World-leading academics and standout students from the Australian National University (ANU) recently joined esteemed alumni and friends in Singapore at an ANU Technology and Entrepreneurship Networking event.
Twenty current ANU students had applied for a spot at HEX International Singapore and were able to participate thanks to a generous donation from tech entrepreneur Loong Wang. Mr Wang traces his success to the learning, teaching and ideation he experienced at the School of Computing at ANU, and he shared his personal journey as an entrepreneur at the networking event held at YWCA Fort Canning.
Mr Wang returned to Singapore five years ago after founding his first company while an undergraduate at ANU. He is now the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Talo Labs, which funds, researches and builds therapeutics companies, platforms and in-silico technologies, as well as an affiliated tech start-up QDX.
“Many of the best hires I’ve made have been out of the ANU, so, there’s an indirect benefit when I encourage its innovation ecosystem to grow,” said Mr Wang. ”But more generally, I believe in the growth that can happen in our economy from start-ups and technology. I want to say to students that start-ups are a real path, especially if you’re doing something in deep tech, it’s the path to bringing it into the real world.”
The scholarship covers expenses for up to 25 successful applicants per year. Applictions for the winter 2024 program close on 27 March 2024.
A crash course in start-up culture
HEX International Singapore is a biannual event that hosts aspiring entrepreneurs for a two-week intensive program, solving real-world business problems and iterating start-up ideas. The 20 ANU students were given direct access to mentors, and made connections with investors, accelerators, founders and professionals in the region.
Rosa Soto, a Master of Computing student at ANU, said that the program equipped participants with “a diverse set of skills, both technical and interpersonal”.
“The immersive training, mentorship, and networking opportunities have not only broadened our horizons, but have also empowered us to think outside the box and embrace innovation. I am on the way to start building my prototype,” Ms Soto said.
Professor Tony Hosking, Director of the School of Computing, and Associate Professor Penny Kyburz represented ANU and offered remarks at the event.
The students said they appreciated the scholarships that allowed them to start their entrepreneurial journeys at HEX, as well as the coaching they received on how to bridge the gap between technology and entrepreneurship.
The ANU networking session fostered dynamic conversations between prominent alumni and other industry leaders.
“I enjoyed listening to Loong’s hot takes, especially about simulations,” said Anson Thai, an undergraduate studying computer science at ANU. “It really inspired me to work on my own start-up. I hope to one day learn the secrets to extracting cutting-edge performance from GPUs.”