techlaunch nus iel


Take Tech to Market


TechLaunch is a unique experiential module in which students develop skills in identifying and capturing value from technological innovation. Our approach is to select an engineering technology developed at NUS or by third parties and go through the process of creating a technology start-up. Students will work in cross-disciplinary teams of graduate and Ph.D. students from the Faculty of Engineering & School of Business.

In this module, students will spend most of their time talking to customers, partners, competitors in search for the right market and the right business model that can leverage the uniqueness of a technology. Students will experience the typical creative and often unstructured start-up or new product development process that will challenge their innovation and leadership skills.

Students will learn how to differentiate a business idea from a business opportunity and learn how to validate the multitude of assumptions inherent in any business plan in the market. They will learn that every successful business is a search for the intersection of technology feasibility, customer desirability and business viability. They will learn how to identify and capture value from technology innovation , improve on their business management skills, and manage the team dynamics in doing so.

Find out more about TechLaunch!

Plenary sessions will introduce frameworks for commercialization of new ideas and technologies. Adjunct Associate Professor Glenn Vandevoorde will lead the module, assisted by Adjunct Associate Professor Hugh Mason, and Lecturer Randall Sie to help guide the teams through the programme.

The objective of this one-semester project is for students to learn how to search for the maximum value creation of a (patented) technology in an iterative manner as start-ups do in the real world. Through these experiences they will understand how technology can create value and how such value can be captured in a start-up. While doing so their business management skills and team leadership skills will be enhanced.

Students will be assessed based on their creativity, team collaboration, progress made in developing their project, peer reviews and overall participation. Successful students will receive 4MCs for this module, registered under MT5913 TechLaunch: Experiential Entrepreneurship.

The module does not require pre-requisites.

The module requires students to actively engage with industry in the form of interviews (in person, skype, phone) during normal week work hours. Part-time students currently employed may be disadvantaged and will have to balance their time well.

We do not allow students to audit the module due to the sensitivity of information regarding technologies being shared.

The module will meet once a week. Each week a new concept critical to business viability will be presented. Teams will have a week to map their assumptions related to this concept, find out in the market place by talking to customers and industry players whether their assumptions are true or not and adjust them. Teams will present their lessons learned related to this concept the week after.

Each team will be required to keep documenting their progress through the module. The module will conclude with students presenting their project and value proposition to a committee of entrepreneurs, industry experts investors and university staff.

Teams will meet Mondays 6-9pm starting on 14 August 2017 in TechHub.

Have some questions? Please email Teaching Assistant Himanshu Kathuria at


Application for TechLaunch

Please fill up the survey form to let us know your background and project choice.

(a) For MSc MOT students, please also register via the central module enrolment system (

(b) For everyone else, please also download, fill in and submit a Cross-Faculty Module form to your respective home department. Download the form HERE

Do turn up for the first class on Aug 14 2017, 6PM at TechHub.

Do you have an interesting technology?

If you have an interesting, demonstrable, technology and would like to enter your technology into the programme, please send an email to or give us a call at 6601 2737. We will schedule a meeting with you to discuss your technology and its suitability for the module.

Projects for Semester 1 AY2017/2018

In an era where environmental pollution is becoming unmanageable, we are proposing to build novel water filters, which could be used to drink water directly from water bodies in rural areas or places where potable water supply is insufficient for the population. In addition, owing to the pollution issue, many cities are trying to ban the bottled water, which could cause significant problems for frequent travellers. Key features of the technology involves use of biodegradable adsorbent materials, which could be used to quickly remove multiple pollutants, including microbial pathogens, from water. The technique has other good commercial features such as scalability (from lab to commercial units), light weight and low cost for adaptation. The scope of its application and usage lies in far-fetched rural areas, with frequent travellers and nature lovers. Use of such filters significantly impact human health by providing clean water in places of scarcity and keep the environment clean by removing the need to carry plastic bottles to many remote places on earth.

There is a growing shift towards precision medicine where disease therapy is customized according to the patient’s biomarker(s) status. We have developed a one-pot DNA-based probe system that can be added directly to biological samples for detecting specific biomarkers, e.g. protein complexes implicated in breast cancer. Due to the one-pot feature, only a single probe addition step is required (ease of use) and the analysis time is reduced drastically from hours to 30 min. The uniqueness of our technology lies in the sequence design of our DNA probes which has been optimized to perform with good robustness and high specificity.

UbIQ is the first silicon chip/software platform for rapid development of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Thanks to its extremely low power consumption, UbIQ enables decade-long battery lifetime (100X better than Arduino boards), mm-scale form factor (50X smaller), dollar-range cost (10X lower), and time-to-market of weeks. Its unique reconfiguration enables developers to design/customize IoT devices for a very broad range of applications, while avoiding the large initial cost of chip prototyping/design ($1-30M). UbIQ is configured via software programming, empowering any (HW or SW) developer to build best-in-class IoT devices, from wearables to Industry 4.0, to smart objects, homes and buildings. Easily and cheaply.

Real-time arterial pulse monitoring facilitates early detection of diseases and disorders of human heart and vascular system, and can improve patient survival rate and reduces healthcare costs. However, current pulse monitoring devices are cumbersome and fail to conform to the skin perfectly. In contrast, wearable devices can enable point-of-care health monitoring and provide advantages such as unobtrusiveness, compact size, and light weight. We have recently developed a soft microtubular sensor as small as a strand of hair is proposed as a fast, low cost, reliable and imperceptible human pulse monitoring solution. This microtubular sensor features a unique architecture comprising a liquid-state conductive element (eGaIn) core and an ultrathin silicone elastomer microtube, which responds to subtle epidermal pressure perturbations based on sensor resistance change. Its performance, such as sensitivity, durability and wearability, has already been investigated. This sensor has great potential for development into wearable devices for point of care health monitoring.

We help patients with peripehral nerve injury to gain back hand dexterity and to improve their quality of life. Innovative implantable microelectronics and wireless technology make the prosthesis minimally invasive and maintenance free. After implantation, the prosthesis can stay in place and untouched for years. High specificity of the brain-machine interface and accuracy of the decoding algorithms allows the patients to use the prosthesis intuitively and with ease. We are reaching out to give these patients greater confidence and independence in their daily lives.

TechLaunch Past Projects

ALT Drones

Smart drones for inspection of confined spaces.

[Tech from AeroLion; an NUS Engineering start-up]

The headband for early detection of high levels of fatigue.

[Tech from Biomedical Engineering]

Delivering confidence with your skincare solutions.

[Tech from Pharmacy/Science Faculty]
High Barrier Coating

Why throw when you can store it?

[Tech from Dou Yee; a Singapore enterprise]

IoT with predictive maintenance.

[Tech from MEDSTech; a Singapore enterprise]

Advancing Healthcare. One molecule at a time.

[Tech from Physics/Science Faculty & Mechanobiology Institute]

See it Bigger. See it Alive.

[Tech from Electrical & Computer Engineering]

Convert waste energy to purified water.

[Tech from Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering]
(Infra Red Sensor)
Distraction free driving. All with a wave of your hands
(Advanced Adsorbent Materials)
Nanomaterials redefining gas usage for a greener world
(Coating for Bone Implants)
Growing bone for you
(Sports Training Sensor Suite)
Discover dance. Whenever. Wherever
(Deformation Sensor)
Monitoring for early action
(Printed Electronics)
Luminous surfaces to Enlighten your World
(Flexible LCD)
Intensify nature’s colors at your fingertips
(Soft Robotic Gloves for Rehab)
Gentle Touch, Enhancing Life
(Technology to build entirely soft actuators)
Brings Comfort to Everyone
(Waste Water Treatment)
Creating wealth from your unexploited waste water
(Portable Spectroscopy)
Providing accurate colour measurements anytime, anywhere for anyone
(Phosphate Monitoring)
Eradicate fish death, saving billions to fish industry
EcoBind offers a unique non-toxic battery binder that makes batteries 5% lighter and 4x faster charging.
NeumoSol sells novel test kits enabling early pneumonia detection in 2 minutes.
SeeRebro introduces a pioneering portable, radiation-free device allowing early-diagnosis and monitoring of hematoma patients.
SKINetrate provides a patented, disposable, skin-penetration-testing device that uses 10x less drug.
TransVerter sells unique micro-inverter systems enabling easy access to solar power for households.
versaTile offers a novel Tiling Robot that tiles floors accurately and 3x faster.
HumidFree provides a unique membrane dehumidifier system that decreases inlet air humidity by half thus dramatically reducing the energy required to cool a building.
Nusmetics is commercializing novel micro-needles developed at NUS. The first product is an effective overnight patch for reducing cellulite.
ReVoice equips surgeons with a medical device for in-office tracheo-esophageal puncture (TEP) surgeries for immediate voice restoration.
Greenus is commercializing a patented bacteria and simple process to convert organic feedstock into useful green products. The first product is bio-succinic acid produced out of sugarcane bagasse.
StemDerm revolutionizes skin testing in cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries by providing real life human skin derived from stem cells assuring consistency and thus speeding time-to-market for cosmetics products.
HomeRehab system enables patients to perform prescribed rehabilitation exercises from home and measures their progress. Therapists can focus on customizing treatment thus allowing them to see 3 times more patients than before.
BioCycle produces bio diesel made out of waste grease using a unique patented biocatalyst for the Asian emerging economies hungry for energy.
LuminiCell offers a unique cell-tracing product to the pharmaceutical industry that enables ten times higher visibility and dramatically longer tracing of cancer cells than any other product on the market today.

Tech Launch News & Events