Instructors & Mentors – Lean Launchpad Singapore
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Instructors & Mentors

“The key differentiation of a successful programme is the competency and appropriateness of programme instructors – by ‘appropriateness’ I mean having the right balance of real world business experience and acumen, with instructional sensitivity. The instructors at LLP Singapore are clearly strong in both regards.” – Professor Jerome Engel

Led by Professor Wong Poh Kam, the current team of programme instructors and industry mentors consists of individuals with strong business and entrepreneurial backgrounds.  The team will be expanded to build up a shared resource pool trained in the LLP pedagogy to support the national satellite node network. LLP Singapore has benefitted from the generous spirit of founders, company directors, C-level senior business managers, VCs, incubators and accelerators who have journeyed with the teams as business mentors, technical advisors or subject-matter-experts, bringing specific expertise or industry domain knowledge.


Track instructors are seasoned industry practitioners, business veterans, entrepreneurs / founders and adjunct professors with relevant teaching experience in entrepreneurship / innovation, who have a passion to help move innovative technologies from research to the market place. One instructor will be assigned per track to facilitate the weekly discussions and overall monitoring and assessment of the teams’ progress.


Industry mentors provide insights from the business / industry perspectives to identify valuable product opportunities and help link teams to their network of industry contacts for customer validation. Each team will be paired with a mentor. Mentors meet with their team once a week to ensure consistent progress, guiding them through the business model development process in iterative / pivot decisions.



    National Faculty Director, NSF I-Corps Programme

    Mr. Engel is the National Faculty Director of the I-Corps program and has been a key advisor to the LLP programme in Singapore. A veteran in the Silicon Valley, he joined the University of California at Berkeley in 1991 to found the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and is an adjunct professor emeritus at the Haas School of Business. He instructs in both the School’s MBA and Executive Education programs. Outside of academia, Mr. Engel is a venture capitalist and an active investor in and advisor to high potential technology entrepreneurs, and a consultant to universities, governments and businesses around the world on faculty and curriculum development, entrepreneurship, innovation, technology commercialization and regional economic development.


    Founder, Architect of LLP

    Steve Blank is the creator and founder of the Lean LaunchPad programme which was developed for the NSF I-Corps programme. A serial entrepreneur and founder of eight Silicon Valley start-ups, he is also the author of “The Start-Up Owners Manual” and the “Four Steps to the Epiphany”. He is currently Entrepreneurship Faculty Member teaching at UC Berkeley, Stanford University and Columbia University



    Lead Faculty

    Professor Wong is the lead faculty for the LLP Singapore programme and was responsible for the adaptation of the I-Corps curriculum to the Singapore context. A Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Strategy at the NUS Business School, he is also the Director of the NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, where he spearheads the university’s experiential entrepreneurship education and outreach programs, as well as advises the CEO of NUS Enterprise on the development of the NUS Enterprise Incubation (NEI) programme which provides incubation, seed funding and mentorship to NUS spin-offs and start-ups. An entrepreneur who co-founded three companies prior to joining academia, he is an active angel investor with investments in more than a dozen high tech start-ups in Singapore, Silicon Valley, China and India. Professor Wong obtained two BSc’s, an MSc and a PhD from MIT.


    Engineering Track

    A/Prof Neo is a technology entrepreneur specializing in the commercialisation of technologies from universities and research institutes. He is co-founder and CEO of AWAK Technologies, a medtech spin-off from UCLA. His ventures include investments in info-security, mobile computing and 3D printing. He is also on the Faculty of Innovation for Economic Development at Harvard Kennedy School, as well as Faculty and Academic Committee Member of the Singapore-Stanford BioDesign Programme. Kok Beng is the current Vice-President and Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES).


    Infocomm Technology Track

    Virginia is an active researcher, educator, mentor and angel investor in Singapore’s entrepreneur ecosystem. In her 32 years in executive management in technology companies, she was chief technology geek at a US multinational tech company, as well as co-founder and CEO of multiple venture-funded high-tech companies in Singapore and China, with successful exits on NASDAQ and HKSE.


    Lifes Sciences & Biomedical Track

    Dr Ting was involved in the inception of two biotechnology startups, covering the functions of CTO and CEO, as well as, in incubation management of several spin-offs from research institutes. Her wide industry experience spans across the innovation ecosystem value chain, including corporate R&D of MNCs, startups, educational and research institutes and Technology Transfer Offices. Her current role leverages on her extensive network of partners and deep knowledge of the ecosystem to support technology commercialisation activities. She holds an EMBA from NUS.



    Programme Manager

    Susan was part of the pioneer management of a successful start-up, Cordlife, and was Group GM of the ASX-listed CordLife Group, prior to joining NUS. Her depth of experience in the healthcare industry which includes lab diagnostics and medical devices, draws from over 20 years in strategic and operational management in multinational companies – Boehringer Mannheim and BD, covering the Asia Pacific region. Susan holds a BSc (Biochemistry, Microbiology) from NUS and completed the Advanced Management Executive Programme from UC Berkeley and NTU.