Mapletree Brings Challenge to Budding Entrepreneurs at SIT

More than 300 SIT students benefit from Mapletree’s support for The Mapletree Challenge; Grand Finals to be held on 2 May 2019.

Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd is pleased to announce the launch of The Mapletree Challenge with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) by providing a funding of $200,000. The Challenge aims to help SIT students refine their job interview and presentation skills, as well as provide budding entrepreneurs with a test-bed to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas.    

The Mapletree Challenge comprises Job Interview & Presentation Masterclasses, the Mapletree Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum, as well as Mentoring Masterclasses. The Challenge will culminate in The Grand Final on 2 May 2019 where participants will share their ideas for sustainable innovations. The first component, namely the Job Interview & Presentation Masterclasses, kicked off on 31 October 2018, and since then six masterclasses have been completed.

“Our partnership with SIT started in 2014, through an endowed bursary. Our support for The Mapletree Challenge is in line with our education initiative – one of the four key pillars of our Corporate Social Responsibility framework. It is our hope that more students will benefit from the workshops offered, and take up the challenge to think of a business idea that would make a difference in today’s world through sustainable innovations,” said Mr Edmund Cheng, Mapletree’s Chairman.

The second component of The Mapletree Challenge – The Mapletree Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum took place on 20 March 2019. Over 180 participants attended the Forum to hear from a distinguished panel on their perspectives regarding entrepreneurship and sustainable solutions for today’s world.  

The leading industry practitioners who formed the panel were:

  • Mr Shamir Rahim, Founder & CEO of VersaFleet
  • Mr Zach Wilson, Managing Director of AlfaTech and DVUCA in Singapore
  • Ms Nancy Ling, Director and Co-Founder of ECO U PTE LTD and
  • Mr Eugene Wong, Founder and Managing Director of Sirius Venture Capital

Speaking at the Forum were (from L-R): Mr Shamir Rahim, Mr Zach Wilson, Ms Nancy Ling, Mr Eugene Wong and Mr Victor Cole (moderator), Assistant Professor, Centre for Communication Skills, SIT.


They discussed a wide range of issues, including emerging trends for sustainable innovations in their respective industries, persuading clients, creating conditions for innovation, and also shared their journeys as entrepreneurs.

Said Mr Aloysius Teo, a second-year Criminology and Security student who attended the forum, “I learned that failure is mandatory, before one can achieve success. In entrepreneurship, there may not be an original idea that lasts forever. One must keep evolving to remain ahead of the competition. He added, “The forum was helpful as it showed that despite everyone coming from different industries, there are core traits, characteristics and attitudes that one must have if one wants to be an entrepreneur.”

Ms Tham Kah Mum is a second-year Hospitality Business student who helped organise the forum, together with her peers and with guidance from SIT Faculty. She said, “The planning and execution of the forum was an eye-opener. The whole planning process allowed us to work with various departments of the school and understand the processes involved to make the event happen. Being precise, innovative and efficient are the few things that we needed during the process and execution. The team felt very contented after the execution of the successful event. I am very thankful for this opportunity and I really appreciate Mapletree’s generous support, as well as guidance from SIT Faculty and Staff.”

In the third component, the Mapletree Challenge Semi-Finals, 12 project teams were shortlisted from 24 submissions. In a Shark Tank like competition, each of the 12 pitched their innovation ideas to a panel of judges. Six teams made the final cut. These will now be mentored by industry experts in preparation for the Mapletree Challenge Grand Final on 2 May 2019, to be held at Mapletree Business City.

(From L-R): Mapletree Bursary recipients, Ms Chua Rui Zhe Rachel, Mr Lim Wen Bin and Mr Teo Tong Yew Aloysius (second from extreme right) gathered for a picture with Ms Heng Yeow Khing, Mapletree CSR Board Committee Member, Mr Edmund Cheng, Chairman of Mapletree, Prof Tan Thiam Soon, President, SIT, and Mr Wan Kwong Weng (extreme right), Group Chief Corporate Officer, Mapletree Investments, at the Mapletree Entrepreneurship and Innovation Forum on 20 March 2019.

Mr Wan Kwong Weng (left), Mapletree’s Group Chief Corporate Officer, receiving a token of appreciation from Prof Tan Thiam Soon, President, SIT.



The Mapletree Challenge in its entirety comprises the following components:

  • Job Interview & Presentation Masterclasses (October 2018 to February 2019): focus on helping students refine job interview skills and personal brand, with the workshops directed by leading corporate trainers.
  • The Mapletree Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (20 March 2019): panel discussion focused on entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • The Mapletree Challenge Semi-Finals (3 April): innovation pitch competition among 12 teams vying for a spot among the top six teams moving to the Grand Final.
  • Mentoring Masterclasses: individual coaching sessions on entrepreneurship and innovation for the six 'Challenger' teams, honing their entrepreneurial ideas, persuasive pitching and presentation skills
  • The Grand Final (2 May 2019): the six selected 'Challengers' make the final pitch of their innovative, practical and marketable plan to a panel of distinguished judges in a 10 to 15-minute live presentation. Teams will compete for The Mapletree Gold, The Mapletree Silver, or The Mapletree Bronze awards, cash prizes of up to $5000, and the opportunity to have their innovation ideas supported for prototyping.