David Toh is Director and Chief Technology Officer at NTUitive, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore responsible for commercialising the university’s scientific research and incubating startups. Prior his current role at NTUitive, David spent 20 years in the finance industry at ING Barings, Lehman Brothers and DBS Asset Management as a leading technology sector analyst and fund manager. Before joining the finance industry, David worked as a process engineer in the semiconductor industry. David is also a member of the Singapore Stock Exchange Listings Advisory Committee, and holds directorships on fintech startup BankerBay and SGX-listed iFast Corp. David graduated with a B.Sc. in Materials Science & Engineering and a B.A. in Government and Asian Studies from Cornell University in 1991.
While the Singapore economy is blessed by a highly educated population, world class institutions of higher learning, and strong consistent government support, the domestic innovation ecosystem has not been without its own set of challenges. While Singapore ranks highly in terms of efforts made to improve the domestic innovation ecosystem, outcomes have still lagged the international peer group. In David’s opinion, specific shortcomings in entrepreneurship culture, local education system, and the availability of long term capital are mitigating factors in the innovation ecosystem.
David’s presentation gives a perspective from an institution of higher learning, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). As Chief Technology Officer of NTUitive, the whole owned technology commercialisation and enterprise office of NTU, David provides insights into specific programs initiated by NTUitive to address some of the unique constraints prevailing in the Singapore innovation ecosystem.