Technopreneurship Programme


Red Dot Ventures (RedDot) has developed a highly innovative incubation model that addresses key historical challenges to successfully incubating early-stage, high-growth companies in Singapore.

Providing successful incubation for high-growth start-ups requires more than just providing space and funding – successful incubation requires an ecosystem to support the growth of the incubated companies.  As such, RedDot will help its portfolio companies succeed through providing a supporting ecosystem that includes financing, mentoring, leadership development and technology commercialization.

RedDot matches each startup with a committed “hands-on” angel, with the relevant experience and network, who can nurture the company to greater heights and who will be a critical success factor for our portfolio companies.

RedDot has established strategic partnerships with corporations that can provide go-to-market platforms for these startups to achieve initial market validation.

RedDot recruits experienced entrepreneurial leaders and develops entrepreneurial managers and team members through a structured training program with on-the-job learning to supply trained resources to support our startups growth.

The Technopreneurship Programme

Be a Preferred Employer of Choice!

Technology startups are usually very small companies. Some could be 1-4 people organizations. However, unless the start-up grows the size of its core entrepreneurial team, it will not be able to scale its business.

A lot of technology startups typically experience challenges in recruiting talents they need to grow because of their limited ability to:

  • Provide Training Benefits
  • Provide Competitive Remuneration, and
  • Recruit Cost-effectively

Unless start-ups are able to overcome these challenges, they will not be able to attract the best talents to join their team.  So how can you position yourselves as a Preferred Employer of Choice considering these constraints?

The Ideal Candidates

Who are the ideal candidates for technology startups? Technology start-ups in Singapore are generally composed of young and dynamic individuals with lots of energy and passion:

  • New University Graduates, OR
  • Young Executives with 3-5 years working experience

Being a start-up, members of your entrepreneurial team are required to be multidisciplinary “T”-shaped professionals. Each member, while focusing on a particular area, should also be able to add value and contribute to other areas of the business as well.

 Providing Training Benefits to Attract Ideal Candidates

As a technology start-up, one big advantage you have over large companies is that you can provide a highly attractive environment where individuals who are eager to acquire entrepreneurship, sales and marketing skills can learn. Entrepreneurship after all cannot be learnt in the classroom alone. It must be complemented by work experience within an actual entrepreneurial setup.

That makes technology start-ups eligible to participate in a 12-month “Place & Train” Entrepreneurship Program, which is heavily subsidized by WDA Singapore, through which you can offer your entrepreneurial team members the opportunity to:

  • Develop Innovative Ideas
  • Create a New Venture
  • Develop Go-to-Market Strategies
  • Manage Products
  • Execute Sales and Internationalization plans, and
  • Have Business Management Skills

Technology start-up companies may also receive up to 90% course fee funding from WDA worth up to S$10,800 for each entrepreneurial team member you send to participate in the “Place & Train” Entrepreneurship Program.

Providing Competitive Remuneration

Technology start-ups control their finances very tightly. Therefore, they may not be able to offer competitive remunerations. By enrolling your team members to the “Place & Train” Entrepreneurship Program, you can receive up to 70% stipend support for the first 6 months of the program through WDA’s IGNITE programme. That’s up to S$8,400 in funding support for each entrepreneurial team member you send to participate in the program.

Recruiting Cost-Effectively

Recruiting candidates to join their entrepreneurial team can be very costly for technology start-ups. This can include costs in posting jobs at classified ads sections of newspapers, online job banners at internet job portals, and engaging recruiters among other recruitment channels.

When you participate in the “Place & Train” Entrepreneurship Program, you can leverage on massive recruitment support from Red Dot Ventures to get ideal candidates to join your entrepreneurial team.

Programme ObjectivesThe objective of this programme is to develop your employees into a team of high-tech entrepreneurs (or technopreneurs) or entrepreneurial managers.

Upon successful completion of the programme, they will have gained the knowledge and skills of an entrepreneurial manager required to directly contribute to the growth of technology-based businesses.

  • Apply venture creation processes to develop new businesses
  • Generate an innovative business model and develop growth strategies through product differentiation
  • Create go-to-market strategies for Infocomm products using social media marketing
  • Establish sales channels and internationalization strategies
  • Formulate customer relationship management strategies and demonstrate entrepreneurial leadership
  • Analyze financial reports and make informed decisions

Mode & Duration

  • “Placement and Training (PnT)” – This course is delivered over 12 months. It is in a work integrated learning (WIL) format where students will also undergo on-the-job training in the sponsoring companies for the whole 12-months, besides classroom training at Red Dot Ventures premises.The course is conducted over weekday evenings and on Saturdays (whole day when scheduled). Classes are conducted during the evening for the first 9 months. However, for the whole 12-month duration of the programme, students will also work on their capstone project as a full-time employee in the participating company they are attached to.

Note: All students need to commit to a minimum employment period of 1 year with the sponsoring organization.

  • “Train Only” – Students may also undergo this program to “Train Only”. This study mode is the same as for “Placement and Training” except that the participating company would either be their current employer or their own company.Subject to other conditions, the student’s employer must be a high-tech startup or SME to participate in this programme.

Programme Outline

This programme aims to award NICF qualifications to successful graduates, who would have gained the skills and competencies needed to assume the following job roles in the ICT sector:

  • Sales Executive/ Sales Manager/ Account Manager/ Business development Executive/ Business Development Manager
  • Channel Executive/ Manager
  • Marketing Executive/ Manager
  • Management Associate
  • Product Manager/ Architect

LIST OF MODULES

New Technology Venture Creation

Hours: 36 hours + 6 hours of assessments

Creating a new business is a challenging and complex task. The road to entrepreneurial success is long, winding and strewn with pitfalls, obstacles and blind turns. The risks of starting a new business are high, as illustrated by the high failure rates for new ventures. However, as is always the case, the rewards are commensurate with the risk: in addition to the psychic rewards of starting a business, witness the dominance of entrepreneurs in the Forbes 400 list.

The purpose of this module is to:

  • Help students understand the process, challenges, risks and rewards of starting up a new business
  • Equip them with the tools required to start their own business
  • Improve their chances of successfully starting their own business

Learning objectives are:

  • Ability to create and assess business ideas
  • Develop creative problem-solving skills required in entrepreneurial businesses
  • Ability to create a business plan, including:
    1. Ability to analyze market opportunities
    2. Develop a business model and strategy
    3. Form and work successfully in a team
    4. Prepare a professional presentation

Develop Innovative Products and Business Model

Hours: 36 hours + 6 hours of assessments

This module covers a range of concepts and best practices in business strategy, growth strategy, business model design, intellectual property management and management of business process outsourcing. Students will also be exposed to case studies of companies and how they have adopted the models into practice.

Learning objectives are:

  • Create Uncontested Market Space using Blue Ocean Strategy (9 hours equivalent)
    This is inspired by the Blue Ocean Theory developed by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne at INSEAD. This module discusses the high growth and profits an organization can generate by creating new demand in an uncontested market space, or a “Blue Ocean”, rather than by competing head-to-head with other suppliers for known customers in an existing industry. Students adopt blue ocean theory in designing a business strategy of an organization of choice.
  • Sustain Product innovation using Ansoff’s Product/Market Grid (9 hours equivalent)
    Students will gain insight in the Ansoff’s Product/ Market grid to design an organization’s strategic direction in the marketplace. Students will be able to use this model to design a portfolio and a competitive strategy for future business scope.
  • Generate Innovative Business Model (9 hours equivalent)
    This section is inspired by “The Business Model Generation” by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur. This module covers business model generation techniques where students will be able to apply the concepts learned. Students will be exposed to case studies of companies and analyze their success based on the techniques learned.
  • IP Management (3 hours equivalent)
    Candidates will gain hands-on understanding and application of Intellectual Property management. Students will be exposed to and perform the following activities:
  1. Identify intellectual properties as opportunities for wealth creation
  2. How to safeguard the interests of the organization by properly managing its intellectual properties
  3. Analyze case studies of companies on how they managed their intellectual properties in terms of safeguarding and monetizing of assets
  • Business Process Outsourcing management (6 hours equivalent)
    This section provides a set of practical tools and techniques designed to fast track students on outsourcing contracts. Numerous examples, tools and analyses provide valuable information on what makes outsourcing contracts successful and helps ensure the appropriate alignment between these complicated contracts and client business needs.

    1. Understand what can be outsourced and what should not
    2. Use Service Level Agreements to manage vendors/ partners
    3. Analyze business cases where companies have adopted outsourcing models and how that has affected the organization.

Acquire Profitable Customers and Scalable Market

Hours: 36 hours + 6 hours of assessments

This module covers product management, social media marketing, channels and internationalization.

  • Product Management (18 hours equivalent)
    Students in this section will understand how to bring products to market more efficiently and effectively. Students will also learn how to prioritize product features based on market problems, not internal stakeholder opinions. Through the use of case studies students will be able to conduct market analysis, product planning including pricing and positioning and process for sales and communication.
  • Social Media Marketing (12 hours equivalent)
    In this section students will have a hands-on understanding of how to optimize social media as a marketing tool. Students will be able to analyze marketing effectiveness using social media. This section covers the following:

    1. Best practices in PR, customer service, monetization and executive strategy prior to social media
    2. Identifying which content is best marketed with social media. Best social media tools and services for content creation
    3. How to significantly increase traffic to your site. Ways to increase your popularity and stature as a market leader
    4. Social media performance metrics
    5. Social Media marketing Case Studies
  • Channel Sales and Internationalization (6 hours equivalent)
    Students will adopt the concepts taught and prepare projects and proposals based on the following:

    1. Market entry strategies
    2. International product service management
    3. International communication
    4. Management of international distribution and logistics (Channel Management)
    5. Pricing for international markets

This section will allow students to collaborate and learn from peers and case studies about some of the methods adopted by companies in their internationalization process.

Building Sales and Business Development Skills

Hours: 36 hours + 6 hours of assessments

This module deals with sales skills required to perform direct and corporate selling. This activity based module requires students to practice the skills gained through a series of activities.

  • Direct Sales Skills & Methodology (18 hours equivalent)
    In this section students will learn essential techniques and structures involved in sales for infocomm products and services. Practical exercises ensure that newly learnt skills are put to use immediately to increase the levels of the learner’s confidence through classroom activities. This introduction to sales course provides the bedrock for all successful selling roles of progressive steps to the role of an entrepreneur.
  • Corporate Sales Skills and Methodologies (18 hours equivalent)
    This section presents 4 different roles within an organization, namely the decision-maker, recommender, influencer and sponsor. It clarifies the differences between actual titles and responsibilities of the people within an organization that is buying products / services. Students will learn the techniques of relationships and value-based selling that sales people need to adopt whilst selling to people that assume the 4 different roles. This practice based session requires active participation to acquire such skills and put that to practice.

Manage Infocomm Ventures

Hours: 36 hours + 6 hours of assessments

Students will be exposed to management of infocomm ventures in 3 critical areas that includes leadership, financial management and sales and marketing.

  • Building entrepreneurial leadership (9 hours equivalent)
    This Section covers the difference between leader, manager and entrepreneur. Students will be exposed to case studies across different industries how leaders and managers play a critical role in the success of an organization. Students will analyze situations using John Kotter’s “Force of Management”.
  • Financial management matrix (18 hours equivalent)
    Through the use of case studies and financial reports, students will be exposed to the following:

    1. Interpretation of Primary Financial Statements
    2. Accounting ratios and interpretations of organizational performance
    3. Budgetary Planning and Control
    4. Balanced Scorecards and Performance Indicators
    5. EVA; Beyond Budgeting and Better Budgeting

Students will also be able to prepare budgets and prepare financial projection for existing and new product line.

  • Sales & Marketing CRM management (9 hours equivalent)
    Students will have access to Sales Force automation and understand how to use them effectively in managing sales leads and CRM. Students will able to perform the following activities at the end of training:

    1. Standard and custom objects based on business scenario
    2. Lead and campaign management based on business scenario
    3. Analytics reports and dashboard

Capstone Project

Real-life Capstone Project on Technopreneurship and Management

Duration: 1 year project that includes 36 hours of face-to-face training + 6 hours assessment + 12 hours of Monthly meetings + 6 hours of meeting with Business Advisor.

The aim of this module is to provide the students with an opportunity to undertake a project within a start-up or an SME organization where they have to work on one of the following projects:

  • Creation of a business idea that lead to an increase in product lines or revenue streams
  • Restructuring existing product lines or revenue streams that lead to business gains
  • Increased productivity or cost reductions

Below are the delivery guidelines for this module:

Activities Hours
Face-to-Face Training on the business environment by the Business Coach (conducted at the onset of this project)

36

Meeting with Senior Management (once a month for one hour each time over 12 months)

12

Interaction with Angel investors (2 sessions, 3 hours each time)

6

Assessment

6

Total

60

In addition, during the 12 months of involvement with the project, the student needs to put in 260-300 self-paced hours, which may be within or apart from his normal working hours. The organization will assign a Business Coach who will conduct face-to-face orientation and training on the business case. This will be followed by subsequent follow-up and review sessions planned by the Business Coach. The Business Coach must ensure the following things are completed at the commencement of the project:

  • Documented business case which is pre-approved by Lithan Hall Academy (LHA)
  • Contact list of the key staff, vendors and principals
  • Introduction of the candidate to all the key stakeholders of the project
  • Provide access to organizational information pertaining to the relevant areas of the project
  • Provide a schedule of review and facilitation meetings with the business coach

The Business Coach is responsible to arrange monthly meeting with Senior Management and ensure all documents are submitted on time to LHA. In this meeting the candidate must present business updates on the project to the senior management of the company. During the meeting, the student needs to present the progress of the project, financial outcomes, plans and strategies. To allow for better engagements between the candidate, the coach and senior management of the organization, such a meeting should be for at least an hour. Discussion during this meeting should be documented and submitted to LHA on a periodic basis.

The Business Coach will work with LHA to schedule meeting sessions with the Angel Investor. Students will receive the opportunity to attend 2 sessions (3 hours each) with Angel Investors who will mentor and advice the student on several dimension of the project. Students must provide project updates and seek professional advice on areas of concern.

This module requires close monitoring by LHA. The participating organizations and students must ensure that the following documents are submitted at the end of the month:

  • Monthly meeting minutes and presentation documents
  • Feedback report from the Business Coach on a monthly basis using Workplace Learning Guidebook

Course Flow

The following diagram shows the general flow of the course.

Timing 3 Months 3 Months 3 Months 3 Months
Day

Full-time Employment

Real-life Capstone Project on Technopreneurship and Management

Evening New Technology Venture Creation 

Develop Innovative Products and Business Model

Acquire Profitable Customers and Scalable Market 

Building Sales and Business Development Skills

Manage Infocomm Ventures

Delivery Method

Lithan Hall Academy maintains a maximum of 1:30 ratio for classroom instructor-led courses.

Entry Requirements

This programme is available to Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents. The following may enroll in the course:

  • Fresh university graduates
    To qualify for admission to the programme, applicants must have a recognized degree or graduate diploma. In the absence of formal academic qualifications, applicants must have training and work experience that would indicate the ability to undertake the programme successfully.
  • Unemployed professionals, managers and engineers who are:
    1. Experienced business management professionals seeking opportunities to make a career transition to Hi-Tech or ICT industry
    2. Professionals in Hi-Tech or ICT industry seeking to acquire skill sets in Product Management, Venture Creation and Sales and Marketing

This course is open to Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents only. Candidates with a Bachelors degree or with Diploma level qualification will be preferred.

All candidates to the course must submit their updated CV and certificates. Candidates must provide copies of highest educational certificates and training certificates. Candidates are also required to provide completed LinkedIn profile.

Selection of candidates to this course is based on the recommendation of the selection panel and approved by WDA.

All candidates accepted into the course will need to sign a contract with Lithan Hall Academy and any sponsoring company (for those under the Placement and Training mode). During the course and after the course completion students may be required to fill-up and submit documentation on Capstone Project and work surveys. This is meant to measure the candidate’s progress, productivity and implementation of a business opportunity with the participating company.

Graduation Requirements

All candidates for graduation must successfully pass or be deemed Competent (C) in all the modules.
Students who fail a module will need to retake the module (additional charges may apply).

Certificates Issued

Successful graduates will be issued with an “NICF – Diploma in Infocomm Sales and Marketing”. Participants will be assessed on the following NICF Competency Units (CUs). They will also receive a Statement of Attainment (SOA) for each CU that the participant has been assessed competent:

IT-BD-403S-1 Identify new areas for growth
IT-MC-401S-1 Perform competitive analysis
IT-PM-501S-1 Manage outsourcing
IT-BD-402S-1 Establish and track the organisation’s market position
IT-CM-401S-1 Manage channel partners
IT-SA-401S-1 Develop Sales proposals and quotations
BM-FIN-407E-1 Conduct financial analysis of the business unit
IT-GSM-501S-1 Use information to make sales and marketing related decisions
IT-MC-402S-1 Assess marketing opportunities within international and/or diverse markets
IT-PMT-401S-1 Manage product brands

 

Programme and Miscellaneous Fees (in Singapore Dollars)

For Company-sponsored Students

To encourage more Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to send their workers for skills upgrading and to enhance productivity, the Government will be increasing the funding subsidy for this group. The Enhanced Training Support for SMEs will help SMEs further lower the cost of sending their employees for certifiable training programmes supported by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), and academic Continuing Education and Training (CET) programmes. SMEs will get to enjoy subsidies of 90% of the course fees when they sponsor their employees for the above-mentioned courses as well as claim absentee payroll funding of 80% of basic hourly salary at a higher cap of $7.50 per hour. This three-year initiative will take effect from 1 July 2012.

For more details on the additional funding, please click here
Enhanced Training Support for SMEs.

Sample fee calculation for company-sponsored student:

Singaporean/PR (full time or part time)

Processing Fee

$150

Course Fee

$12,000

WDA Subsidy (70%)

-$8,400

Payable Course Fee to Lithan Hall Academy (full payment by company)

$3,600

Enhanced Training Support for SMEs (20%)

-$2,400 – claim in the later stage

Payable Course Fee by company

$1,200

Miscellaneous Fees (where applicable)

Deferment Administration Fee

$150 – payable upon approval of request for one term

Re-module Fee (per-module)

$2,000 (if applicable)

Re-sit Examination Fee

$100 – pay before the new examination re-sit date

Change of Assessment Date Fee

$60 – pay before the new assessment date

Trainer Profiles

Leslie Loh

 Leslie Loh is an accomplished serial entrepreneur and a prominent technology venture investor in Singapore.

Leslie is the founder of Red Dot Ventures, an NRF-approved technology incubator and venture capital firm focusing on Singapore-based technology start-ups.

Prior to Red Dot Ventures, Leslie played a major role in leading a Singapore start-up from being a one-man outfit in 1983 to one of the leading banking software global organization listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX-SESDAQ) before its acquisition in 2006 by SunGard, one of the world’s leading Fortune 500 software and IT services companies.

Leslie Loh was conferred the ASME Rotary Entrepreneur of the Year (1998), National Youth Award (1999), and the SCS IT Leader Awards – Person of the Year (2006).

Douglas Abrams

 Douglas Abrams is a venture capitalist, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Business School, and a Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

Douglas Abrams is the founder and CEO of Expara and Expara IDM Ventures, a business accelerator for interactive and digital media companies.  He is a founding partner and managing director of Extream Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund.  He was also a founding partner of Parallax Capital Management, a funds management company.

Jeffrey Paine

Jeffrey Paine is a venture capitalist.

Jeffrey is a founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures, an early stage technology incubator based in Singapore.  Jeffrey also started and manages the Founder Institute in Asia where he is currently overseeing its expansion in the Southeast Asian region.

Jeffrey spent the first eight years of his career in early stage venture and private equity in the US, North and South Asia. He co-founded a China market entry advisory firm which was then merged with a China mid-market private equity firm.