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Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin kicks off inaugural NUS Enterprise GEL speaker series

21 April 2011

Q&A: Mr Saverin fielding questions from the audience. The session moderator was Dr Lily Chan


PROMISING NUS START-UP AWARD: (From right) Award recipients from KAI Square Dr Neo Shi Yong and Mr Victor Goh, with distinguished guests Prof Tan Chorh Chuan and Mr Johnny Tan
He is only in his 20s, but already a billionaire. Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is definitely someone many would love to meet, particularly budding entrepreneurs. It was thus no surprise to see more than 300 guests, comprising entrepreneurs, innovators, investors as well as other stakeholders in the entrepreneurial community, filling up the ballroom where the Global Entrepreneurial Leadership (GEL) speaker series was held on 19 April 2011. Mr Saverin is the first speaker to be featured in this new speaker series organised by NUS Enterprise.

Sharing his own experiences in growing a company, he encouraged the audience to follow their passion, work hard, stay determined, and not be daunted by failure. In fact, the best one can learn is by failing, he said. He also urged the audience to consider the social space where they can make a difference as we all live in a social world.

The GEL speaker series was held during The Enterprise Connection (TEC) Dinner, which saw the presence and participation of distinguished guests NUS President Prof Tan Chorh Chuan, NUS Enterprise Chief Executive Officer Dr Lily Chan and NUS Society President Mr Johnny Tan.

The dinner event attracted a packed audience also owing to the inaugural Innovation & Enterprise (I&E) Award, an initiative of both NUS Enterprise and the NUS Society (NUSS) supported by the National Research Foundation's University Innovation Fund. The I&E award comprises the Outstanding NUS Innovator Award and the Promising NUS Start-up Award.

The two winners in the former category are NUS alumnus Mr Tan Min Liang, CEO and Chief Gamer of Razer, and Dr Steven Zhou from the NUS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who had spun off his own company, MXR Corporation. Razer is a company that makes computer gaming accessories, and MXR Corporation develops patented Mixed Reality products for Next Generation Learning and provides Mixed Reality technological solutions.

As for the Promising NUS Start-up Award for innovation-based ventures in Singapore, six companies were shortlisted as finalists; and the judges identified KAI Square as a merit winner. Founded by Dr Neo Shi Yong and Mr Victor Goh, both alumni from the NUS School of Computing, KAI Square provides intelligence surveillance data processing solutions and services. The five other finalists for the Promising NUS Start-up Award were 2359 Media, Double Helix Tracking Technologies, Smoov, Stream Media and Zopim Technologies.

Both the I&E Award and GEL speaker series are part of the highlights of InnovFest 2011. Organised by NUS Enterprise, InnovFest is a festival of events that brings together entrepreneurs, investors, industry experts and start-ups to connect and share ideas on entrepreneurship and innovation.