|By||http://e27.cohttp://e27.sg/2012/11/30/start-upsingapore-speaker-series-a-treasure-trove-of-insights-from-top-singaporean-entrepreneurs/||| Nov 30, 2012 | Featured|
Keeping with this objective, Start-Up@Singapore organized a set of three Speaker Series over the month of November, where prominent Singaporean entrepreneurs dished out advice to start-up enthusiasts.
The first edition was themed “Product Innovation and Development” and was held at Plug-In@Blk 71. Here, Ms. Aileen Sim, founder of BillPin captivated the audience with a simple yet powerful ground rule for aspiring entrepreneurs: “Ask. Listen. Observe. Always,” which means to always be on the lookout for problems in real life and seize the business opportunities to develop solutions for these problems. Veerappan Swaminathan, Co-founder of Sustainable Living Labs elaborated upon the importance of prototyping and how it enabled one to leapfrog past the competition. Navin Kumar, head of Clean Technology Solutions, Autodesk described how one can capitalize upon design technologies available in today’s market to create powerful models of our products.
The following edition was centred on social entrepreneurship, the theme being “Making Social Impact a Reality.” Ms. Grace Sai, Co-Founder of the Hub described the four operational models a social enterprise can follow: the work-integration model, plough-back model, subsidized service model and the social needs model. Ms. Helen Lim, Founder of Silver Horizons, spoke about the importance of caring and protecting the elderly in Singapore and how her co-operative goes about doing just that. Finally, Ivan Cheng, the 13th Start-Up@Singapore Social Venture Winner and founder of Start Now, gave a powerful presentation on the wonders that volunteerism can do towards remedying social problem.
The final edition of the Speaker Series was held in conjunction with ACE Entrepreneurship Week. The theme was “Starting Up Young,” and the venue was SCAPE Auditorium. A power-packed panel comprising e27 co-founder Mohan Belani, The Mobile Gamers founder Alvin Yap, and Zopim co-fonder Wu Wenxiang, enthralled the audience with their innovative take on what comprised the right “approach” towards starting one’s own business.
Wenxiang proclaimed that a good entrepreneur needed to be, above all else, “foolish, childish, and stubborn.” Alvin emphasized how being one’s own boss was for from a bed of roses: “You are own boss, as well as your own janitor,” he said. Mohan’s advice to young entrepreneurs faced with rough market conditions was to “keep engaging customers even if you do not have a products and the customers do not have the money to buy your product.” Finally, “bad times don’t last,” he assured us all.
Yet again, the Singaporean public demonstrated their passion for entrepreneurship by turning up in large numbers for these events. They went back thoroughly enriched, with the fire of entrepreneurship alive and blazing within them. And there’s more to come! Buoyed by the success and enthusiasm of the 450 plus participants, Start-Up@Singapore is organizing yet another edition of the Speaker Series in January, the theme being “Start-Up Funding.” As always, the message from the Start-Up@Singapore family is “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish and Stay Entrepreneurial!”
About the 14th Start-Up@Singapore
This year’s competition comprises three separate challenges: the Biz Venture Challenge, the Social Venture Challenge and the Product Showcase. With more than S$100,000 of prize money up for grabs, the ball is in your court! Submit your business ideas now to competition.startup.org.sg, or visit www.startup.org.sg for more details on the competition process.