NUS Enterprise launches innovation hub in Silicon Valley

Since its inception in 2015, BLOCK71 San Francisco has served as a dynamic hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, providing a collaborative space where start-ups, investors, and industry leaders from Singapore, Asia and the US converge to foster innovation and drive the growth of technology ventures. To date, BLOCK71 San Francisco has supported over 126 start-ups and organised some 130 start-up activities. Fifty-four of these start-ups have since made the US their headquarters and most of the remaining start-ups have their headquarters in Singapore.

Renamed BLOCK71 Silicon Valley and strategically located in the thriving San Mateo area, a hub for technology and innovation, it will allow start-ups to leverage the vibrant ecosystem of established and emerging technology companies. The new location will also enable it to strengthen and cultivate new US-Singapore partnerships, advancing the global BLOCK71 initiative.

The new BLOCK71 Silicon Valley was officially opened by Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Gan Kim Yong on 16 November 2023. The event drew over 100 attendees from Singapore and the US, including NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) students, start-up founders, venture capitalists, and government officials. Minister Gan said, “This Silicon Valley office serves as a launchpad for Singapore entrepreneurs and innovators to build ties with the start-up community here, explore opportunities to work together and gain a foothold in the US market. It also helps US-based companies and investors to find out more about the Singapore and Southeast Asian markets and facilitate their overseas ventures.”

Sharing how BLOCK71 Silicon Valley will help start-ups grow, NUS Deputy President (Innovation and Enterprise), Professor Chen Tsuhan, said, “This new office will be an innovation hub where entrepreneurs, innovators and investors come together to collaborate through sector-focused workshops, events, and networking opportunities. We have also adopted a venture studio model, where we partner with entrepreneurs and researchers to develop new ideas, technologies, and business models into high-growth start-up companies.”

Many new networks and connections were made that evening among start-ups, venture capitalists and government officials. Aside from interacting with students on the NOC Silicon Valley programme, Mr Gan also met start-ups located in San Mateo and networked with Singaporean venture capitalists in the Bay Area.

Summing-up the potential of BLOCK71 Silicon Valley and the value it brings to deep tech start-ups, NUS Associate Vice President (Enterprise) Associate Professor Benjamin Tee, said, “This exciting new ecosystem development initiative aims to further energise, translate and connect our Intellectual Property portfolio and talents in deep tech with the depth and breadth of Silicon Valley's venture ecosystem. It represents NUS’ firm commitment to innovation and in creating positive societal impact, not just in Singapore but in the world”.


By NUS Enterprise