Singularity University

What is Singularity University?

Singularity University is a benefit corporation that provides educational programs, innovative partnerships and a startup accelerator to help individuals, businesses, institutions, investors, NGOs and governments understand cutting-edge technologies, and how to utilize these technologies to positively impact billions of people.

We are educators…

who draw on our Silicon Valley location to offer cutting edge programs:

The Graduate Studies Program (GSP) – convenes future leaders, entrepreneurs, and technologists for 10 weeks to work on team-based technology solutions to widespread global challenges.

The Executive Program (EP) – dives into the tools that corporate specialists and entrepreneurs need to ride the wave of accelerating change.

Exponential Conferences – explore how exponentially accelerating technologies are impacting individual verticals, such as medicine, finance and manufacturing.

We also offer custom programs tailored to your needs.

We focus on global impact

We encourage local innovation through technology with our global impact competitions. Winners receive sponsorships to attend our Graduate Studies Program and carry home the tools for disruption.

We Inspire & Inform

We provide thoughtful coverage of singularity-related news through our sister site Singularity Hub – sharing our assessments of technological or scientific progress with our extended community of readers.

Beyond the classroom, we are agents of change

Since our inception in 2008, SU has empowered individuals from more than 85 countries to apply exponentially growing technologies, such as biotechnology, artificial intelligence and neuroscience, to address humanity’s grand challenges: education, energy, environment, food, health, poverty, security, space and water. In just six years, our alumni, partners and members have generated more than 100 startups, and numerous patents and ideas
to help advance this mission.

Coming together, we create new futures.

In our SU Labs incubator, we launch companies that will impact the world of tomorrow. Our portfolio companies gain preferred access to our network of connections – necessary to build and launch sustainable organizations.


Source: Singularity University – Solving Humanity’s Grand Challenges | Solving Humanity’s Grand Challenges

Singularity University (abbreviated SU) is a Silicon Valley think tank that offers educational programs and a business incubator.[2][3] According to its website, it focuses on scientific progress and "exponential" technologies.[4] It was founded in 2008 by Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil at the NASA Research Park in California, United States.[5]


Singularity University initially offered an annual 10-week summer program and has since added conference series, classes, and a business incubator for startups and corporate teams.[6]

Instruction is offered in eleven areas.[7][8] Singularity University was created in 2009 based on Ray Kurzweil's theory of "technological singularity." Kurzweil believes that emerging technologies like nanotechnology and biotechnology will massively increase human intelligence over the next two decades, and fundamentally reshape the economy and society.[9] In 2012, Singularity University the non-profit began the process for conversion to a benefit corporation, to include non-profit as well as for-profit aspects.[10] In 2013, the new for-profit corporation incorporated as "Singularity Education Group" and acquired the descriptive "Singularity University" as its trade name.[11]

In 2015, Singularity University and Yunus Social Business (YSB) announced a partnership at the World Economic Forum to use "accelerating technologies" and social entrepreneurship for global development in developing areas of the world where YSB is active.[12][13]

Singularity University also partners with organizations to sponsor annual "Global Impact Competitions," based on a theme and geography.[14][15]

Administration and funding

Singularity University is overseen by a Board of Trustees.[16] Rob Nail, one of the organization's Associate Founders, was named CEO of Singularity University in October, 2011.[17] Director of "Global Grand Challenges" in 2013 is Nicholas Haan.

Corporate founding partners and sponsors include Google,[18]Nokia,[19]Autodesk,[20]IDEO,[citation needed]LinkedIn,[citation needed]ePlanet Capital,[21] the X Prize Foundation, the Kauffman Foundation and Genentech.[22]

Global Solutions Program

Students at Singularity University's "Global Solutions Program" (GSP, formerly the "Graduate Studies Program") learn about new technologies, and work together over the summer to start companies.[23] In 2012, the Global Solutions Program class had 80 students, with an average age of 30.[24] In 2015, Google agreed to provide $1.5 million annually for two years to make the program free to participants.[25] The 80 students are selected from over 3,000 applicants each year.[23] A substantial portion of the GSP class comes from the winners of SU's sponsored "Global Impact Competitions".[25]

Executive Program

The Executive Program is targeted to corporate leaders, and focuses on how rapid changes in technology will impact businesses.[23]

Innovation Partnership Program

In 2013, Singularity University announced a three-year partnership with Deloitte and XPRIZE called the "Innovation Partnership Program" (IPP). The program consists of a multi-year series of events where Fortune 500 executives partner with startups.[26] The program consists of an array of workshops on crowdsourcing, the advancement of "exponential" technologies, and how to innovate through incentivized competitions. Executives from 30 large companies, including Google, Shell, Qualcomm, The Hershey Company and Sprint, met for the first four-day executive summit.[26]

Exponential Regional Partnership

Singularity University has an "Exponential Regional Partnership" with SingularityU The Netherlands. This partnership program serves to help prepare European society and European companies for exponential technologies and give them the tools to use these technologies to meet Global Grand Challenges. The Netherlands was chosen as a starting point for international expansion because of the social, creative and innovative environment with rapid adoption rates for new technologies.[27] Water, food, healthcare and mobility, traditional strengths of the Dutch economy, are the main focal points.

Global Impact Competition

In 2016, SingularityU The Netherlands organized a Global Impact Competition to find the most innovative Dutch entrepreneurs with ideas that leverage exponential technologies to enhance the lives of refugees. [28] Danny Wagemans, a 21-year-old nanophysics student, won the first prize to participate in the 10-week Global Solutions Program. He demonstrated how clean water and energy can be derived from urine by combining a microbial fuel cell and a graphene filter in a water bottle.[29]

Innovation Hub

An Innovation Hub that allows people to experience exponential technologies has been started in Eindhoven as part of the Exponential Regional Partnership. This Innovation Hub was officially opened in Eindhoven by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, in the presence of numerous representatives of the corporate community, government and innovators. Eindhoven was chosen for this hub as it is the heart of the Brainport region, one of Europe's most important tech clusters.[30]

Exponential Conference Series

Singularity University hosts annual conferences focused on "exponentially accelerating technologies", and their impact on fields such as finance, medicine and manufacturing.[31] The conferences are produced with Deloitte,[31] as well as CNBC for the "Exponential Finance" conference.[32]

Singularity Hub

Singularity Hub is a science and tech media website published by Singularity University.[33] Singularity Hub was founded in 2008 [33] with the mission of "providing news coverage of sci/tech breakthroughs that are rapidly changing human abilities, health, and society".[34] It was acquired by Singularity University in 2012, to make content produced by Singularity University more accessible.[34]

SU Labs

SU Labs is a seed accelerator by Singularity University, targeting startups that aim to "change the lives of a billion people."[35]

The company "Made In Space," which has developed a 3D printer adapted to the constraints of space travel, was founded at Singularity University. The first prototype of Made in Space, the "Zero-G Printer", was developed with NASA and sent into space in September, 2014.[36]

In 2011, a Singularity University group launched Matternet, a startup that aims to harness drone technology to ship goods in developing countries that lack highway infrastructure. Other startups from SU are the peer-to-peer car-sharing service Getaround, and BioMine, which uses mining technologies to extract value from electronic waste.[7]

Impact partners

In 2013, Singularity University and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF announced a partnership to create technologies to improve the lives of vulnerable people in developing countries.[37][38]


  1. ^ "FAQ". Singularity University. Retrieved 2009-02-03. An exploratory meeting was held in November 2007, followed in September 2008 by a founding meeting hosted by NASA Ames. 
  2. ^ Kulkarni, Nitish (30 September 2015). "Singularity University Launches Accelerator To Seize Academia's Innovation Monopoly". TechCrunch. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  3. ^ John Hagel III and John Seely Brown (2013-09-26). "When the professor works at Google". Retrieved 2014-04-28. 
  4. ^ "What Is Singularity University?". Singularity University. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Tate, Ryan (August 22, 2012). "Robot Professors Come With Singularity University's Massive Upgrade". Wired Magazine. 
  7. ^ a b "Where science fiction meets reality". Mountain View Voice. August 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Academic Tracks". Singularity University. Archived from the original on 2009-02-08. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  9. ^ "Elite University Aims to Solve World's Problems". May 20, 2013. 
  10. ^ Ryan Tate (August 22, 2012). "Robot Professors Come With Singularity University's Massive Upgrade". Wired Magazine. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  11. ^ Brian Warmoth (July 20, 2012). "Singularity University planning to go for-profit". Education Dive. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Singularity University and Yunus Social Business Partner To Impact Global Development In Some Of The Most Vulnerable Areas Of The World" (Press Release). Reuters. January 21, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  13. ^ "World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015". World Economic Forum. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  14. ^ Meskó, Bertalan. "Singularity University's Global Impact Competition in Central Europe". Science Roll. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  15. ^ Dahlberg, Nancy (February 23, 2015). "Singularity University opens competition in Miami to address sea-level rise" (the starting gate). Miami Herald. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Board of Trustees". Singularity University. Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  17. ^ "Singularity University Names Rob Nail CEO". BusinessWire. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  18. ^ Vance, Ashlee (June 12, 2010). "Merely Human? That's So Yesterday". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ "Nokia Supports Singularity University as Fifth Corporate Founder". Nokia Research Center. November 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 18 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "Autodesk Increases Support for Singularity University to Corporate Founder Level". MOFFETT FIELD, Calif.: Autodesk. February 12, 2010. Archived from the original on February 12, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Asad Jamal". World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on 18 November 2012. 
  22. ^ Leuty, Ron (February 6, 2012). "Genentech, Singularity University ink deal". San Francisco Business Journal. 
  23. ^ a b c "Elite University Aims to Solve the World's Problems". May 20, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  24. ^ Kenrick, Chris (August 24, 2012). "Where science fiction meets reality" (News). Mountain View Voice. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  25. ^ a b "Singularity University Announces Google Support for Increased Global Access and Diversity in Tech" (Press Release). January 28, 2015. 
  26. ^ a b "Deloitte, XPRIZE and Singularity University form alliance and launch the Innovation Partnership Program" (Press Release). Deloitte. May 14, 2013. 
  27. ^ University, Singularity (2016-02-29). "4 Things to Know About Our New Exponential Regional Partnership with SingularityU The Netherlands – SingularityU". Medium. Retrieved 2016-11-07. 
  28. ^ "Singularity University GIC". Retrieved 2016-11-24. 
  29. ^ "Global Impact Competition Winner - SingularityU The Netherlands". Retrieved 2016-11-24. 
  30. ^ "Innovation Hub Launch Highlights - SingularityU The Netherlands". Retrieved 2016-11-07. 
  31. ^ a b "Exponential Conference Series". Singularity University. Retrieved May 19, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Exponential Partnerships". Exponential Finance. Singularity University. Retrieved May 19, 2015. 
  33. ^ a b "About Us". Singularity HUB. Singularity University. 
  34. ^ a b Kleiner, Keith (November 14, 2012). "Singularity Hub Acquired! Now Part Of Singularity University". Singularity University. Singularity HUB. 
  35. ^ "La Singularity University, ovni 3.0 de la Silicon Valley" (The World Economy). Le Monde. March 13, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  36. ^ "Made in Space Milestones". Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Singularity University and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Partner to Advance Global Innovations That Benefit Women and Children" (Press Release). MarketWatch. June 27, 2013. 
  38. ^ "UNICEF and Singularity University innovate together as a force for change". UNICEF Stories of Innovation. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 

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