Lotus-NUS Fund

National University of Singapore (NUS) Enterprise stokes the fires of those born with the entrepreneurial spirit and sparks the flames of entrepreneurial passion in others. They offer a complete range of avenues and support to turn entrepreneurial dreams into reality.

NUS Enterprise plays a pivotal role in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at NUS and beyond. It actively promotes entrepreneurship and cultivates global mind-sets and talents through the synergies of experiential entrepreneurial education, active industry partnerships for technology and commercialisation, holistic entrepreneurship support and catalytic entrepreneurship outreach.

The Lotus-NUS Fund

The Lotus-NUS Fund is a collaboration between the Lotus Life Foundation and NUS Enterprise. It provides seed funding for social impact-driven start-ups that are founded by NUS-affiliated Singaporeans, to accelerate their growth beyond ideation or technology prototyping stage to a stage where they can attract further funding to build a sustainable and scalable venture.

Social enterprises funded by Lotus-NUS Fund

Application is now open

Support

  • The Lotus-NUS Fund provides seed funding of SGD$25,000 for each selected applicant.
  • The fund will be disbursed in 2 tranches, each tied to completion of pre-determined milestones.
  • NUS Enterprise will provide mentorship and relevant incubation support for selected applicants.

Who can apply?

The fund is open for application by individuals or companies, who must be able to meet the following qualifying criteria:

  • Individual applicants must be a Singaporean and NUS affiliated(e.g. students, staff or alumni).
  • Companies must have at least one NUS affiliated Singaporean founder, holding at least 30% equity of the company (if incorporated).
  • Applications should demonstrate positive social and/or environmental impact in Singapore or overseas – including but not limited to environment protection, job creation, human capital development, poverty alleviation and improving social conditions of societies

Fund disbursement requirements

  • Selected applicants must be incorporated before disbursement of funds.
  • Selected applicants have to submit
    • half-yearly, or upon completion of pre-determined milestones (whichever earlier) reports outlining their progress before the final tranche of fund disbursement.
    • final close-out report with updates on the completion of the final milestones.
  • Selected applicants may be invited to share their progress to the grant panel.

Evaluation Criteria

Value Proposition (20%)

  • Clearly-defined, technically feasible business solution and implementation plan for an identified need/social problem
  • Innovation in product, service, and/or business model
  • Clear market position and differentiation from competitors
  • Some evidence of validation of the identified need/social problem and business solution (e.g. Feedback from customer/user/target community which supports your assumptions that the identified need/social problem exists and your proposed business solution meets the need.)
  • Proposed business solution should demonstrate scalability

Social Impact (20%)

  • High-impact social value proposition, be it in depth (extent of problem eliminated) or breadth (extent of reach)
  • Actively engages and works together with community (if applicable) to tackle the social problem
  • Feasible plan to clearly measure, evaluate and elevate social impact
  • Social Impact created should be sustainable
  • Ability to align social impact and business model

Market Potential (20%)

  • Viable addressable market size
  • Clear identification of target customers and intended beneficiaries, and how to reach them

Economic & Financial Model (20%)

  • Feasible and realistic revenue model and funding plan
  • Realistic financial projections for venture’s operations
  • Realistic road map and commitment to achieving financial sustainability

Team Strength (20%)

  • Team should demonstrate commitment and entrepreneurial ability to adapt and execute plans
  • Team members should possess relevant experience, knowledge and understanding of target community and the market/industry that they operate in
  • Clear identification of key gaps in talent and experience, and realistic plan to fill these gaps
  • Reasonable organisational capabilities and capacity to carry out plans to achieve sustainability and growth

How to apply?

Calling all NUS social impact-driven start-ups! Application for the Lotus-NUS Fund is now open! Receive S$25,000, mentorship and incubation support to accelerate your start-up’s growth.
Closing date: 30 Sept 2019

Apply now

This initiative is a collaboration between the @Lotus Life Foundation and NUS Enterprise.