Philip Yeo

Some dubbed him a maverick. Others called him a rule-breaker. A distinct few referred to him as ‘chairman’.

​In over 40 years of public service, Mr Philip Yeo has contributed to Singapore’s economic transformation in diverse ways that few others can match. He successfully built up the defence industries. As the Chairman of SPRING Singapore, A*STAR, EDB and NCB, Philip Yeo helped to write the economic history of the country: identifying and building new industries, forging new economic links and strategic partnerships with investors and foreign governments, and guiding Singapore through its transition into a knowledge-based economy. He is the epitome of passion and commitment, with a principle-centred and purpose-anchored approach to making decisions based on what is right and what would make a meaningful difference, rather than what is convenient or popular.
More than that, Philip Yeo has tirelessly championed the cause of people development. Over the years, he has nurtured and developed an entire generation of leaders, who have personally experienced his unique brand of leadership development and mentoring. His style of leadership has been codenamed by his protégés as MAD (Make A Difference).
His protégés now associate with MAD COWs, which stands for “Make A Difference, Change Our World”. The PY MAD Spirit is embedded in leaders across different segments of the private and public sectors.

Philip Yeo Initiative

To honour his contributions and to create an organised platform for Philip Yeo to continue to do what he does best – develop people and talent - the Philip Yeo Initiative (PYI) is a ground-up movement, administered by the National University of Singapore (NUS), to present recipients with a unique and transformative educational opportunity for personal and professional enrichment.

The Philip Yeo Initiative (PYI) is a cause, a rallying cry, for those who believe in passion and purpose to invest in the next generation of leaders to contribute to making a difference to our world. The PYI will grow the MAD spirit in the next generation of Singapore leaders. 

To support this vision, we have two focal programmes:

1) Philip Yeo Innovation Fellows Programme

Support individuals who has their own MAD project/ idea with funding, mentorship, access to business incubation services and opportunities to attend networking events and other activities. Demonstrating the PY attributes of passion and commitment to making a difference, PY Innovation Fellows will embark on their own project with the support of the PYI over one year.​ Each award, valued up to S$20,000 is awarded to individuals who meet the criteria and passed the selection process.

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2) Philip Yeo Grant

Enable passionate and entrepreneurial students to participate for up to one year in the unique NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) programme to gain invaluable skills outside the classroom through start-up internships, international immersion and entrepreneurship experience. Each grant, valued up to S$5,000 is awarded to needy students to help cover their overseas living expenses for the duration of the programme.
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Who would be MAD enough to want to change our world?

PYI Fellows & Associates

Today, we have 21 recipients of the Phillip Yeo Innovation Fellows Programme. Click on their names to find out more about their experience being part of the programme.

​Jan Lim
Participate in Design

Fitzkhoon Liang

Kenneth Lou

Debra Lam
Society Staples

M. Ibnur Rashad

Tan Ying Quan
Enterprise Singapore

Shahri Samsi
Shogun Fight Gym

Esther Wang

Wang Junyong 
Mangrove Learning

Ellwyn Tan

Kuik Shiao-Yin
The Thought Collective

Chua Rui De

Ritchie Ng
Ensemble Capital

Aminur Rasyid
Junior Art Lab

Chia Hsin-Ee
Learning Vessels

Kevin Tan
Tri Sector Associates

Julian Koo

Oon Tian Sern

Heng Li Seng
Green Nudge

Shaun Tan

Sim Zhi Min

Do visit our Facebook page ( for more information on the upcoming activities.