Singapore’s successful young entrepreneurs and how they did it


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On his/her last school year before graduating to join the workforce, an average kid would often wonder about where and what he/she’s going to be 10 years after. If you are exceptionally competitive and sharp, this may not apply to you. What fascinates a person with high hopes, big dreams and brilliant ideas, is whether who you are going to be in the future and what you should do to make it real.

Here in Singapore, youth are highly encouraged to express themselves and venture into new and innovative businesses. We often hear about the young entrepreneurs in the international scene: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Groupon’s Andrew Mason, Youtube’s Chad Hurley, Digg’s Kevin Rose. Now, we are naming some of Singapore’s pride and their secrets (as featured in Businessweek Asia) – entrepreneurs who made it big at a young age, from just an idea to a successful business enterprise.

Chua U-Zyn,
U-Zyn’s programming skills were revealed at the age of seven. Years of practice and determination made him the founder and developer of, a community-based service for Singaporean bloggers. His secret: U-Zyn knew what the community needed and developed a platform to cater to that need. Today, is home to Singapore bloggers actively posting more than 5,000 new blogs daily, making it one of the best online marketing platforms in Singapore.

Paddy Tan Lek Han,
Paddy, the founder of the unique lost-and-found anti-theft services provider Bak2U, had a very good motivation in starting his own business. His main concern was to provide a better life for his parents. His secret: “When I was young, I saw myself starting my own business as an escape route to provide a better life for them,” sad Paddy. His parents are his inspiration.

Eric Feng, Area 9 Training International (formerly EduVale)
For Eric Feng, the founder of Area 9, provider of leadership training, communications and branding, and creator of FAQ books, there is always something to learn every day. His secret: It is always best to take the next logical step, do due diligence and take action – because time is of essence.

Cheo Ming Shen,
Cheo Ming Shen, the founder of blog advertising community, loves challenges. It’s what keeps him going. Speaking about being an entrepreneur, he revealed that he’s motivated by the knowledge that he himself owns the successes as well as the failures. His secret: In his own words, “Being a boss, a salesman, and a client all at once is a challenge you do not get anywhere else but in business.” Cheo Ming Shen gets the tough going when the going gets tough!

Chew Choon Keat,
Chew Choon Keat created SharedCopy, a platform which allows anyone to share interesting web pages. He learned that though a product needs only an idea and speedy execution to get started, it’ll require endless experimentation and feedback in order to progress. His secret: His hunger for improvement and limitless possibilities

Herryanto Siatono, Pluit/
Experienced in web application design, Herryanto created Pluit, a Web application design and development house and BookJetty, a place online where you can catalog your books and follow your friends’ bookshelves. His secret: The main challenge is to build enough credibility among customers – letting them know that you can deliver.

Just like them, you don’t have to be a seasoned practitioner to be credible enough to start your entrepreneurial career. All it takes is exceptional knowledge, perseverance and hardwork, a strong heart to take in criticisms, and the attitude to move towards progress despite the challenges. In fact, starting young in business has its advantages. Being young, you are exposed to technology early. You are able to adapt to the technological trends quickly, allowing you to tap on fast moving media. Because you are young, you have a lot more energy and your brain can function faster. Creative juices can’t stop flowing and ideas are fresh out of the box. The best thing about being young is you are brave enough to take risks and face challenges.

Our say is, starting young in business is giving yourself the opportunity to create a wide network and study the business trend. Do not be afraid of making mistakes because mistakes make the business stronger and yourself, wiser. Business is not just about survival. It is all about being able to help in economic growth and providing jobs to more people. And while you are young, seize all opportunities that will help you become a great entrepreneur. Business Challenge is your chance to showcase your ideas and at the same time, you are given access to funding, workshops and mentorship from the industry’s experts. Register today and make your dreams come true! We look forward to a longer list of Singapore’s successful young entrepreneurs.


We invite members from Asia's tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with e27 readers. If you are interested to share your point of view, please send an email to writers[at]e27[dot]co

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  • Truebiz4

    Nice article. Inspirational!

    Kenneth Lee

  • Eugene

    bulllshit. It’s luck that determines everything. Haven’t you heard before of the saying, “Success has many parents but failure is an Orphan?” There are so many entrepreneurs out there who work hard consistently and did not achieve much! For successful people, they better pray their luck don’t run out perpetually!

    Grow up people!

    Source: Audit Experience.

  • Mohan Belani

    Luck is just part of the equation. The “entrepreneurs out there who work hard consistently and did not achieve much” are working on the wrong idea or not executing it correctly. In most cases, they should do some serious customer development and validation to see if they have the right product market fit. They could be working really hard building something that the market doesn’t want or need.

  • Roy Ang

    I do see tons of successful entrepreneurs based solely on luck. Its a pretty strong community that hangs out at MBS and Genting Casino.

  • Dhaleta, Surender Kumar

    While I am a big proponent of luck and fate myself and a strong believer of being at the right place at the right time, still I believe that success and failure are determined by fate. It’s circumstances that are created to lead towards success or failure. That does not mean that one should not work. Not necessarily the idea is not great. It could simply be ahead of its times. It could be the external forces working… the stock market crash, personal life incidents that can impact success or failure or opportunities. But having said that, it does not take away anything from the successful, and even the failures that can be sees as an opportunity in failures – and experience for future, and as Thomas Edison felt about his failure in making the bulb the first time: I know hundred ways now how not to make a bulb… :)

  • michael

    Very inspiring. Thank you for posting this.