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Red Dot Ventures in partnership with Lithan Hall Academy to develop Technopreneurs for Start-ups

Singapore, April 2, 2013 – Red Dot Ventures, a Singapore Based technology incubator focusing on investing and nurturing high-tech startups, has partnered with Lithan Hall Academy, a 4-year Edutrust certified private education institution, to offer an entrepreneurship "Train Only" and "Place & Train" programme with support from the SkillsFuture Singapore Agency (SSG). The programme aims to develop more technopreneurs and entrepreneurial managers for the increasingly vibrant technology start-up ecosystem in Singapore.

Based on a survey of 10,000 students from Nanyang Technological University that asked them what they wanted to do after graduation, 71% wanted a "professional" job, 21 % wanted a leadership jobs while only 8% wanted to be an entrepreneur. However, 38% of the students showed inclination to be an entrepreneur having reported either a viable business idea and/or have sought info on how to start business. Many of these graduates could not pursue their entrepreneurial path primarily due to their lack of relevant skills and/or financial resources.

"Instead of jumping into the deep end of the pool immediately, we would like to offer fresh graduates and young working professionals a transition pathway where they can learn to be an entrepreneur before striking out on their own." says Krishna Ramoo, COO, Lithan Hall Academy.

"We believe Entrepreneurship can be learned but it can't be done only within the confines of the classroom. Our students will undertake a cooperative education program where they will receive a comprehensive 12-month structured training program while gaining real life exposure and mentorship under employment in an entrepreneurial technology start-up." Krishna elaborates.

Through the comprehensive structured training program, candidates will acquire multidisciplinary skills to develop innovative ideas, create new venture, develop go-to-market strategies, execute sales and internationalization plans, and implement business management processes in a technology venture. Students will also gain practical business insights through mentorship and sharing of experience from seasoned technopreneurs, venture investors and technology start-ups. The students, upon successful completion of the structured training program, will also receive from SSG the NICF (National Infocomm Competency Framework) Diploma in Infocomm Sales and Marketing.

Program trainers and mentors include venture capitalists Mr. Douglas Abrams, Mr. Jeffrey Paine, and Mr. Leslie Loh. Douglas Abrams is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Business School. Jeffrey Paine is also the founder and manager of Founders Institute in Asia. Leslie Loh is an experienced serial entrepreneur who also sits on the Board of Directors of SPRING Singapore.

"Partnering with Lithan Hall Academy to deliver a work-integrated entrepreneurship program is completely synergistic." says Leslie Loh, Managing Director, Red Dot Ventures. The program will benefit technology start-ups in their talent recruitment and development efforts. Furthermore, participating start-ups will receive significant funding support on course fees and stipends through SSG's IGNITE program." Leslie further explains.

Startups can leverage on the entrepreneurship program by participating via "Train only" and/or "Place & Train" mode. For "Train only", start-up companies can send any of their current employees or team members to participate in a 12-month part-time structured training program conducted in the evenings and/or weekends.

Or, they can participate in the "Place & Train" programme mode where they can receive assistance in both recruitment and training of new talents. Participating startups only need to enter into an employment agreement with any of the qualified programme candidates for a minimum of 12 months inclusive of a 6-month internship period. Note that the program aims to recruit fresh graduates and working professionals whose aspirations are to become part of the entrepreneurial team within a High-Tech startup.

SSG may fund up to 90% of the course fee. Furthermore, for each "Place & Train" candidates, participating startups may also receive monthly stipend assistance from SSG of up to S$1,400/mth during the first 6 months of employment. By participating in the programme, startups effectively reduce the cost of hiring and training a new entrepreneurial team member by half.

The program has received strong interest and Lithan Hall Academy expects to have 50 students in the initial intakes with all candidates placed under employment in 30 participating start-ups. These include Elixir Technologies, iCarsclub, Pirate3DP, TabSquare, Beautec, Eastcom Systems, Pytheas Infosys, Spa Rate, Teamie, Inspire-Tech, JustCommodity Software Solutions, and Quantine.

Beyond that, Lithan Hall Academy hopes to recruit about 150 candidates for the program annually to benefit about 100 technology start-ups in Singapore each year.

"I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur but my concern was if I would have the relevant skills and experience needed. Lithan Hall Academy's entrepreneurship "Place & Train" programme enable me to experience first-hand the thrills and challenges of building a technology start-up while acquiring the needed entrepreneurial skills through a comprehensive & structured training programs. The program will also broaden my network and sharpen my business insights through regular mentorship and experience sharing sessions from established entrepreneurs, venture investors and technology start-ups" says Alvin Hong. Alvin was a stock broker for 3 years after his graduation from University of Western Australia. Justcommodity Software Solutions, a trading and risk management software venture, has sponsored Alvin for the program upon hiring him as their management associate.

"As a technology start-up with limited training benefits and financial resources, we face significant challenge in attracting sufficient talents with the right entrepreneurial skill that could help us build our business. By participating in the Lithan Hall Academy's entrepreneurship programme, we become a more attractive employer given our comprehensive training offering and competitive financial remuneration through Lithan Hall Academy offering and financial assistance from SSG." Says Eddy Zhang, Founder & CEO, iCarsclub. iCarsclub has recently received seed funding from Red Dot Ventures and in the process of expanding their business to China.

About Lithan Hall Academy

Lithan Hall Academy (www.lithanhall.com) is a cooperative education provider for high-demand professional communities in Asia. Our mission is to deliver Cooperative Education programs to our customers through delivery of Competency-based Education, Work-integrated Experiential Learning, and Career Transition Support that sustain their lifelong career growth and development.

Lithan Hall Academy has a 4-year Edutrust certification awarded by the Council for Private Education (CPE) of Singapore. Lithan Hall Academy was also appointed by SSG as a CET program partner since November, 2011.

About Red Dot Ventures

Established in 2011, Red Dot Ventures (RedDot) is a seed-stage venture capital firm focused on Singapore-based high-tech startups in areas including ICT, Interactive Digital Media (IDM), MedTech, Nanotech, CleanTech, and Engineering.

In early 2012, RedDot was selected as an official startup incubator under the government of Singapore's Technology Incubation Scheme, positioning the company as a key pillar in the creation of a competitive entrepreneurial environment that will allow innovative ventures to develop and flourish.

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Press Coverage
Lithan Academy was featured at Channel News Asia, News 5 Tonight, Suria, Tamil news, and Chinese news last April 15, 2014.