MIT faculty and others associated with the Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP) gathered at Singaporean President Tony Tan’s official residence, Istana, on Tuesday for a dinner hosted by Tan ahead of a three-day REAP workshop.
The dinner was sponsored by Infocomm Development Agency of Singapore and Infocomm Investments.
During the dinner, Tan thanked the MIT faculty for bringing their workshop to Singapore, and advised the audience that REAP would help shape his state’s efforts to build an innovation-driven entrepreneurial economy.
REAP, which recently entered its third year, is a program created by the MIT Sloan School of Management to promote economic development and job creation in regions around the world. REAP helps member teams design and implement strategies to build robust innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Each partner region is composed of a diverse team of stakeholders, including representatives from government, corporations, universities, and representatives of the risk capital and entrepreneurship sectors. Participating regions in the current cohort include Singapore, Morocco, London, Qatar, Moscow, Puerto Rico, Seoul, and Valencia, Spain.
“Regions around the world aspire to become the ‘next’ Silicon Valley, but few realize they should play to their own region’s strengths, and fewer know how to get there,” says Fiona Murray, the Bill Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT, associate dean for innovation at MIT Sloan, and co-director of the MIT Innovation Initiative. “REAP provides real-world solutions for participating regions to develop the building blocks necessary to create an economic ecosystem that is attractive to high-growth startups. By having the opportunity to collaborate with MIT and with similar regions around the world, participants are able to get a systematic view into how they can create an environment that boosts economic and social progress.”
At the REAP workshop in Singapore, regional teams will focus on strategies, action plans, and their implementation. During the workshop, MIT faculty and experts will also work to catalyze partnerships among regions to develop unified action plans that implement new initiatives. In an effort to boost “innovation diplomacy,” REAP encourages teams to collaborate with regions globally to share and learn from experiments that driven innovation.
“Singapore is clearly a burgeoning hub of innovation, and we are delighted to be hosting our MIT workshop here,” Murray says. “By participating in REAP, Team Singapore is helping its state take the next steps to becoming a global powerhouse for technological development that soon other regions will look to as an example.”
Extending its expertise outside Cambridge, REAP is an effort to deliver MIT Sloan research to participants around the world. Through participation from regions like Singapore and others in the current and previous REAP cohorts, MIT Sloan and its program in executive education are able to improve the economic standing of regions by taking an integrated, evidence-based approach to professional development.