usage of Validation Award What are your milestones for the next 2 months and 4 months thereafter? Please include a breakdown of how you intend to use the Validation Award in line with your proposed milestones (e.g. spend how much on what and for what purpose).
  3. Applicants may include a video if they feel a demo would aid in our understanding of the start-up. Applicants must comply with the following instructions pertaining to videos.
    1. Be uploaded on Dropbox, with the link included in the NASC Application Form.
    2. Must not be more than 3 minutes, otherwise the application will be rejected. This applies even if the start-up has not exceeded the slide limit for the pitchdeck.

Please do not feel compelled to include a video just for the sake of it. Videos should only be used to demonstrate the applicant’s product/service (when necessary) and not as a pitching tool. We urge applicants to exercise their discretion in this regard, as we will not take into consideration the video (or lack thereof) when assessing the start-up.

  1. The Officer-in-Charge of NASC will evaluate and shortlist the applicants based on the Selection Criteria, and the selected applicants will then pitch before a panel determined by NUS Enterprise.
  2. For applicants which are awarded the NASC (“Awardees”), the founders are required to submit the following documents (“Submission Documents”) to us:
    1. Copy of latest ACRA Business Profile of start-up (if incorporated), or breakdown of the equity split among co-founders (if not incorporated).
    2. Copy of founders’ CV.
    3. Copy of founders’ NRIC or Passport (for foreigners).
    4. Copy of Awardee’s corporate bank account (if incorporated) or NUS Alumni Founder’s bank account (if not incorporated), indicating at least S$1,000 in the account.
    5. Copy of Awardee’s business plan. Business plan is essentially the items covered in the pitchdeck, albeit in greater detail, and not longer than 5 pages. In particular, founders need to indicate the milestones which they intend to achieve for the next 2 months (“First Milestones”) and 4 months thereafter (“Final Milestones”).
  3. Apart from the Validation Award, Awardee will also receive the Validation Support Package under the NASC. This includes free dedicated co-working space for six months at Blk 71 or The Hangar, priority to attend our weekly mentoring and legal consultation sessions, and free server credits from Amazon AWS and Microsoft BizSpark.
  4. The Awardee has to agree to, sign and return the NASC Acceptance Form to NUS Enterprise in order to receive the Validation Award and Validation Support Package.
  5. Upon receiving the Submission Documents and signed NASC Acceptance Form from the Awardee, the 2 months for the First Milestones will commence, and NUS Enterprise will release the first tranche of the Validation Award to the Awardee during this period.
  6. Once the Awardee has hit the First Milestones, the founders are required to prepare a short progress update presentation to NUS Enterprise. Once NUS Enterprise is satisfied with the Awardee’s progress and that the Awardee has achieved its targeted milestones for the First Milestones, the remaining tranche will be released to the Awardee.
  7. Once the Awardee has hit the Final Milestones, the founders will meet with NUS Enterprise to update on its progress and how they intend to proceed post-NASC.

To apply for the NASC, please submit your application form at https://goo.gl/Bd5Hc6

For enquiries, please contact the Officer in Charge, Seah Wei Cong, at seah.wei.cong@nus.edu.sg



Related Stories