NUS MSc 08 July 2019

Multi-disciplinary opportunities with Lean LaunchPad programme

The Lean LaunchPad Singapore (LLP Singapore) programme is modelled after the highly successful US National Science Foundation I-Corps programme. Piloted by NUS Enterprise since 2013, Business School students who take on the LLP elective module have a chance to work in multi-disciplinary teams comprising professors, research fellows, research assistants, engineers and PhD students from different faculties as well as getting paired with working professionals and entrepreneurs, guided by a mentor.

Projects that are accepted into the programme focus on areas such as cybersecurity, engineering, information and communications technology (ICT) and life sciences. This year, Mart Vos, our double degree NUS Master of Science (MSc) Management and CEMS Master in Management (MiM) student, worked on a Biomedical Engineering project – Soft Microtubular Sensors. He was presented the Lean LaunchPad Module Award for Best Student, winning a cash prize of $2,000.

Mart’s team comprised:

  1. Principal investigator Prof Lim Chwee Teck;
  2. Mentor and Co-founder of Privi Medical Mr Prusothman Raja;
  3. Co-Founder of Microtube Technologies, Oh Chinlock;
  4. PhD in bioengineering and biomedical engineering candidate and CEO of Microtube Technologies Yu Longteng; and
  5. NUS MSc Mgt and CEMS MiM student Zhao Shichen.

Team lead Yu Longteng, who nominated Mart for the award, said, “Mart contributed a lot of great insights for the team, especially with the final presentations where he demonstrated his knowledge and understanding of the product’s technology and business. Most importantly, Mart had a great learning attitude towards the entire LLP programme.”

From left: Mart, together with team lead Yu Longteng and team mentor Prusothman Raja

The core of the team’s project was the development of ultrathin elastomeric microtubes and designing microtubular sensors for a wide range of applications including robotics, consumer electronics, internet of things (IoT), disease sensing and rehabilitation monitoring. With multiple patents filed, the ultrathin, highly stretchable, flexible, weavable and washable microtubular sensors have great potential for next-generation devices for robotics, consumer electronics, IoT and precision health.

During the module, the team also had to explore the business of using the microtubular sensor to achieve continuous pressure monitoring during compression therapy for venous ulcer, etc. The team believed that their technology could improve the efficacy of current compression therapy, shorten the healing process, facilitate the training process of specialised nurses and therefore reducing the cost for both patients and hospitals.

Mart said, “The LLP programme is about applying everything you have learned in your business studies in a practical and real setting. I had a chance to work with highly intelligent people who have designed a product or idea. As a business student, we helped to build a sustainable business plan as the team might not have much of a business background. At the same time, I got to learn about an entirely new field and industry, as well as working with industry experts from different disciplines. Throughout the programme, highly-skilled industry experts provide consistent feedback, truly making it a great learning experience.”

He added, “My key takeaway from this experience was learning how to simplify a highly complicated idea into a relatively simple five-minute pitch. The absolute highlight was the opportunity to pitch a real product to potential angel investors, venture capitalists, etc. In addition, it amplified the value of possessing business knowledge especially in the early stages of a start-up where suggestions could be anything related to targeting a unique beachhead market or interviewing potential users to find the minimum viable product.”

Mart, who graduated from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands says this experience will further propel his career choice of working at an international management consultancy firm.

Executive advisor, Lean LaunchPad Medtech instructor, Ms Florence Leong said, “Mart deserves the award – he was very participative during the track discussion, listening and contributing to other teams’ projects. He also put in a lot of effort into the weekly presentations and the final presentation. Not only did he present well, but he also handled the question and answer segment very professionally.”

As part of the MSc Management and CEMS MiM programme, Mart will be continuing his remaining semesters abroad at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in Hong Kong and Tsinghua University in Bejing.

For more information on the double degree programme, please visit mim.nus.edu/cems-mim/.