Blessed with a stable socio-political environment and a serious intent to bolster entrepreneurship within and across its borders, Singapore has always been a hotbed for investors and entrepreneurs alike. It’s only natural that the TOP100 Programme’s search for the most promising startup in Asia begins in this tiny island nation – also home ground to e27.

This year, the judges on the Singapore leg hail from venture capital companies with diverse portfolios, both regional and internationally. With big names present, such as 500 Startups and Global Brain, as well as some regional heavyweights in Golden Gate Ventures and the KK Fund, amongst others, the TOP100 Singapore leg is sure to set the stage with an explosive start.

Without further ado, here is an introduction to the judges who will determine the best from the rest in Singapore:

Also read: SEA Startup? 3 must-knows to get your TOP100 game face on

Carmen Yuen, Senior Executive Director, Vertex Ventures

Carmen joined Vertex Ventures Singapore office in 2014. Her focus is in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Carmen has served many years in Singapore’s government-backed venture capital initiatives including EDB Investments and Spring SEEDS Capital where she worked closely with many start-up companies in Singapore.

Kuan Hsu, General Partner, KK Fund

A graduate of the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Hsu was an investment banker in the US with Goldman Sachs, executing M&A deals with Technology, Media and Telecommunications sector. Kuan then moved to Singapore, executing private equity deals at Temasek Holdings prior to becoming a venture capitalist responsible for GREE Venture’s Southeast Asian operations.

Monica Tsai, Senior Director, Investments and Operations, Singtel Innov8

Monica has worked for Singtel as a Director of Strategic Investments where she was responsible for coordinating and executing M&A activities undertaken by the Singtel Group. During her 4 year tenure, Monica was involved in numerous transactions including the acquisition of SCS (Singapore Computer Systems) and the formation of OpenNet (Singapore’s next generation broadband network).

Takashi Sano, Principal, GlobalBrain

Takashi is an APAC regional manager. Prior to joining GB, Takashi spent his career in establishing joint ventures and new projects, as well as managing energy business in APAC and Middle East / Africa region at Sony Electronics Asia Pacific based in Singapore.

Terence Sim, Vice President, Vickers Venture Partners

Mr. Terence Sim works closely with the investment committee and focusses on advising current portfolio companies on their business strategies, helping the companies drive subsequent funding rounds and potential exit opportunities. He sources potential deals for Vickers, making investment recommendation to the investment committee and conducting due diligence for potential investments. In addition, Terence is responsible for monitoring the stock markets in the region and managing the sale of the shares of the portfolio companies upon their IPO listing and the treasury positions of the Group, using his experience and knowledge from his time as an analyst in a hedge fund.

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Manabu Miyazaki, Principal, IMJ Investment Partners

A digital marketer by trade, Manabu joined Dentsu in 2011, where he focused on clients in e-commerce and finance and specialized in delivering marketing strategy . In 2014, Manabu joined the Cool Japan team, where his tasks included business development and event management. Desiring to support innovation in Japan, Manabu joined IMJ Investment Partners in 2015.

Justin Hall, Principal, Golden Gate Ventures

As principal, Justin manages Golden Gate Ventures’ existing portfolio while sourcing investments across APAC. In addition, he is director for Golden Gate Ventures Annex Fund, focused on follow-on funding for existing portfolio companies. He is the co-founder of numerous community-building events, including SuperHappyDevHouseSG and WalkAboutSG.

Vishal Harnal, Venture Partner, 500 Startups

Vishal is a lawyer by training, having trained at Drew & Napier LLC.  He’s comfortable in many hats,  having had experience in entrepreneurial circles as co-founder of Lightbulb Factory Pte Ltd. He currently manages 500’s investments in Southeast Asia. 

Applications are now closed, but there are limited slots to join us at TOP100’s Singapore Qualifier on March 10. Sign up here for free to book your spot in the audience, and witness Singapore’s startups battle it out to be the very best in Asia come Echelon Asia Summit this June 15-16. See you there!