SoC Entrpreneurship and NUS Enterprise have teamed up to get two fascinating (and famous) start-up speakers to come and give talks on campus, at one of the newest venues for all things start-up.

It promises to be a great talk about the test of failure and how it leads to success.

C’mon, we’re sure you need some time off from your projects and homework assignments (and get some caffeine).  Join us at the Hangar next Monday, 18 Apr 2016 at 18:30!  Do RSVP at so that they can manage the catering.

Kopi Chat is a series of talks for the start-up community, served specially by NUS Enterprise alongside a good fresh brew of local coffee.
In this session of Kopi Chat, Dave McClure and Kamran Elahian will be sharing on the lessons learned from start-up failures. Join us on this series of Kopi Chat.[ Bio of the speakers ]Dave McClure
The founding partner of 500 Startups, a venture capital firm and startup incubator in Silicon Valley founded by PayPal and Google alumni, with over $250M under management; he has been an investor in hundreds of companies around the world such as Viki, and SlideShare, among others.Kamran Elahian
Kamran has co-founded 10 companies, which 3 of them failed, 6 of them produced a total market cap of over $8B. Many of these companies went on to be acquired or IPO for multi-million dollar or billion dollar valuations. Kamran is also a co-founder and Chairman of Global Catalyst Partners with investments in the U.S., Japan, China, India and Israel.

Venue: The Hangar (i3 Building, Level 1. 21 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, Singapore 119613)

Food & Beverages: Served

Courtesy Wikimedia.

We made it in record time!  We are now at almost full capacity for applications to Orbital – we have currently 300 students who’ve filled a registration of interest.  Our staff will be going through all of the applications to Orbital and promoting those registrations of interest into official registrations for the upcoming summer term soon.

Again, all teams who have a least one student who is from SoC (either in a SoC degree programme or minoring in an SoC area (e.g., Computer Science) are automatically eligible for Orbital.

Once we fill the cohort to max capacity (around 350) we will be closing registration to Orbital, due to logistic constraints of the venue (we use I3 Auditorium for Liftoff, and there’s a maximum capacity of about 350 there).

Thank you for your support so far, and we are really excited to see what cool ideas you are going to build from idea to reality in 100 days of summer 2016!

Remember, you can do any type of project related to computing as you wish, but it must result in a product.  These can include relevant projects out of your own interest, something to help you get a better understanding of your programme of study (i.e., merging public datasets from and analysing them for business analytics; securing an existing software project for information security), preparation for a hackathon entry, and also mentor-proposed projects.

Those of you who have yet to find a partner, no worries!  We’ll be conducting an optional meet-up for individual Orbitee registrations in April (we know it’s busy but it will be helpful for you) so that you can meet each other and jointly find a useful project that you might want to do together.

Courtesy: vandycft @ Flickr

The mentorship programme, where student teams also get advisement from other industry professional and senior students, has been recently revamped.  We hope more teams will opt to take on mentorship as a means of getting additional support and encouragement on their projects (or even getting project ideas from their mentors).  The mentorship programme allows both Project Gemini and Apollo 11 teams to get support, in exchange for the commitment to work towards completing Orbital and keeping their mentors informed of their project.

Take a look at the mentorship page for more comprehensive details for both prospective mentors and mentee teams.

Posted on February 29, 2016 by orbital

Registration now open
Dear 2016 Orbitees:

The countdown has begun!  You may now register your interest to join the Orbital programme.  After registering, you’ll be placed on the email list for the summer programme that we will use to keep in contact with you and you’ll be assigned an advisor who will give you more details on the summer course as it progresses.  Just click the link below to register yourself (and a teammate if you already know whom you want to work with).  For instructions in navigating the registration process, watch the You Tube video:

We know you are wondering about some questions, so here are some answers that may help you clear your doubts:

Q1) Is there any obligation by filling out this registration form?
A1) Nope, it just allows us to know who you are and to establish contact with you.  You can decide not to participate in Orbital even after you register, with no risk to yourself.

Q2) After I fill in the registration form, am I “officially” in?
A2) If you are a current Year 1 SoC student, yes!  Congratulations, you’re done!  (Yezzz! High five!)

If you belong to other faculty, are doing a minor, are in a different year than year 1, or external to NUS, you will be placed on a list for vacancies that will be approved from time to time.  Unfortunately, we can’t exactly tell you when you’ll know when you’ll be allowed to join, but we will endeavour to start turning away students once vacancies are filled in short order, so you can make alternative plans.

Q3) Is there a deadline for filling out this registration form?
A3) Yes. You can register as late as the end of Reading Week, the 22 April 2016.  However, the sooner the better for the administrative staff, as we can better estimate the interest from all of you potential first year SoC students.  Since there’s no risk (see Q1), why don’t you register? (hint, hint)

Q4) Is there a briefing to help students learn more about Orbital?
A4) Sure there is.  9 March 2016 1600-1715 at SR1.  See you there (see the previous post!)

* Attendance at the Liftoff workshop on 9-10 May is mandatory, but students who want to participate in Orbital who cannot make the workshop dates need to let Orbital staff know in advance.

Stop the presses!  I’m ready to register!

(or use the top navbar to go to Skylab and click on the login menu, if that doesn’t work for you)

Posted on February 29, 2016 by orbital

Photo credit: Jake Christensen

Next Wednesday afternoon will be the one and only pre-Liftoff briefing about Orbital, for all prospective students.  We hope to get you fired up about the upcoming summer programme and look forward to your questions, concerns and general discussion.

See you!

Edit – The briefing is over.  Did you miss it?  There’s a recording of it now on YouTube.  You can also jump to a particular part of the briefing.

24:44 Details on Mentorship
29:42 Quick overview on Registration
31:13 NOC Introduction by Josephine
40:01 Li Mingyang on NCSV
48:53 Choo Yan Sheng on NCNY

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.  Actually, no.  We have answers and perhaps you have the questions.  Anyways, if you’re wondering about Orbital, please take a look through some of the questions that have surfaced in previous cohorts about the eligibility, time frame, partner matching, levels of achievement and other topics, in the comments (i.e., click the link below the post that shows the number of comments).  You can also ask additional questions here or on our Facebook page.

Do note that registration is not yet open. We plan to open registration after the Chinese New Year break in February. There will be a briefing about Orbital and likely another event to help match prospective partners with each other in a face to face meet-up. We’ll be announcing more details as we go forward through your CS 1010, 1020, 2020, 2010 (and variants) lecturers.

Posted on January 11, 2016 by orbital

Min made a new trailer video for 2016, with key modifications to the dates for Liftoff 2016.  Check it out (it’s in the sticky post at the very top when you visit the Orbital website as well).

Registration for Orbital is not yet open, but if you’ve heard the intro in your classes, or just learned about Orbital, stay tuned for information about the Orbital information briefing and how to register here on this website, or via Facebook or in your respective classes’ IVLE forums.

Do start planning to reserve at least the Monday and Tuesday after exams are open to be able to attend the mandatory Liftoff workshop.

If you have specific queries, please contact Min <>.  We will be setting up an FAQ to handle questions about timeline, eligibility, levels of achievement and other details.

[Summary: Go to to fill in your slot availability if you want to interview for 2016 Orbital staff]

Congratulations again to all of the Orbital 2015 graduates.  It’s now your turn to go beyond Earth orbit and be a part of the team to help the next 2016 Orbital cohort accomplish their project goals.

We are currently starting our recruitment drive for Advisers and Tutors, the two roles that you as Orbital alumni are eminently qualified for

  • Advisers acts as peer assessors and cheerleaders for teams taking
    Orbital — you all had the experience of being under their wing this
    past summer.  Here’s your chance to shine and contribute back to your
  • Tutors act as the primary instructor for a mission control session
    or a Liftoff session.  This means you are in control of teaching a
    particular subject for about an hour.  If you wanted to level up on
    public speaking and technical tutorials, this is your opportunity.
    You don’t have to be an expert to teach — anyone can do it if they’re committed, and you can always answer the tough questions offline.We are going to be holding interviews primarily during recess week and
    the weeks directly after.  If you wish to be interviewed for either / both positions, please visit the Doodle form and sign up for an interview slot and indicate which role(s) you want to try for.Looking forward to hearing from you!

    – Min
    (for Orbital staff)

    – I’m going on NOC, can I participate?
    – I’m planning to take a full-time internship, can I participate?
    – I’m not going to be around SG this coming summer, can I participate?

    The answer to these three questions is all the same: Yes for advisers, please apply.  You may know that some advisers were not local during your cohort as well.  The job can be done entirely remotely from NUS.  That said, applicants who are local and who do physically participate in the activities will generally bond better with their teams (unsurprisingly).

    – How much money can I expect to earn as a staff member?

    The monetary remuneration for doing either job is small, but the
    bragging rights and the additional job you can list on your CV/resume
    will hopefully make it worthwhile (aside from the intrinsic goodness
    of helping your fellow SoCian!).

Photo credits from: Zig Ziglar @ Flickr

Congratulations to all of the 137 Orbitee teams for completing the programme!  You’re the big winners in forming your own projects and navigating through all the summer hazards to finish your projects.  No doubt that you had wanted to call it quits at some point and wanted to have someone to help guide you a bit more closely.  But you persevered, insisted that you would stay the course, and won the battle against yourself.  You realised the only barrier to your progress was yourself and the fuel was your self-ignited passion.  You return from your summer journey changed, more confident of your own abilities and clear about how you can find your path forward in any technical scenario.

Splashdown featured a number of ways that you can take your work in Orbital forward, which both SoC (through our Entrepreneurship division) and the University (NUS Enterprise, especially NUS Overseas Colleges) have paved for you.  Do weigh these opportunities and assess whether they are appropriate for you.

And now for the formal awards:

  • Congratulations to Flying Banana’s Juliana Seng and Renfred Choo for receiving the public’s Best Vostok Project Award, which comes with a trip to the insides of Google SG HQ and an exclusive Google insiders programme to be revealed later!
  • Congratulations to Threemoji’s Yong Yoong Jie John and Sebastian Quek for receiving the public’s Best Project Gemini Award (duking it out with 68 other teams), which comes with a trip to the insides of Google SG HQ and an exclusive Google insiders programme to be revealed later!

And finally …

  • Congratulations to Rocky Chicks’ Lim Ta Eu and Tay Jie Hao for receiving the public’s Best Apollo 11 Award, which comes with a trip to the insides of Google SG HQ and an exclusive Google insiders programme to be revealed later! They’ll be a force to be reckoned with!

Although you are the stars of Orbital (yes, you are!), there’s a whole host of SoC staff, alumni and senior students and groups that make this happen.  This programme does not happen anywhere else in the whole currently, so be proud that you are here in NUS SoC.  Go SoC!

This is our last post from 2015 by the Orbital-Bot so we’ll be seeing you around the school.  Signing off!

– Orbital Staff.

P.S. > If you find yourself wondering how you can contribute back to Orbital, you’ll have a way soon!  We’ll be calling for interviews for 2016 advisors and tutors at the beginning of Sem II, so reserve some time for it in your 2016 summer.  It’s ok if you are overseas and we draw students from all levels of Orbital, so just apply already!