Frequently Asked Questions for Venture Initiation Program@SoC (VIP@SoC)

1) When will I know if I am shortlisted for an interview?
You will receive an email informing you if you are required to pitch.
2) What are the terms and conditions?

The terms and conditions are quite simple.  If awarded the grant, you will receive $10k.  There is a midterm presentation and final presentation and you are required to submit a midterm progress report and final progress report with expenditure list.  Unused monies at the end of the grant period of 12 months will have to be returned to NUS Enterprise.  You have to keep receipts of your expenses for verification. 

3) Can I apply with just an idea?

You may apply but you are unlikely to get the grant.  You are expected to have already done some reasonable work on your idea, carried out some market research, validated your hypothesis or built a prototype.  The grant will give you more resources to go into deeper development. 

4) How do you define prototype?
A prototype is anything you have worked on that can demonstrate your solution to the problem identified.
5) Who has Intellectual Property Rights?
Any IP you develop specifically for the project is owned by you. However, if your idea is built on top of some existing IP that was developed from an official research grant (where the IP belongs to NUS), then you will need a license for that if you intend to commercialise your solution. The license can be obtained from the NUS Industry Liaison Office under their terms and conditions.
6) Can I apply if I am overseas?
Yes. However, the project must primarily be carried out in Singapore. You must seek approval when carrying out a portion of the project overseas. Please state this clearly in your submission.
7) Can my team members be from other faculties or other universities?
Yes, but the main applicant must be a student of SoC. The applicant is responsible for fulfilling the terms and conditions under the grant. Awardee must remain a student during the 1-year duration of the grant.
8) I have a startup company. Can I apply for the grant?
The grant is intended to give students some resources to develop their innovation ideas into a possible startup opportunity. If you have a startup that is already incorporated and operating, you will not be eligible for the grant. However, if you are planning to do a startup but have not incorporated a company, you may apply.
9) Can I pay my team for the work done using this fund?
No. The grant does not cover the cost of any man-hours spent by the grant recipient or any team members on the project.  You are encouraged to carry out development within the team as much as possible. Some parts of the software development may be outsourced but it is not meaningful to outsource everything.
10) Are there restrictions on the use of the grant?
You may use the grant for normal reasonable expenses that are related to your project and not for personal benefit. You cannot use it to pay yourself or your team members or to spend on refreshments for your team. Startups are expected to be frugal with expenses, making purchases of items only if they are needed for the project. If there is evidence that you are not using the grant money in this spirit, you may be asked to return funds used for such expenses. For the purchase of any single item exceeding $2,000 please get approval from your mentor. If in doubt, please enquire via email to
11) Do I prepare progress reports and presentations?

Yes, you will need to submit a mid-term progress report (after 6 months), and a final project report at the end of 12 months, using the report format given. The reports need not be long but must contain sufficient information on what you have done and achieved with the grant and what you plan to do for the next steps. You also need to provide details of your expenses supported with receipts.


You are required to make presentations to the VIPSoC Panel at the mid-term and end of the project. You have 10 minutes to pitch and there would be 10 minutes of questions from the Panel. You should describe with sufficient detail what you have done and the results that you have achieved, the challenges faced, and lessons learnt. You should include a quick demo if available. For the final presentation, you should also indicate whether you have plans to take the project forward and create a startup.


The reports and presentations are important and you are expected to make sure they are of satisfactory quality.

12) What should I do with the unused balance?
Money from the grant that is not spent has to be returned to NUS Enterprise.
13) Are projects with faculty supervisors eligible for the grant?
Yes. Faculty supervisors may sit in on their student’s presentation but will not be allowed to speak on behalf of their students unless invited by the panel.
14) What is the role of faculty mentors for this grant?
One faculty mentor is assigned to each successful applicant. The faculty mentor is there to provide advice and mentorship on the project. Please make contact with your mentor and have regular sessions with them to benefit from their experience and guidance.
15) Can I terminate the grant mid-way?

If you plan to terminate your grant, please discuss your reasons with your faculty mentor.  Upon termination, you are to return the entire grant amount (even if you have spent some of it) to NUS Enterprise.

16) Can I extend the grant period beyond 12 months?
You may apply for an extension of the grant period if there are good reasons. However, you must remain a student during the extension period. Alternatively, you may assign a team member to take over the responsibilities of the grant. The person assigned must be a student of SoC during the extension period.
17) My team has received a grant from NUS Enterprise. Are we eligible to apply?

The NUS Enterprise ‘Venture Initiation Program’ (VIP) and SoC ‘Venture Initiation Program@SoC (VIP@SoC) are the same. You can only receive one grant for one project.

18) I am part of a team currently working on a VIP@SoC grant. Can I apply for another grant?

No.  You should concentrate on one project at any one time.

19) Can I submit an application that draws from work done in a team project for my course at NUS?

Yes, but please make sure that your team members do not have any objection and there are no IP infringement issues.

20) have some questions not listed here. How do I contact the staff?

You may email to