Singularity University

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Singularity Education Group
FounderPeter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil
HeadquartersSanta Clara, CA
Key people
Steve Leonard, CEO
BrandsSingularity University, SingularityU, SU Ventures, Futurism News, Uncommon Partners Labs
Number of employees
Less than 250

Singularity Education Group (using the public names Singularity University or SingularityU) is an American company that offers executive educational programs, a business incubator and innovation consultancy service.[1][2] It is not an accredited university and does not provide traditional university qualifications.

It was founded in 2008 by Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil at the NASA Research Park in California, United States.[3]


2008–2011 (non-profit)[edit]

Singularity was founded as a non-profit and initially offered an annual 10-week summer program called the Graduate Studies Program (GSP), it was aimed at individuals wanting to understand how they could use technology to tackle global challenges. Its original Corporate founding partners and sponsors included Google,[4] Nokia,[5] Autodesk,[6] IDEO,[citation needed] LinkedIn,[citation needed] ePlanet Capital,[7] the X Prize Foundation, the Kauffman Foundation and Genentech.[8] Google subsequently ended its grant of $1.5 million annually.[9] The company announced a number of Associate Founders[10] including Moses Znaimer, Barney Pell, Sonia Arrison Senkut, David S. Rose, Keith and Mariela Kleiner, Klee Irwin, Dan Stoicescu, Reese Jones, Peter L. Bloom, Geoffrey Shmigelsky, Georges Harik and Rob Nail. Rob Nail was appointed CEO in 2011.

2012–present (private company)[edit]


Singularity University began the process for conversion to a for-profit benefit corporation.[11] In 2013, the new for-profit corporation incorporated as "Singularity Education Group" and acquired the descriptive "Singularity University" as its trade name.[12]


Singularity Education Group announced a Series B funding round led by WestRiver Group and Boeing worth $32 million [13]


Singularity acquired Futurism News [14] and the Uncommon Partners innovation consultancy.[15]

Singularity moved its headquarters from the NASA Research Park at NASA Ames to Santa Clara.[16]

Singularity added new Country Partner franchises in Brazil [17] and Australia.[18]

Global Solutions Program[edit]

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.[19] In 2012, the Global Solutions Program class had 80 students, with an average age of 30.[20] In 2015, Google agreed to provide $1.5 million annually for two years to make the program free to participants.[21] The 80 students are selected from over 3,000 applicants each year.[19] A substantial portion of the GSP class comes from the winners of SU's sponsored "Global Impact Competitions".[21] The company withdrew the GSP program in 2018 after Google ended its grant, which covered about half the costs of the program.

Executive Program[edit]

The Executive Program is targeted to corporate leaders, and focuses on how rapid changes in technology will impact businesses.[19]

Exponential Regional Partnership[edit]

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.[22] Water, food, healthcare and mobility, traditional strengths of the Dutch economy, are the main focal points.

Global Impact Competition[edit]

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.[23] 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.[24]

Innovation Hub[edit]

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.[25]

Exponential Conference Series[edit]

Singularity University hosts annual conferences focused on "exponentially accelerating technologies", and their impact on fields such as finance, medicine and manufacturing.[26] The conferences are produced with Deloitte,[26] as well as CNBC for the "Exponential Finance" conference.[27]

Singularity Hub[edit]

Singularity Hub is a science and tech media website published by Singularity University.[28] Singularity Hub was founded in 2008 [28] with the mission of "providing news coverage of sci/tech breakthroughs that are rapidly changing human abilities, health, and society".[29] It was acquired by Singularity University in 2012, to make content produced by Singularity University more accessible.[29]

In March 2018, Singularity Hub released 695 articles via Creative Commons license CC BY-ND 4.0.[30]

SU Labs[edit]

SU Labs is a seed accelerator by Singularity University, targeting startups that aim to "change the lives of a billion people."[31]

The company "Made In Space," which has developed a 3D printer adapted to the constraints of space travel, was founded at Singularity University.[32]

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.[33]

Impact partners[edit]

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.[34][35]


An investigative report from Bloomberg Businessweek found many issues with the organization, including an alleged sexual harassment of a student by a teacher, theft and aiding of theft by an executive, and allegations of gender and disability discrimination.[9] Several early members of Singularity University were convicted of crimes, including Bruce Klein, who was convicted in 2012 of running a credit fraud operation in Alabama and Naveen Jain who was convicted of insider trading in 2003.[9]


  1. ^ Kulkarni, Nitish (30 September 2015). "Singularity University Launches Accelerator To Seize Academia's Innovation Monopoly". TechCrunch. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  2. ^ John Hagel III and John Seely Brown (2013-09-26). "When the professor works at Google". Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Vance, Ashlee (June 12, 2010). "Merely Human? That's So Yesterday". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Nokia Supports Singularity University as Fifth Corporate Founder". Nokia Research Center. November 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 18 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Autodesk Increases Support for Singularity University to Corporate Founder Level". MOFFETT FIELD, Calif.: Autodesk. February 12, 2010. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Alt URL
  7. ^ "Asad Jamal". World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on 18 November 2012.
  8. ^ Leuty, Ron (February 6, 2012). "Genentech, Singularity University ink deal". San Francisco Business Journal.
  9. ^ a b c McBride, Sarah (2018-02-15). "Silicon Valley's Singularity University Has Some Serious Reality Problems". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  10. ^ "Singularity University Founders". Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  11. ^ Ryan Tate (August 22, 2012). "Robot Professors Come With Singularity University's Massive Upgrade". Wired Magazine. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  12. ^ Brian Warmoth (July 20, 2012). "Singularity University planning to go for-profit". Education Dive. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  13. ^ High, Peter. "Singularity University Raises Venture Capital From Boeing And WestRiver Group". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  14. ^ Silber, Tony. "Acquisition Of Futurism Suggests A Different Model For Digital-Media Companies". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  15. ^ High, Peter. "Singularity University Acquires Uncommon Partners To Build Innovation Lab". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  16. ^ "Contact Us". Singularity University. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  17. ^ "HSM and Singularity University Partner to Launch SingularityU Brazil". Singularity University. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  18. ^ Ross, David (2019-04-23). "Singularity University launch is a big boost for deep technology startups in Asia-Pacific". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  19. ^ a b c "Elite University Aims to Solve the World's Problems". May 20, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  20. ^ Kenrick, Chris (August 24, 2012). "Where science fiction meets reality". Mountain View Voice (News). Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  21. ^ a b "Singularity University Announces Google Support for Increased Global Access and Diversity in Tech" (Press Release). January 28, 2015.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "Singularity University GIC". Retrieved 2016-11-24.
  24. ^ "Global Impact Competition Winner - SingularityU The Netherlands". Retrieved 2016-11-24.
  25. ^ "Innovation Hub Launch Highlights - SingularityU The Netherlands". Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  26. ^ a b "Exponential Conference Series". Singularity University. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  27. ^ "Exponential Partnerships". Exponential Finance. Singularity University. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  28. ^ a b "About Us". Singularity HUB. Singularity University.
  29. ^ a b Kleiner, Keith (November 14, 2012). "Singularity Hub Acquired! Now Part Of Singularity University". Singularity University. Singularity HUB.
  30. ^ "About - Singularity Hub". Singularity Hub. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  31. ^ "La Singularity University, ovni 3.0 de la Silicon Valley". Le Monde (The World Economy). March 13, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  32. ^ "Made in Space Milestones". Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  33. ^ "Where science fiction meets reality". Mountain View Voice. August 24, 2012.
  34. ^ "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.
  35. ^ "UNICEF and Singularity University innovate together as a force for change". UNICEF Stories of Innovation. Retrieved May 18, 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°24′55″N 122°03′46″W / 37.415229°N 122.062650°W / 37.415229; -122.062650