Startup Stories: Deep Tech Daredevils | SGInnovate
July 30 2019


32 Carpenter Street
Singapore 059911


NIL - $0

Event Recording

Startup Stories: Deep Tech Daredevils

Presented by SGInnovate
Partnered with e2i

Over the past few decades, we have witnessed the rise of the entrepreneurial scientist, who develops technologies based on novel scientific discoveries. However, we do not know enough about what makes entrepreneurial scientists in Singapore tick. Seeking to fill that knowledge gap, an SGInnovate Insights report, Deep Tech Daredevils: The Rise of Entrepreneurial Scientists in Singapore, has been produced. Our event on the same topic will examine the characteristics of these entrepreneurial scientists, their motivations, and their unique paths to entrepreneurship, including the specific opportunities and challenges they see in Singapore today. 

Date: 30 July 2019
Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Venue: 32 Carpenter Street, Singapore 059911

5:00pm – 5:30pm: Registration and Networking
5:30pm – 6:30pm: Panel Discussion and Q&A
6:30pm – 7:00pm: Networking 


  • Prof. Dean Ho, Provost’s Chair Professor and Director, The N.1 Institute for Health (N.1) Institute, National University of Singapore
  • Dr. Benjamin Tee, President’s Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering Department, National University of Singapore
  • Steve Leonard, Founding CEO, SGInnovate


  • Dr. Juliana Chan, Editor-in-Chief, Asian Scientist Magazine

Speakers’ Profiles:
Prof. Dean Ho, Provost’s Chair Professor and Director, The N.1 Institute for Health (N.1) Institute, National University of Singapore

Prof. Dean Ho is Provost’s Chair Professor and Director of the The N.1 Institute for Health (N.1) Institute at the National University of Singapore. The N.1 Institute for Health (N.1) unites bold engineers, scientists and clinicians to develop interventional, practice-changing technologies for N-of-1 medicine, making truly personalised healthcare accessible for all. The N.1 pipeline is comprised of nearly 10 cleared/imminent interventional clinical trials.
Using his CURATE.AI platform, Prof. Ho has led multiple pioneering clinical studies that have validated the promise of N-of-1 medicine, where only a patient’s own data is used to personalise their treatment for the entire duration of care. Multiple CURATE.AI-based clinical studies are ongoing or cleared for start in the areas of solid cancer and blood cancer therapy, digital therapeutics/personalised learning, and post-organ transplant immunosuppression, among others. His team is also currently developing AID.One, a powerful digital health platform that will markedly improve therapeutic efficacy and safety for a broad spectrum of indications across the globe.
Prof. Ho was recently elected to the US National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Election to the NAI is the highest professional honor for academic inventors. He is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening, as well as a Fulbright Scholar. He is also a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Research Award, and V Foundation for Cancer Research Scholar Award, among others. Prof. Ho has appeared on the National Geographic Channel Program “Known Universe” to discuss his discoveries in drug delivery and imaging. His discoveries have been featured on CNN, The Economist, Forbes, Washington Post, NPR and other international news outlets. He has served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS), with more than 26,000 members in the global drug development organisation comprising of senior executives from the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors, as well as academic thought leaders. 
Harnessing AI to realise globally optimised therapies cheaper and faster to boost patient accessibility, Prof. Ho co-founded KYAN Therapeutics, a revenue and clinical stage biotechnology company. Backed by some of the world’s leading healthcare visionaries, KYAN has already shattered the concept of traditional drug development, with a large portion of its pipeline as well as its foundational technologies already clinically validated. KYAN’s AI platform was recently harnessed to develop a novel infectious disease drug combination that cut patient treatment times in half with orders-of-magnitude reductions in development costs. Prof. Ho has also advised multiple venture capital funds as well as publicly traded health and technology companies in the areas of AI, digital medicine, and nanomedicine, among others.

Dr. Benjamin Tee, President’s Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering Department, National University of Singapore

Dr. Benjamin C.K. Tee is appointed President’s Assistant Professor in Materials Science and Engineering Department at the National University of Singapore, where he leads the Sensor.AI Labs. He was awarded the prestigious NRF Fellowship in 2017. He obtained his doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and applied a needs-driven R&D approach as a Stanford Biodesign Global Innovation Fellow in 2014. He has developed and patented several award-winning electronic skin sensor technologies. He is an MIT TR35 Innovator (Global) in 2015 and Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) Fellow. His research group aims to develop technologies at the intersection of materials science, mechanics, electronics and biology, with a focus on sensitive electronic skins that has tremendous potential to advance global healthcare technologies in an increasingly Artificial Intelligence era.

Steve Leonard, Founding CEO, SGInnovate

Mr Steve Leonard is a technology-industry leader with a wide range of experience, having played key roles in building several global companies in areas such as Software, Hardware and Services. Although born in the US, Mr Leonard considers himself a member of the larger global community, having lived and worked outside the US for more than 25 years.
In his current role as the Founding Chief Executive Officer of SGInnovate – a private limited company wholly owned by the Singapore Government – Mr Leonard has been chartered to lead an organisation that builds ‘deep-tech’ companies. Capitalising on the science and technology research for which Singapore has gained a global reputation, Mr Leonard’s team works with local and international partners, including universities, venture capitalists, and major corporations to help technical founders imagine, start and scale globally-relevant early stage technology companies from Singapore.
Prior to his role as the CEO of SGInnovate, Mr Leonard served three years as the Executive Deputy Chairman of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), a government statutory board under the purview of Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information. In that role, he had executive responsibility at the national level for various aspects of the information technology and telecommunications industries in Singapore.
Mr Leonard serves on the advisory boards of a range of universities and organisations in Singapore. Mr Leonard also serves as an Independent Non-Executive Director at Singapore Post Ltd (SingPost), a global leader in e-commerce logistics; and AsiaSat, a Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed commercial operator of communication spacecraft.

Moderator’s Profile:
Dr. Juliana Chan, Editor-in-Chief, Asian Scientist Magazine

Dr. Juliana Chan is the founder and CEO of Wildtype Media Group, Asia’s leading STEM-focused media company, spanning digital, print, custom publishing and events. She received a BA degree in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD degree in biology from MIT. Her awards include the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science National Fellowship, the 2013 Singapore Youth Award, the 2014 MIT Technology Review's 10 Innovators Under 35 (Asia) and the 2017 ACS Nano Fellowship. Juliana's research into drug delivery and nanomedicine has been featured by BBC, MIT Technology Review and South China Morning Post, and she is an inventor on four patents, one of which has been licensed for commercialisation by Pfizer. Juliana is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, and she serves on the WEF Technology Pioneers Selection Committee.

Topics: AI / Machine Learning / Deep Learning, Startup and Corporate Open Innovation