The last day of August marked the long waited relaunch of Founders Drinks, which saw a strong attendance of over 100 people. While some turned up for the beers, which Amazon Web Services (AWS) kindly sponsored, most came with the spirit of engaging with other founders and entrepreneurs which made the event a successful one.

The event kicked off at 7.30pm with a sharing by Simone Brunozzi from AWS who introduced the concept of crowd sourcing and also the upcoming AWS Startup Challenge. Moving on to the case study of the night, both Qlubbr and Gastro Couture, the startups chosen to share on their problem faced during startup, in particular, problems pertaining to social media for user acquisition. As the floor was opened for questions, the crowd that were present bombarded a lot of questions, which reflected the excitement towards the two promising startups. Of course, questions that were inevitable included the revenue model, competitions and core competitive advantages.

For Qlubbr, they mentioned that their core competitive advantage comes in providing real time photos and real time data and for Gastrocouture, they help restaurants to move empty tables.

During the panel discussion moderated by Willis Wee, the discussions were centered around the topic of building social media loyalty through quality contents. Vinnie Lauria, Patricia Law and Tania Chew, the panelists for the night were on the same page on one thing – real (quality) content is critical when building your social media loyalty. According to Patricia, “social media speaks its most truth when it comes from the heart”, and that these real content will win long lasting followers. She adviced that anyone should not be worried about sharing everything on social media platforms. The panelists also mentioned that content which is engaging, informative and promotional could do a lot in gaining users.

Other than that, the discussions were also centred around the topic of the Chinese social media scene. When questions and questions regarding the Chinese social media were directed to wards the panel, it became apparent that there was a keen interest towards the Chinese market among the many founders who were present at the event. Simply put, everyone wants a piece of the Chinese market. I would, if I have my own company. Of course, having covered the China tech scene at Penn Olson, Willis helped address a few questions. According to Willis, the Chinese social media is an ecosystem entirely on its own. Social media buttons/plugins are strictly regulated by the Chinese government to prevent viral contents that could be damaging to the community. Willis shared that if one wants to select a Chinese social media tool, he recommends Sina Weibo or Tencent Weibo, also known as the Chinese Twitter.

If there were a few key takeaways for me, it would be:

  1. Social Media isn’t a silver bullet – as Patricia puts it. One has to consistently engage his followers with real content
  2. When done right, social media can be a cost effective tool for marketing.

It was indeed an enriching night for those who were present. Now, we eagerly await the next Founders Drinks.