Pact signed to develop entrepreneurs

(From left) Dr Lau, van Leeuwen, Giesecke, Lee and Dr Sidhu point to a Sunway University plaque.

SUNWAY University has signed a partnership agreement with the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (SCET) of University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) at its campus in Silicon Valley.

This is to develop Sunway University’s entrepreneurship programmes, and to commence a bi-directional information exchange, in areas of Entrepreneurship and Technology, between Sunway University and SCET.

Sunway Education Group senior executive director Elizabeth Lee signed the agreement with SCET founding director Dr Ikhlaq Sidhu.

This was witnessed by Sunway iLabs director Matt van Leeuwen and dean and Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering, College of Engineering, Prof Tsu-Jae King Liu.

Also present at the signing were Associate Head of Department of Computing and Information Systems, Assoc Prof Dr Lau Sian Lun, Sunway iLabs director Matt van Leeuwen and UC Berkeley Global Engagement director Susan Giesecke.

The agreement marks SCET’s first partnership with a Malaysian university.

According to the Pitchbook Report 2017, an authoritative publication that ranks top universities for entrepreneurs, UC Berkeley has produced 1,089 entrepreneurs and 961 companies since 2006. Collectively, companies started by Berkeley alumni have raised US$17.05bil (RM71.43bil) in funding since then.

“The partnership is an impactful milestone for Sunway University in its aim to develop world-class entrepreneurs who will bolster the sustainable economic development of Malaysia.

“With this partnership, our students and faculty will have access to some of the world’s best knowledge, on-campus resources and unprecedented networking opportunities in the heart of Silicon Valley.

“Our students will have the opportunity to participate in experiential learning courses and workshops, using the latest teaching methods from one of the best universities in the world when it comes to entrepreneurship and technology education ,” said Lee.

Dr Sidhu welcomed Sunway University’s partnership with SCET as it enhances the diversity of thought and opportunities to the school; a catalyst for further innovation.

“Sunway University’s development of a robust entrepreneur development ecosystem – from education programmes to its incubator, Sunway iLabs, to eventual funding by Sunway Ventures and Sun SEA Capital is indeed unique, and we look forward to contributing to their ambition to develop world-class entrepreneurs,” he said.

With the agreement, Sunway University’s faculty and students will be able to collaborate and access SCET’s research projects and training programmes, engage with SCET’s faculty and students as well as participate in SCET events held in the UC Berkeley campus.

Sunway University students and faculty will also be able to learn the innovative Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship.

This is a holistic teaching and learning approach that enables engineers to be more entrepreneurial, developed on a set of behavioural patterns utilising an innovative game-based teaching approach.

Sunway students will have the opportunity to work with Berkeley students on projects and to start companies together.

In addition, Sunway University will have access to a collaboration space in SCET at UC Berkeley to host events, identify new ways to collaborate with UC Berkeley and leverage the resources available in Silicon Valley.

Annually, SCET will sponsor two visiting students, scholars or professors from Sunway University to be based at the high-end collaboration space in SCET at UC Berkeley.

They will be able to engage in knowledge transfer activities and workshops.

The agreement also provides Sunway students with an opportunity to attend a SCET-run three-day entrepreneurship and innovation intensive bootcamp to be held in Sunway University.

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