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U of I’s Discovery Partners Institute Will Support the Companies and Students

June 1, 2023 (CHICAGO) —Discovery Partners Institute (DPI), part of the University of Illinois System, today announced a partnership with the National University of Singapore, which will see two NUS programs open in its Chicago offices.

Founded in 1905, NUS is Asia’s top university, and ranked 11th in the 2023 QS World Rankings. Under a memorandum of understanding signed today at DPI, NUS will launch its global entrepreneurship program, the NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC), in Chicago in 2024.

More than 4,000 students have embarked on the NOC program, launching close to 1,000 startups of their own. Startups across the world have also benefited from top talent from Singapore, as undergraduates work full-time building and scaling startups.

While in Chicago, NUS students will also take courses in innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Besides NOC, NUS also plans to establish its startup incubator BLOCK71 in Chicago. This will be its second North American location after San Francisco, and support NUS startups, entrepreneurs, and alumni that are interested in exploring the U.S. market.

“The only way to compete globally is to partner globally,” said University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen, who sits on the board of trustees of NUS. “When we created the Discovery Partners Institute, we put ‘partners’ in the name for this very reason, and today’s events prove we are living up to that promise to be an innovative partner and global leader.”

“NUS is delighted to partner the University of Illinois System and DPI to launch our presence in the Midwest,” said NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye. “Chicago has a terrific reputation for producing financial, agricultural and transport unicorns. NUS students, and the Asian startup ecosystem, will now get a chance to collaborate with the amazing talent and personalities here. The city is an economic powerhouse, rich in culture and diversity, which promises our students and companies an enriching and fruitful experience.”

“In order to win, most startups need to be close to their customers,” said DPI Executive Director Bill Jackson. “This opens up new markets for NUS startups and supports our plans to create a truly global hub in our new headquarters on The 78.”