This time last year, Wander Founder Krystal Choo lost the CTO of her previous bootstrapped two-year-old startup which then crashed and burned, went through a relationship breakup, needed medical care for a 3.7 cm ovarian cyst, and lost a friend to suicide.
All of this happened in the space of roughly a month.
Talking at day one of the Invest ASEAN 2015 conference in Singapore held by Maybank, Choo aimed to inspire Millennials looking to get into the local startup space.
“As an entrepreneur, I’m asked this question a lot: Where did you get the courage to strike out on your own? I find this question quite hard to answer, because honestly starting a company doesn’t really take guts at all,” Choo told a packed audience at Fullerton Hotel, Singapore.
“It takes S$300 (US$220), then you go to Bizfile.gov.sg, and register a company. That’s it. You’re a startup, you have a company. I really feel like starting up doesn’t take guts. It actually takes grit,” she added.
Choo’s definition of grit comes via Wikipedia:
A combination of perseverance, hardiness, resilience and ambition.
Wander, her new singles travel app, recently raised US$500,000 in seed funding and saw 25,000 matches in its first month. Already available on iOS, an Android version is due to launch soon.
With knowledge and resources now just ‘a tap away’, Choo’s challenge to fellow Millennials looking to involve themselves in a startup was to be unreasonable, do what you love, strike a superhero stance every morning, be gritty, and always be your best.
If grit is indeed what the Singapore entrepreneur of 2015 needs — as ever it has been — then young inspirational Millennials like Choo leading the way will serve to act as a beacon of light to the rest. When life knocks you down, you just keep getting back up again.
Lee Kuan Yew would be proud.