Course Title


Course Code


Offered Study Year 3, Semester 2
Course Coordinator Hong Yan (Dr) +65 69047232
Pre-requisites None
AU 3
Contact hours Lectures: 23, Tutorials: 16
Approved for delivery from AY 2018/19 semester 1
Last revised 31 Jul 2019, 11:19

Course Aims

Singapore is an exciting place for Bioentrepreneurship. The bioindustry is an area where many activities are taking place and where opportunities abound. The huge amount of resources pumped into life sciences is building a new pillar for our country’s economy and a strong indication of the tremendous opportunity in this field. In this course, we will not only teach you the basics of Bioentrepreneurship but also impart the spirit and essence of it. Under the guidance of the lecturers rich with business experience, you will work with team members to create a new venture for new/improved products/services and add value for yourself, investors and society. The knowledge and experience you gain from the course will help your starting up a business, career progression in bioindustry and becoming a better inventor, fundraiser and investor.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Describe the essential elements of Bioentrepreneurship including management, financing, regulatory- and quality issues, marketing and intellectual property (IP) rights
  2. Identify the challenges of being a Bioentrepreneur
  3. Describe the current status of the bioindustry globally as well as locally in Singapore
  4. Conduct business sector analysis
  5. Produce a detailed business plan
  6. Present your business plan to potential investors such as business angels
  7. Work effectively as a team in pursuing your business plan

Course Content

What is Bioentrepreneurship?

Overview of the global bio-industry and case studies of a few bio-business sectors

Bio-business intellectual property rights

Bio-business leadership and organization

Objectives and structure of a business plan

Marketing for bio-business

Accounting basics and entrepreneurial financing

The Singapore landscape in bio-science

Regulation and quality control for bio-products

Start-up a bio-business and exit strategies


Component Course ILOs tested SBS Graduate Attributes tested Weighting Team / Individual Assessment Rubrics
Continuous Assessment
Participation and in-class quiz 1, 2, 3 4. b
5. b, c
6. d
15 individual See Appendix for rubric
Technology-enhanced Learning
Business plan presentation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 4. b
5. b, c
6. d
25 both See Appendix for rubric
Interview of a bio-entrepreneur and business sector analysis 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 3. g
4. b
5. b, c
20 both See Appendix for rubric
Business Plan 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 3. g
4. a, b
5. b, c
6. d
40 both See Appendix for rubric
Total 100%

These are the relevant SBS Graduate Attributes.

3. Develop and communicate biological ideas and concepts relevant in everyday life for the benefit of society

g. Demonstrate an understanding of the history of ideas and development of the major fields of biology

4. Acquire transferable and entrepreneurial skills for career development

a. Demonstrate innovative approaches to solving problems in biological science, leading to new approaches or techniques

b. Demonstrate a flair for developing new technologies, attracting funding, marketing products and respecting IP rights

5. Develop communication, creative and critical thinking skills for life-long learning

b. Learn collaboratively and be willing to share expertise with peers

c. Demonstrate critical thinking skills such as analysis, discrimination, logical reasoning, prediction and transforming knowledge

6. Develop codes of social responsibility and scientific ethics, particularly in relation to biological advancement and applications

d. Respect requirements regarding confidentiality, data protection, conflict of interest, and falsification of data

Formative Feedback

You will be given the following feedbacks and supports throughout the course:

1. You will receive continuous oral feedback throughout lectures and tutorials both individually and group-wise. Specific questions and discussion points will be raised to encourage your active participation. Active class participation and performance for in-class quizzes will lead to good class participating score (15 %).
2. After lecture/tutorial, the lecturers will be available at fixed time slots and venues for teaching content consultation as well as business plan mentoring. You will get more personalized and project-specific feedback from these sessions.
3. Feedback and support will be given to you through digital communication like NTULearn and e-mail. This covers all ILOs. If such communication has general value, it will be shared with the class.
4. Feedback will be given to you (individually and group-wise) during your presentation of one bio-entrepreneur and business sector analysis.
5. In-depth comprehensive feedbacks will be given to you individually and groupwise during your business plan presentations. A panel of judges/potential investors will give their comments/critiques and suggestions to your business plan. This exercise simulates a real-life situation when entrepreneurs present their ideas and business plans to attract partnership and investment.

Learning and Teaching Approach

(23 hours)

The basics of bio-entrepreneurship will be taught through lectures structured to cover all business plan components. They will be delivered with a lot of interactive teaching elements including videos, surveys, animations, case studies and quizzes. Your lecture attendance will be recorded.

(16 hours)

The 1-hour tutorial session after each class is for intensive interaction between lecturers and students to review lecture contents and apply them to your business planning. Questions or mini-projects may be assigned to your group and you will present your research results/opinions to the class. Lecturers will make their comments and suggestions.

Reading and References

1. Shimasaki, C. D. (2014). Biotechnology entrepreneurship : starting, managing, and leading biotech companies, Oxford : Academic Press
2. Patzelt, H. and T. Brenner (2008). Handbook of bioentrepreneurship, New York ; London : Springer
3. Teng, P. (2008). Bioscience Entrepreneurship in Asia: Creating Value with Biology Singapore, World Scientific Publishing Company.
4. Leach, J. C. and R. W. Melicher (2018). Entrepreneurial finance, Australia ; Singapore : Cengage Learning, 6th edition.

Course Policies and Student Responsibilities

This course is heavy on interactive learning, group working and presentation. Unlike many other courses, there is no sitting-in written examination. Attendance of lecture and tutorial is compulsory: you need to meet a minimum 75% attendance rate in order to pass the course.

Academic Integrity

Good academic work depends on honesty and ethical behaviour. The quality of your work as a student relies on adhering to the principles of academic integrity and to the NTU Honour Code, a set of values shared by the whole university community. Truth, Trust and Justice are at the core of NTU’s shared values.

As a student, it is important that you recognize your responsibilities in understanding and applying the principles of academic integrity in all the work you do at NTU. Not knowing what is involved in maintaining academic integrity does not excuse academic dishonesty. You need to actively equip yourself with strategies to avoid all forms of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, academic fraud, collusion and cheating. If you are uncertain of the definitions of any of these terms, you should go to the Academic Integrity website for more information. Consult your instructor(s) if you need any clarification about the requirements of academic integrity in the course.

Course Instructors

Instructor Office Location Phone Email
Hong Yan (Dr) SBS-02s-88g +65 69047232

Planned Weekly Schedule

Week Topic Course ILO Readings/ Activities

Course introduction and overview of bio-entrepreneurship and business planning

1, 2, 3, 7

Lecture, tutorial


Bio-business organization and structure, case studies of a few bio-business sectors

1, 2, 3, 5, 7

Lecture, tutorial


Intellectual property rights for bio-business

1, 2, 3, 5, 7

Lecture, tutorial


Regulation and quality control for bio-business

1, 2, 3, 5, 7

Lecture, tutorial


Marketing basics

1, 2, 3, 5, 7

Lecture, tutorial


Marketing strategies for bio-products

1, 2, 3, 5, 7

Lecture, Tutorial


Group presentation of a bio-entrepreneur and relevant business sector analysis

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7



Accounting basics

1, 3, 5, 7

Lecture, Tutorial


Financial projection for business plan

1, 3, 5, 7

Lecture, Tutorial


Singapore landscape in bio-science and bio-business

1, 2, 3, 5, 7

Lecture, Tutorial


Business law basics, bio-business case studies

1, 2, 3, 5, 7

Lecture, Tutorial


Presentation of business plan - Group A

1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7



Presentation of business plan - Group B

1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7


Appendix 1: Assessment Rubrics

Rubric for Lectures: Participation and in-class quiz (15%)

Class attendance beyond the minimum attendance rate will be rewarded, up to 5 marks for perfect attendance. Performance for in-class quizzes will give you a maximum score of 10 marks

Rubric for Technology-enhanced Learning: Business plan presentation (25%)

Each group member will take a role in the business plan presentation. Student score will have two components: overall group performance and individual adjustment. The individual adjustment will depend on panel score and peer review. 

Score criteria are:

1) Language use and appearance, engagement and enthusiasm and quality of slides: 7 marks

2) Organization and preparation: 6 marks

3) Content: 6 marks

4) Performance in Q&A: 6 marks

Rubric for Technology-enhanced Learning: Interview of a bio-entrepreneur and business sector analysis (20%)

Each team selects a local bio-entrepreneur and his/her venture and conduct an interview and a business sector analysis before presentation to the class. The individual score will have two components: group overall performance and individual adjustment (based on panel recommendation and peer review). Score criteria: -How was the bio-entrepreneur was made, analysis of push and pull factors: 5 marks-Competitive advantages and business strategies: 5 marks -Business sector analysis: 5 marks-Q&A performance: 5 marks

Rubric for Technology-enhanced Learning: Business Plan (40%)

Each group will submit one written business plan based on a bio-business idea chosen by the team. You are required to rationalize your business idea and elaborate on how you will develop it into a growing business that is attractive for investor funding. It should include all the key components including but not limited to the executive summary, business purpose/objectives, IP and regulatory analysis, marking strategy and financial projection. The business plan should have fewer than 4,000 words excluding appendices, cover page and references.

Score criteria for your business plan are:

-Business idea competitive advantage USP and CSF: 3 marks

-Executive summary: 4 marks

-Purpose and objectives: 3 marks

-Organization and structure: 3 marks

-Market analysis: 4 marks

-Intellectual property rights: 4 marks

-Quality management and regulation: 3 marks

-SWOT analysis: 3 marks

-Financial projections like profit and loss, balance sheet and breakeven analysis: 4 marks

-Conclusions: 3 marks

-Mechanics, language: 3 marks

-Use of graphics, figure and tables: 3 marks

Personal performance may vary based on "declaration of contribution" and peer feedback.

Appendix 2: Intended Affective Outcomes

As a result of this course, it is expected you will develop the following "big picture" attributes:

Openness to more options in future career

Entrepreneurial mind-set

Innovation and creative thinking