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Toronto-Singapore IEH

  • In September 2018, the National University of Singapore and the University of Toronto launched the Toronto-Singapore International Entrepreneurship Highway (IEH) initiative. This was facilitated by the Governments of Singapore and Canada with support from industry in both countries.

    The goals of the Toronto-Singapore IEH initiative are:

    • Mentor aspiring entrepreneurs/entrepreneurially-curious students by placing them in fulltime start-ups for internships (up to 12 months) in leading innovation ecosystems in North America and Asia.
    • Facilitate and mentor graduate students and other members of the University research communities to launch deep-tech start-ups by leveraging the strengths of each other’s ecosystems.
    • Facilitate access to the North American and Asia-Pacific regions and the B2C, B2B, and talent recruitment opportunities they offer to start-ups from Canada and Southeast Asia

    This IEH initiative builds on the many shared and complementary strengths of U of T and NUS.

    • U of T and NUS are world class, research intensive, public universities
    • Both have a long history of entrepreneurship and have developed unique programming to mentor entrepreneurs with a global mindset
    • The two institutions enjoy a robust partnership which is underpinned by the mobility of talent 
    • Both act as anchor institutions in their respective local and national ecosystems for training highly qualified personnel and fostering discoveries that create new industries and business opportunities

    This institutional partnership is reinforced by the many ties and complementary strengths shared between Canada and Singapore.

    • Both have a commitment to openness,  a multicultural population, and act as gateways to major markets and  other innovation & entrepreneurship hubs in the region and beyond
    • There are over 16,000 Canadian graduates in Singapore, which includes the likes of U of T alumni Dr. Philip YEO who was instrumental in transforming Singapore into a global scientific powerhouse
    • There is a growing cooperation between Canada and Singapore through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, ASEAN, and the Canadian Technology Accelerator in Singapore. Many leading Canadian financial services institutions and around 150 Canadian firms operate in Singapore
  • The National University of Singapore is one of the world’s leading Universities as reflected every year in various prestigious higher education rankings.  

    Since 2001, the NUS Overseas College (NOC) has successfully placed aspiring entrepreneurs/entrepreneurially-curious undergraduate and graduate students in start-up internships in several regions, including Tel Aviv, Silicon Valley, Shenzhen, and Munich in collaboration with leading universities in those ecosystems.

    NUS students, selected through a highly rigorous and competitive process, have interned in start-ups of all stages in diverse sectors performing a range of roles from product development to marketing and sales.

    Between 2001 and 2018:

    • Over 3,000 NUS students have been mentored globally through 6-12 month fulltime start-up internships.
    • NUS NOC alumni have founded 665 technology-based businesses:
      • 335 are still in operation, 287 are based in Singapore and the remainder are based in Silicon Valley, China and Europe 
      • Many of the founders continue to lead their companies
      • One in 10 are employed fulltime outside of Singapore

    For Toronto region employers who are interested in hiring NUS students:

    Since September 2018, NUS has successfully placed dozens of students annually in paid, fulltime, year-long start-up internships in the Greater Toronto Area.

    NUS Students are available for one-year paid internships in the Toronto region

    NUS’ fulltime Programme Director Harpreet Singh, who is based in Toronto, facilitates the matching of NUS talent with each company’s needs. NUS will take care of the following for NUS students with confirmed internships in Toronto:  

    • Arranging airfare and accommodations
    • LMIA, visa/permits and tax advice for the students   
    • Organizing interviews with employers
    • Providing guidance to students to ensure students fulfill employer and program expectations throughout the course of the internship

    Potential employers can range from start-ups and other entrepreneurship ecosystem players like VCs to teams within larger companies disrupting or working to disrupt an industry.

    Read testimonials from North American employers who have hired NUS interns.

    Contact Harpreet Singh

  • The University of Toronto is one of the world’s leading Universities as reflected every year in various prestigious higher education rankings. Each year, thousands of students from a various disciplines and levels of study participate in work placements with wide a range of companies and in a diversity of roles in Canada and overseas.

    U of T students are attracted by:

    • An opportunity to apply their education to industry challenges and professional development opportunities
    • Living and working in a culturally and economically dynamic setting
    • A competitive salary/stipend that is commensurate with the local cost of living and industry standards

    Employers are attracted by:

    • An opportunity to hire some of the brightest and dedicated students in the world
    • An internal selection process that is rigorous and highly competitive
    • The cultural diversity, fluency and adaptability of our students who come from 157 countries and regions
    • The diversity of talent and skills at U of T, which offers over 700 programs at the undergraduate level and over 300 programs at the graduate level
    • The entrepreneurial spirit of our students as evidenced through our alumni:
      • 1 in 4 have founded at least 1 company
      • Founded 197,000 ventures globally
      • These ventures generate $368 billion in annual revenues and have created 3.7 million jobs

    For U of T students interested in internships in Singapore:

    There are two cohorts offered each year. Learn more about the NUS Internship Program.

    For Singapore employers interested in hiring U of T students:

    Please contact Tun Leng Lee, Programme Director at the National University of Singapore  who facilitates matchmaking of U of T talent with companies in Singapore.

    U of T students are authorized to work in Singapore and the National University of Singapore will secure work authorization for the U of T students.

    U of T, NUS and U of T students will be responsible for accommodation, flights and health insurance.

    Potential employers can range from start-ups and other entrepreneurship ecosystem players to teams in larger companies disrupting/working to disrupt an industry.