SMU Advanced Certificate in Technopreneurship

If you possess a strong interest in setting up high-growth, technology-based ventures, this course will equip you with the right set of skills, attitudes and knowledge. Gain access to deep technology research projects in Biotechnology, Medical Technology, Pharmaceuticals, Cleantech/Energy, Automation/Robotics and ICT at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology.


Programme Objectives


To create a pool of entrepreneurial leaders and/or skilled business and market professionals who are willing to take up the CXO role in deep technology start-ups arising from high potential projects identified through Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and/or A*STAR in the areas of Biosystems and Micromechanics, Environmental Sensing and Modelling, Future Urban Mobility, and Low Energy Electronic Systems, amongst others.  SMART will select around 15-20 projects with high commercialisation potential for participants to build business cases and bring the project successfully to market. 


As part of the programme, participants will attend an adaptive boot camp conducted by SMART, followed by an immersive Advanced Certificate in Technopreneurship conducted by SMU, which comprise 6 modules that will equip participants with the mindset and skills necessary to bring the projects to the market and for participants to assume the role of a CXO in a start-up.  These modules include:


•         Business and Revenue Models
•         Evaluating the Financial Potential and Risk of new Business Ideas 
•         Foundations of Brand Storytelling
•         Pitching and Fund Raising
•         Implementation and Execution
•         Leadership and Culture and building high performance teams in a start-up


Who Should Attend

• An entrepreneur or a mid to senior level professional from the Industry Domain that the project is targeting. 
• Participants should have a business background with business development experience; s/he will have an extensive network within the domain and provide advisory support to the project team in commercialising their technology.
• Participants will be matched with the technology projects and will work towards guiding the research team at A*STAR and/or SMART towards commercialisation. 

Level of Proficiency



An assessment will be conducted at the end of the course.


Upon meeting the minimum attendance requirement and passing the assessment, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Type of Course



Data Analytics, Tech-Enabled Services, Digital Media, Entrepreneurship, Advanced Manufacturing, Urban Solutions

Instructional Methods and Learning Activities

Lectures, Discussions, Case Studies


SkillsFuture Series
Course fee grant of 70% of course fees (excluding GST) for participants who are successfully enrolled by SMU into approved courses under the Programme. Participants must be Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents.

SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy ("MCES")
Up to 90% of course fees for Singapore Citizens aged 40 years and above

Enhanced Training Support for SMEs ("ETSS")
Up to 90% of course fees; and 80% of basic hourly salary capped at $7.50/hr for local employees of SMEs

SkillsFuture Credit
Singapore Citizens aged 25 and above, and self-funding may use their SkillsFuture Credit (up to S$500) to defray part of the course fee. Please click User Guide on how to submit your claim. SkillsFuture Credit claims may be submitted by logging in via



Full fee for non-Singaporean Citizens and non-PRs: $12,840 per pax (including GST) 


SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) Funding for Individuals:

  • S$3,852 (including GST) for Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents
  • S$1,452 (including GST) for Singapore Citizens aged 40 years and above
  • Self-sponsored Singapore Citizens aged 25 and above may use their SkillsFuture Credit (up to S$500) to further defray part of the course fees.




SMART will provide students with a scholarship of $2,500 in the form of a credit for subsidised tuition only after successful completion of the programme (completed and passed all modules and the two practicum exercises). Students will be expected to spend about 30 hours working with the technical team and preparing for each Practicum Exercise.



• An entrepreneur or a mid to senior level professional from an Industry Domain targeted by the project. 
• Participants should have a business background with business development experience; s/he will have an extensive network within the domain and provide advisory support for the project team in commercialising their technology

Course Dates

April 2018


About the Trainers



Dr Howard Califano


Howard leads and manages the overall operation of the SMART Innovation Centre. He brings experience from the academic, industry and financial sectors focused on developing businesses around emerging technology. He has founded, held executive management positions, acted as Member of the Board of Directors, and become CEO of multiple companies in the United States and Asia. He was Consulting Director of Bio*One Capital Pte Ltd and acted as the interim CEO of several of their portfolio companies. Howard was the CEO of Johns Hopkins Singapore and The Johns Hopkins-NUH International Medical Centre. At Johns Hopkins Singapore, he led and managed a team of 80 researchers, physicians, administrators and staff, to establish a Centre of Excellence in research, education and patient care. From 1995 to 1999, Howard was Assistant Dean of The Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, where he was responsible for its business development activities, including the Office of Technology Licensing which is tasked to commercialise all medical discoveries originating at Hopkins.



Dr Philip Charles Zerrillo


Prof. Philip Charles Zerrillo is Professor of Marketing (Practice), Executive Director, Centre for Management Practice and Academic Director, Ph.D. in Business (General Management) at Singapore Management University. Dr. Zerillo was the Graduate Dean and Director of the MBA Program at the University of Texas at Austin before moving to Emory University. He joined the University of Texas at Austin in 1993. After receiving his BBA from the University of Texas, where he received the University’s “Most Outstanding Scholar Award”, he spent seven years in the finance industry. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in marketing from Northwestern University’s J. L. Kellogg School of Management.



Dr Frank Siegfried


Dr. Frank Siegfried accumulated 22 years of working experience in several high-tech Multi-National Companies (MNCs), working in Germany, UK, PRC and Singapore prior to joining Academia and forming his own advisory business. He received his Doctor in Business Administration (DBA) from Manchester University and is an Adjunct Faculty in the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at Singapore Management University.


He is Program Director, Workshop Instructor and Project Facilitator at SMU Executive Development, teaching subjects related to Megatrends, VUCA World, Scenario Planning, Strategy, Change, Risk, Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital and Innovation Management to practitioners from local and international companies. He has also been teaching Global MBA students at Manchester Business School since 2011, using scientific principles related to strategic analysis and planning, decision making for differentiation and innovation, entrepreneurial finance, risk mitigation, and go-to-market primary data collection using qualitative and quantitative research methods - mostly applied in high-tech or financial services industry contexts.


His work seeks to create actionable interventions with impact to make changes in relation to the industry’s most pressing issues. His doctoral dissertation was conducted in Singapore’s retail banking services sector, investigating consumer switching behaviour and aimed at providing financial services institutions with influencing factors and strategies to enhance customer experience and loyalty, applying predictive modelling, social psychology and cultural studies.



Mr Koh Chaik Ming


Chaik Ming is the Chief Executive Officer of Forchn Real Estate Management Fund. Forchn is a Shanghai based investment holding company specializing in ports and e-commerce logistics real estate, with numerous regional acquisitions including a billion-dollar market cap REIT (EC World REIT) that was recently listed on the SGX Exchange. Its asset holdings also include Fochun Resort(富春山居, Zhang Xiao Quan(张小泉)and Cai Niao Logistics(菜鸟物流). Prior to this, Chaik was the General Manager – Downstream New Business Development and Commercial Director at Shell China from 2012 to 2016 responsible for major downstream investments and joint venture formation. Before his Beijing assignment, Chaik joined Shell in Singapore in 2008 as the Regional General Manager – Asia Pacific & Middle East for Shell Marine Products, responsible for the marine bunker fuels and lubricants business for fifteen countries.


Chaik is reading his Doctorate of Business Administration at the Singapore Management University (SMU).  He is also an alumni of both Harvard Business School (Advanced Management Program AMP168) and INSEAD (MBA 1999D) and holds a Graduate Diploma of Marketing (Gold Medal) from the Marketing Institute of Singapore. He also graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering (First Class Honours) from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He has served as a board member of Great Wall Airlines, Senoko Power, Singapore Expo, Singapore Pools and Shell Cansolv China. Chaik was also a Shell Champion Deal Leader, a small selected group certified internally by Shell to lead large and complex multi-billion dollar deal transactions. In his personal capacity, he also contributes his time by serving as a Member of the Investment Committee for the Singapore Chinese Orchestra as well as an Alumni Interviewer for the INSEAD MBA Admissions process. He also guest lectures at the Singapore Management University, Tsinghua University, Peking University and People’s University on corporate finance, joint venture management, corporate governance and career development. He is an avid amateur chef and was a grand finalist in the 2016 Le Cordon Bleu Greater China Culinary Competition. He also received his Taekwondo Black Belt 2nd Dan accreditation in 2010.