Esco Ventures Fellowship (Morphosis III) – Call for Applicants is now OPEN

Esco Ventures X, Singapore

Esco Ventures is the corporate venture and life science investment arm of Esco Group and is one of the few life science Venture Capital firms in Singapore.


Esco Ventures X is our venture (new company) creation platform, and has launched 3 Singapore-based biotech companies, with more therapeutics (drug discovery / development) companies in the works.


To further enhance our venture creation portfolio, Esco Ventures X launched the Morphosis Program in 2018, designed for the brightest scientific and budding entrepreneurial minds to embark on biotech venture creation in a VC environment. This full-time program is in 2 phases: in Phase 1 (6 months), Fellows will participate in generating novel venture hypotheses and working closely alongside academic experts and experienced investment professionals in a highly creative and collaborative environment. At the end of Phase 1, the venture hypotheses will be evaluated and selected projects will be incubated by Esco Ventures X over a period of a year, with the selected Fellow(s) embarking on Phase 2 of the program to lead the R&D towards achieving POC. Funding of up to SGD500,000 will be awarded for each selected project. Projects that meet the POC milestones will be incorporated as a new biotech company.



  1. PhD in life sciences disciplines, with insights and expertise in a particular field of biology such as immunology, cell and molecular biology, genetics, microbiology etc.

  2. Highly inventive and analytical thinker

  3. Excellent communication skills

  4. Passionate about value creation through innovative science and improving patients’ lives with disruptive technologies

  5. Applicants of all nationalities are welcomed.


Program structure (Phase 1, 6 months)


  1. Week 1-4

    1. Orientation

    2. Understanding the critical aspects of bio-entrepreneurship through participating in training sessions hosted by industry experts, covering topics that include:

      1. Identifying platform technologies that address unmet medical needs

      2. Target identification and drug discovery

      3. Preclinical and clinical development essentials

      4. Regulatory path to IND

      5. IP-related knowledge

      6. VC investment criteria

      7. Reimbursement/healthcare economics

    3. Identify and present unmet medical/technological needs under the guidance of mentors


  1. Week 5-20

    1. Creative brainstorming to generate novel venture hypotheses to address unmet needs

    2. Extensive scouting to identify academic expertise/platform technologies that provide scientific support for these hypotheses

    3. Literature search on feasibility and assessment of background IP

    4. Internally pressure-test the venture hypotheses with mentors

    5. External pressure testing of venture hypotheses to iterate/refine (via Esco Ventures advisors and scientific KOLs/thought leaders in the field)

    6. Weekly presentation of progress



  1. Week 20-24

    1. Finalize hypothesis based on selective pressure

    2. Develop an experimental plan to de-risk the venture hypotheses with budget, timeline and clear go/no-go milestones

    3. Presentation to judging panel



At the end of Phase 1, Fellows will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  1. The proposed project

    1. Has a substantial market size and an uncrowded competitive landscape

    2. Has a defendable IP position

    3. Addresses an area of significant unmet need

    4. POC is achievable with a few “killer experiments”

  2. Ability to present a qualified, pressure-tested, actionable plan (including experimental outline) for Venture Creation


Fellows will be competitively remunerated with a monthly stipend for Phase 1.


We are organizing a webinar session to address any related questions on the Morphosis Program. Details are as follows:


Date: 3rd April 2020 (Friday)

Time: 12pm-1pm


Register for the webinar by clicking on this link:



Interested candidates, please submit a cover letter and CV, along with any inquiries to

Application opening date: 3 Apr 2020

Applications close: 17 April 2020

Phase I Start date: 1 July 2020



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LaunchPad @ one-north

71 Ayer Rajah Crescent


Singapore 139951


Cambridge Innovation Center

One Broadway, Kendall Square

Cambridge MA 02142


Biotech Innovation Works

No.29 Life Park Road

Room 202-010, Block D

Changping District, Beijing, China, 102206

© 2020 by Esco Ventures Pte. Ltd.