On 5 March, NUS
Enterprise and Singtel Innov8
jointly launched Singapore’s first integrated regional cybersecurity hub to
kick-start and support early stage and growing start-ups, entrepreneurs and
NUS Enterprise is the entrepreneurial arm of the National
University of Singapore, while Singtel Innov8 is a corporate venture
capital fund with its own set of decision-making, approval and funding
processes and a fund size of US$250 million.
The Innovation Cyber Security Ecosystem at Block 71 (ICE71) aims
to enhance Singapore’s cybersecurity network ICE71 and create a strong regional
cybersecurity ecosystem with links to the global industry.
It intends to attract and develop capabilities and new technologies.
The initiative will provide support services such as access to working space,
funding, domain experts as well as networking events.
Start-ups at ICE71 will also have access to enterprise grade
cybersecurity resources enabling them to develop and test proof-of-concept
solutions in a virtual environment.
ICE71 will open in April at Block 71 Ayer Rajah Crescent
where BLOCK71 Singapore is also located.
ICE71 will offer three different startup programmes. ICE71
Inspire is a one-week programme developed for individuals from academia and
industry, to test their theories and ideas, qualify feasibility and commercial
viability, and develop their entrepreneurial skills. The programme is a
platform to develop workable business models. It is run by CyLon, a leading
There is a three-month accelerator programme for early-stage
cybersecurity start-ups. During this programme, start-ups will participate in a
curriculum run by CyLon to sharpen their company's value proposition,
go-to-market strategy, commercial model and business strategy. Participants
will receive capital funding and have access to a co-working space within
The third programme, called ICE Scale, is designed to help
international and local start-ups grow their business within the Asia Pacific
region. Under this programme, participants will take up residence in ICE71,
establishing their Asia Pacific operations.
An initiative by NUS Enterprise with strategic partners,
BLOCK71 Singapore offers a thriving ecosystem for the start-up community,
providing them with mentorship and growth opportunities both locally and
ICE71 is supported by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore
and the Info-communications Media Development Authority.
Speaking at the Committee of Supply Debate, Singapore
Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim talked
about ICE71 as an example of an initiative to grow a strong cybersecurity
ecosystem in Singapore.
“As a founding partner of ICE71, NUS is excited to help
expand the cybersecurity ecosystem. We have a vibrant community comprising some
of the country’s top cybersecurity expertise at the National Cybersecurity
R&D Laboratory, the Singapore Cybersecurity Consortium, and the NUS-Singtel
Cyber Security Research and Development Laboratory. We are pleased that ICE71
will be part of this thriving network,” said Dr Lily Chan, CEO of NUS
“We see the new cybersecurity track in the Lean
LaunchPad Singapore programme to be launched by NUS Enterprise as a move to
strengthen the University’s ability to further nurture home-grown competencies
and start-ups in the cybersecurity space.”
The Lean LaunchPad Singapore programme, piloted by NUS
Enterprise as the first entrepreneurial education programme for researchers,
helps research scientists and engineers turn their inventions into commercially
viable products and feasible business ventures.
Mr Edgar Hardless, CEO of Singtel Innov8 said that the launch of
ICE71 highlights the urgency of developing innovative solutions to address the
rapid increase in the frequency, scale and sophistication of cybersecurity
“Through ICE71, we aim to nurture and groom suitable Singaporean and
foreign cybersecurity start-ups to help bring their ideas to life. With our
combined resources, we can help these start-ups fine-tune and market their
cybersecurity solutions globally,” he added.