History

BLOCK71 is an initiative by NUS Enterprise in collaborative and strategic partnerships with established corporates and government agencies. It is a technology-focused ecosystem builder and global connector which catalyses and aggregates the start-up community. In Singapore, we spearhead new initiatives and provide mentorship and growth opportunities in key local, regional and global markets.

Here’s our origin story: Abbreviations and acronyms. Most countries have theirs, but few can match Singapore’s love for the alphabet soup. “Blk71” - short for the address of this very building and pronounced as such - owes its name and Singapore identity to this predilection. 

Established in early 1970s as part of the Ayer Rajah industrial estate, Blk71 is one of the oldest industrial buildings in Singapore serving the light manufacturing industry. By 2010, Blk71, together with a few blocks within this industrial estate was slated for demolition to make way for re-development.

However, in 2011, NUS Enterprise, SingTel Innov8 and the Media Development Authority of Singapore collaborated to turn Blk71 into a start-up hub. The intention was to pull together the technology start-up cluster, which was previously dispersed around Singapore, to one common location, for increased synergy and economies of scale. With this development, Blk71 rapidly transformed from an old, deserted industrial estate into a thriving start-up hub.

With the intention to consolidate the previously dispersed entrepreneurial community in Singapore, the three parties set about retrofitting the dilapidated building with new amenities and technology infrastructure, and worked hard to pull together fellow entrepreneurs in the information & computer technology as well as interactive digital media areas.

BLOCK71 Singapore, managed by NUS Enterprise, was thus set up as the heart of Blk71, to spearhead and catalyse activities.

Blk71 has quickly become a beacon for the community and is now home to hundreds of tech-related start-ups, venture capitalists and incubators occupying its seven storeys. In recognition of the success of Blk71, the Singapore government has since expanded the programme, rebuilding Blk73 and renovating the space in Blk79 to house more start-ups and entrepreneurs to develop this entrepreneur enclave.

Founding Partners

  • NUS

    NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), plays a pivotal role in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at NUS and beyond. It actively promotes entrepreneurship and cultivates global mind-sets and talents through the synergies of experiential entrepreneurial education, active industry partnerships, holistic entrepreneurship support and catalytic entrepreneurship outreach. Its initiatives and global connections support a range of entrepreneurial journeys and foster ecosystem building in new markets. These initiatives augment and complement the University’s academic programmes and act as a unique bridge to industry well beyond Singapore’s shores.

    For more information, please visit www.enterprise.nus.edu.sg

  • NUS

    SingTel Innov8 (Innov8), a wholy-owned subsidiary of the SingTle Group, is a corporate venture capital fund. It has a fund size of US$250 million, with presence in Singapore, Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and other markets. Innov8 focuses its investments on technologies and solutions that lead to quantum changes in network capabilities, next-generation devices, digital content services and enablers to enhance customer experience.

Key Partners

Beyond Singapore

In every instance and location, BLOCK71 embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship, collaboration and partnership by optimising the unique experience of each entity, the research capabilities and technologies of the university, and the investment and business acumen of the partners, to support entrepreneurial journeys within the local geography and beyond.

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