Inspired by ‘Humans of New York’, Entrepreneurs of SEA is an initiative dedicated to celebrating the human side of a founder’s entrepreneurial journey

Their stories

Click into each card to uncover their unfiltered, behind-the-scenes moments of entrepreneurship that go unseen by many.
Show your support by giving your favourite stories a like.

Abel Teo

Founder & CEO

Locable

Embracing and integrating criticism is extremely important to develop relevant solutions which will benefit your target market.
Abel Teo
Founder & CEO
Locable
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What does this photo mean to you?
My awesome team! Individuals don't build great companies, passionate teams do.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
The prospect of positively impacting the lives of millions of micro-businesses in Southeast Asia and empowering them to focus on what they are passionate about the most drives me to get out of bed every morning.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Open-mindedness. Embracing and integrating criticism is extremely important to develop relevant solutions which will benefit your target market
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Achmad Alkatiri

Founder

Hypefast

The former might be flashy, but the latter is relentless.
Achmad Alkatiri
Founder
Hypefast
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What does this photo mean to you?
This photo was taken on 7 August 2018 19:46 WIB -- when I remodeled my kids bedroom into Hypefast first ever 'office' and put up the logo for the first time. Hypefast was officially established 1+ year later on December 2019. I believe on "Think Big, Start Small". Put up a logo on the wall seems like something very simple, but it was a start of long nights (I still had full time job at that time) for research, polishing the concept, interviewing people, save some money for family etc. All the things necessary to boost my courage and confidence to start a company.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I think we're expected to write something around the impact of our business to people and how it inspires us as founder to keep going. But honestly, for me the answer has been always my mother. I was raised in a war zone (long story), where people killed each other, burned houses, often we needed to spend nights at a refugee camp to feel safe. We lost everything and my father had a stroke so he couldn't work. My mother turned into an entrepreneur by became a gasoline street sellers to support our family and my education. She has the best noise cancellation -- she didn't (and doesn't) care about what people saying about her and just truly focus on what she thinks the best for the family. From her, I learnt about being resilience.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Relentless consistency -- many people are able to produce bursts of energy. Few people are able to produce consistent, steady flows of energy. The former might be flashy, but the latter is relentless.
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Adrian Goh

Co-Founder

NodeFlair

Entrepreneurship is all about building something from scratch, for something you care deeply about.
Adrian Goh
Co-Founder
NodeFlair
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What does this photo mean to you?
To me, entrepreneurship is all about building something from scratch, for something you care deeply about. It is something that's both so irrational and rational about it! Irrational because you are stepping out of your comfort zone, taking huge risks and making great sacrifices. On the other hand, it is rational because the rewards you ripe is something you can never get elsewhere. The impact and legacy you leave behind - it's priceless.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
What drives me is my desire to changing people's lives by empowering them with products that never had access to before. I have always been inspired by companies that share the same values, such as Xiaomi for making quality products accessible to the general population etc. Currently, there are many gaps in the tech career space that are causing tech talents to make non-optimized career decisions. That's why NodeFlair wants to empower them to make smarter decisions.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Never stop questioning! For a startup to challenge the big guys, you need to be 10x better with 10x fewer resources. As such, you cannot afford to make too many wrong moves, or you will be dead! So, to maximize your chance of success, start questioning everything. Why do they do things this way? Why are they not doing things another way? Is that assumption true? Can we squeeze more ROIs out of these resources? We can only disrupt the industry by being curious and not settling.
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Adriel Ng

Co-Founder & COO

Fluidlytix Asia

Doing business is never a sprint. It's a marathon.
Adriel Ng
Co-Founder & COO
Fluidlytix Asia
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What does this photo mean to you?
Doing business is never a sprint. It's a marathon.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Being able to do what I am passionate about on a day to day basis
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Grit. Running a business is never smooth sailing and it takes grit to be able to push on in what we do.
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Adrien Jorge

Founder & CEO

Propseller

Entrepreneurship is an opportunity to demonstrate and develop greatness.
Adrien Jorge
Founder & CEO
Propseller
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What does this photo mean to you?
Adrien cleaning the bathroom of the first property listing that Propseller got for sale.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Greatness. Entrepreneurship is an opportunity to demonstrate and develop greatness.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why?
Resilience.
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Alex Loh

CEO

Aviary & Co.

Mental Toughness ensures sustainability to keep the flame burning.
Alex Loh
CEO
Aviary & Co.
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What does this photo mean to you?
Having the right mindset puts you on track towards achieving your goals.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
The desire to provide for my family drives me. Knowing that I am being a positive influence and creating impact in the communities that I am a part of inspires me to want to do more.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Mental Toughness. The road blocks and hard knocks along the way towards achieving breakeven point and eventual profitability will be aplenty. Mental Toughness ensures sustainability to keep the flame burning.
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Alf Molinas

CEO

FoodRazor

Hope is essential to keep your team motivated...
Alf Molinas
CEO
FoodRazor
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What does this photo mean to you?
No office? No problem! FoodRazor works together with F&B. We help them with their cost management... and sometimes they serve as an impromptu working space for us!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I want to help with the digital transformation of small-medium businesses in the region. These businesses can benefit just as much as MNCs from the benefits of more digitally-run operations, and we want to help them on that journey.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
The ability to generate and distribute hope. This hope is essential to keep your team motivated, to keep your investors interested, and to get your customers excited about what you are building.
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Alfa Bumhira

CEO & Co-Founder

ProSpark

The journey to building a sustainable enterprise is long and painful. A founder needs to go above and beyond to achieve those milestones and achieve the incremental gains needed for progress.
Alfa Bumhira
CEO & Co-Founder
ProSpark
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What does this photo mean to you?
This photo showcases what ProSpark is all about: bridging gaps and building communities.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I love taking risks and doing things outside of my comfort zone. We should break from the spirit of average and start thinking beyond ourselves for the good of society.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Determination. The journey to building a sustainable enterprise is long and painful. One needs to go above and beyond to achieve those milestones and achieve the incremental gains needed for progress. You should always learn from your mistakes and never give up.
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Aloysius Chay

Co-Founder

HYDRAGUN

Entrepreneurship means being resilient and having fun in the process!
Aloysius Chay
Co-Founder
HYDRAGUN
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What does this photo mean to you?
Entrepreneurship means being resilient and having fun in the process!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
The dedicated team behind HYDRAGUN. The goal that we've set for ourselves to get our products out there for those who need it.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Focus - because it's easy to get distracted by the vanity stuff.
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Alvin Ea

Co-Founder & CEO

Haulio

There will always be naysayers and non-believers, keep believing and never give up on your dreams.
Alvin Ea
Co-Founder & CEO
Haulio
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What does this photo mean to you?
Driving the Future of Container Trucking
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Making a difference to the lives of the millions of haulier drivers by empowering their business through digitalization & technology. Through Haulio, we can help them to make more with less & transform their livelihoods to make a better living.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Grit & belief in your vision. There will always be naysayers and non-believers, keep believing and never give up on your dreams
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Amadea Choo

Founder and Managing Partner

VFPLUSC Pte Ltd

Don't look at your mistakes as failures but lessons. Make sure you learn from them and get better each time.
Amadea Choo
Founder and Managing Partner
VFPLUSC Pte Ltd
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What does this photo mean to you?
Society glorifies entrepreneurship and as entrepreneurs we often have to show up as our best selves but entrepreneurship is way more than what you see in this picture! 
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
GOD. To be a reflection of Him in all that I do. With respect to my business, it is to make an impact on the lives of multitudes of brand owners/brands just like He did with the five loaves and two fishes. 
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Grit. Never giving up on your dreams. Don't look at your mistakes as failures but lessons. Make sure you learn from them and get better each time. You don't have to be the most intelligent or have the best resources but as the old adage goes, when there is a will, there is a way and I find that to be astoundingly true.
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Andes Rizky

COO

SHINTA VR

Believe in yourself and the universe will do the rest.
Andes Rizky
COO
SHINTA VR
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What does this photo mean to you?
This is a picture of me showcasing our latest VR technology!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
The virtual reality market inspires me as a whole as there are limitless possibilities. Not only do we use VR for entertainment, but we also help the business and educations sectors as well. We are not aiming to be number one, but we are aiming to be the most impactful and immersive virtual reality company in the world!
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Your best trait is being yourself. So, believe in yourself and the universe will do the rest.
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Ang Wan Loong

Co-Founder

Fluidlytix Asia

Passion and resilience is what makes a successful founder.
Ang Wan Loong
Co-Founder
Fluidlytix Asia
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What does this photo mean to you?
It's about learning, sharing, and improving. Entrepreneurship is not just about having a good idea; it is about being in a community.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Solving issues. Creating solutions to existing issues that people and businesses face on a daily basis.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Passion and resilience.
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Anh Le Hoang

Founder & CEO

Multi Vietnam

We have vision of bringing impactful products all over the world.
Anh Le Hoang
Founder & CEO
Multi Vietnam
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What does this photo mean to you?
Our mission is to enable technology to support human life. We constantly strive to actualize technology that creates high value and impact on society by making it better, more comfortable and convenient.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Our business was motivated by a friend that I met five years ago in the community for disabled people. He was born with no hands, and had parents who were disappointed when he was born and didn’t believe in him. His story, along with the fact that disabled people account for 7% of the Vietnamese population, made me believe that everyone should be treated equally. That’s how Multi Vietnam was born and what drives me every day.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Being a visionary. As the founder of a company specialising in R&D and manufacturing with a passion for supporting disabled development in Vietnam, I have a vision of bringing impactful products all over the world.
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Anthony Ho

CEO

EI INDUSTRIAL

I'm here today not because I'm smart, lucky or something else...
Anthony Ho
CEO
EI INDUSTRIAL
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What does this photo mean to you?
EI Industrial team
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
• Patriot: I love my country and I really want to somehow contribute for the wealth of the nation. To startup and build it to become a huge company which can create thousands of jobs is my choice. • Science Lover: I've love science since I was a kid. To start and run a technology company is a dream. Managing science of economics, of technologies, of human psychology and education is so great to me. • Explore the highest self-ability: I love to see how I improve day by day.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Adversity quotient is one of essential traits of a founder. Too many different kinds of difficulties a founder have to face on the way of startup. Too many good characteristics those required from a founder. But if the founder does not dare to do to the final game - everything is meaningless. I'm here today not because I'm smart, lucky or something else, but because I try every single day to move forward even it's really hard and painful. 
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Arshia Tyebally

Co-Founder

BeautyImport Asia

You don't go into a business thinking you'll make money overnight.
Arshia Tyebally
Co-Founder
BeautyImport Asia
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What does this photo mean to you?
Lots and lots of Zoom Calls
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Driven by my own pursuit of cruelty free beauty products unavailable in SEA
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Patience, you don't go into a business thinking you'll make money overnight. Take your time, understand the industry & customers. Put in the effort, the money will follow.
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Austin Chaird

Co-Founder & Chief Product and Technical Officer

Alpha Impact

Just like our janky aircon, non-critical solutions don't have to be perfect.
Austin Chaird
Co-Founder & Chief Product and Technical Officer
Alpha Impact
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What does this photo mean to you?
Just like our janky aircon, non-critical solutions don't have to be perfect.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Bringing crypto to the masses in easy and safe way with transparent tools.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Grit - The determination to keep pushing and trying alternative solutions when the chips are down.
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Bella Khaja

Founder & Director

Nimble Marketing Consultancy

You have to be risk-taking and believe in your own audacious ideas.
Bella Khaja
Founder & Director
Nimble Marketing Consultancy
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What does this photo mean to you?
This is the look of a person who has learned how to fail forward, determined to make the best out of any given situation.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
What inspires me every single day is knowing that every day is a new day. You never know what is going to come, and I get really excited when I wake up because it's another chance to make a difference in the work that you do. I'm a big believer that it takes only one person, one action, to have a rippling effect that can make a lasting difference in someone's life. That to me, is the essence of why I am an entrepreneur, to empower and go beyond the distance in my work so that others can benefit from it.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
You have to be a risk taking and believe in your own audacious ideas.
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Benjamin Emmanuel Lee

Co-founder & CEO

Sealed Network

An entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down.
Benjamin Emmanuel Lee
Co-founder & CEO
Sealed Network
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What does this photo mean to you?
“An entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down.” - Reid Hoffman
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Creating value for the community and making a positive impact in the process
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Resilience
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Brenda Shee

Co-Founder

Hitchplanner

Entrepreneurship has taken me on a journey to learn to approach problems differently.
Brenda Shee
Co-Founder
Hitchplanner
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What does this photo mean to you?
With Lorraine, Co-founder & best friend. Entrepreneurship has taken me on a journey to learn to approach problems differently. It has accelerated my growth as an individual and led me to discover aspects of the business and people management that I wouldn't have the chance to learn if I stayed in my corporate job.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Having immense passion about wanting to solve a problem or a gap that you have identified.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Resilience. Everyday is a rollercoaster, some days are good and some days are painful, having the resilience to push through those tough days is very important.
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Brendon Koh

Founder

Automate Labs

I believe every business needs to generate revenue but great businesses focus on how they can create value and solve pain points in a novel or better way and affect a positive change in people's lives.
Brendon Koh
Founder
Automate Labs
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What does this photo mean to you?
This was a photo taken before COVID-19 of me performing for a wedding at the Botanic Gardens. My experience overcoming the many struggles and operational inefficiencies in my previous business as a Managing Director and Performer was pivotal in the formation of Automate Labs. If opportunity permits, I believe that, the best way to truly solve a problem is to experience it firsthand, overcome it and pay it forward.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
My vision for Automate Labs is imagining a world in which companies are highly productive and their employees are united by technology. Automate Labs was started from a pain point in my previous business where all my sales, operations, HR and accounting processes were in a huge mess. I managed to streamline all my processes and did so without over-hiring or over-spending and started Automate Labs to help other SMEs digitally transform the way works get done.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
I believe it is essential for any founder to have a clear understanding of why they started the business beyond profits. Every business needs to generate revenue but great businesses focus on how they can create value and solve pain points in a novel or better way and affect a positive change in people's lives.
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Brian Johnson Lowe

Founder & CEO

Poptron

Founders must always be tenacious: having grit is made up of persistence, passion and resilience. Never give up in what you do!
Brian Johnson Lowe
Founder & CEO
Poptron
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What does this photo mean to you?
This is me on a mission as the next unicorn startup!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Learning new things and coming up with creative (and sometimes crazy) ways to solve them. A start-up platform like this requires me to think outside the box for solutions. You won't succeed if you keep 'colouring' within the box; the answers may not be there if you do.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Be tenacious. Having grit is made up of persistence, passion and resilience. Never give up on what you do.
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Brice Degeyter

General Manager

Bizsu

Entrepreneurship means freedom. Freedom to choose your life. Freedom to choose what you want to work on. And most importantly, freedom to work on the problems that you want to solve.
Brice Degeyter
General Manager
Bizsu
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What does this photo mean to you?
Me working from home (such a symbol of an entrepreneur having the freedom to work as and where he pleases)
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
To me, entrepreneurship means freedom. Freedom to choose your life. Freedom to choose who you want to work with. Your colleagues, your suppliers, your clients. This is also the freedom to choose what you want to work on. Which project, which solution, for which audience. And most importantly, it's the freedom to work on the problems you want to solve. What difference do you want to make in this world? Making everyone embracing sustainability is my challenge. I initiated it in my previous company. After seeing amazing results, I decided to do it with my own business. To do it better, at a bigger scale and embark more people on this crucial journey. I don't know if one day I will be able to see my vision solved but I'll die trying. Overall, entrepreneurship is the freedom to decide the life you want to have.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Risk taker
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Bryan Se To

Founder and CEO

Calibrate

The human brain is a crazy place, and two things fascinate me about entrepreneurship: the greatest environment for me to nurture my imagination and leading my team of brilliant minds
Bryan Se To
Founder and CEO
Calibrate
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What does this photo mean to you?
Calibrate's 1st live pitch with the founding team
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
The smiles we see our users wear aspire me to impact society by solving their problems and giving them the best.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
The human brain is a crazy place, and two things fascinate me about entrepreneurship: Firstly, the greatest environment for me to nurture my imagination, fuse it with a dash of insanity to change the world and make it a better place. Secondly, leading my team of brilliant minds and unlocking human potential in a way never possible and achieve unbelievable goals.
Saving...

Casey Liaw

Co-Founder & CEO

AfterClass

It takes a creative angle to be able to solve a problem millions of others aren't able to solve...
Casey Liaw
Co-Founder & CEO
AfterClass
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What does this photo mean to you?
This a portrait photo from our official photoshoot. We specifically chose the rooftop of our university, SMU, to the backdrop of the CBD as it creates a form of juxtaposition of college life and working life. Being a student by day, entrepreneur by night, we have to constantly juggle between our two hats - thus to stay on top of this, it requires confidence, passion, and grit.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I am driven by opportunity. Living by the mantra where "every opportunity that creates more opportunities is a good opportunity", trying out new things is what catalyzes my drive to continually be in the pursuit of achieving something even more.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Creativity. As founders living in a world of endless competition, it takes a creative angle to be able to solve a problem millions of others aren't able to solve.
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Catherine L Ary

Founder and Managing Partner

PT EasyHelps Multi Solusindo

I believe that being genuinely compassionate allows for better and more open collaboration and massive increase in trust and relevant decision making.
Catherine L Ary
Founder and Managing Partner
PT EasyHelps Multi Solusindo
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What does this photo mean to you?
This was a luncheon with some of the team on the First Work From Office in January 2021!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Based on the quotes from Margaret Thatcher, she said "plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan." If you have a successful plan for your life, then try hard to make it come true. Even when you feel you are slowing down, just believe that small steps are still a step forward. The important thing is to never give up! Keep going and don't forget to pray. Appreciate everything and everyone around you.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Drive. A founder must have the ability to keep moving forward, regardless of the situation, in order for the business to continue growing and adapting towards development.
Saving...

Chee Meng Lee

Co-COO

Pickupp Pte Ltd

A leader needs to be able to relate and understand his/her team; this ability to "feel the ground" is what will effectively keep everyone driven, motivated and inspired to strive for a common goal.
Chee Meng Lee
Co-COO
Pickupp Pte Ltd
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What does this photo mean to you?
2017, at Yayoi Kusuma's exhibition in Singapore. My fiancee took a candid photo of me in the act of keeping up with work while on dates.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I see it as a challenge to be the best possible version of myself. As with everything I do - I want to do it to the best of my ability.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Many will mention traits like perseverance, determination, driven, ambitious, etc. - but one less-mentioned essential trait that a founder needs to have is empathy. A leader needs to be able to relate and understand his/her team; this ability to "feel the ground" is what will effectively keep everyone driven, motivated and inspired to strive for a common goal.
Saving...

Chow Pak Teng

CEO and Co-Founder

People's Inc.

Every founder needs grit—the ability to go through uncertainty every single day with no guaranteed returns but wake up to do the same day after day because of that dream you have set out to achieve.
Chow Pak Teng
CEO and Co-Founder
People's Inc.
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What does this photo mean to you?
Entrepreneurship is exactly as the picture describes; where there is a constant need to stay on your toes to keep the plates spinning and minimising your damages. In this case, the plates can represent your investors, clients, employees and needless to say the other 101 things on your to do list. But as time goes by, you figure out a system that outsources some of those plates, or decrease the number of plates that doesn't do good for your business while you focus on the important ones that moves the needle.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
To be able to help businesses transform and thrive through challenging times. While many of them have great products or services, they just don't have the right marketing channels that sell to this current generation. Being able to help them stay relevant and up in business is what keeps me moving as a founder.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Grit; the ability to go through insanity and uncertainty every single day with no guaranteed returns but wake up to do the same day after day because of that dream you have set out to achieve. One has to be insane enough to step into that. If you do not have the ability to thrive in uncertainty, it wouldn't be an easy journey.
Saving...

Christian Borchert

Founder

Blue Elephants Solutions Pte. Ltd.

As an entrepreneur, you will need to roll up your sleeves, take care of everything, work restlessly, solve daily roadblocks and handle a roller-coaster of emotions.
Christian Borchert
Founder
Blue Elephants Solutions Pte. Ltd.
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What does this photo mean to you?
As a founder, you will constantly struggle to divide your time and attention.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Purpose and values; to know why I am doing something and to be able to decide how I want to do it to be consistent with my values.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Perseverance. As an entrepreneur, you will need to roll up your sleeves, take care of everything, work restlessly, solve daily roadblocks and handle a roller-coaster of emotions.
Saving...

Crystal Cheng

Co Founder

Edens Chips

Understand that there will always be obstacles and success is a process.
Crystal Cheng
Co Founder
Edens Chips
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What does this photo mean to you?
Edens Fulfilment Centre supported by MINDS
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
What inspires me is the ability the businesses can create. Creating a community to support another community.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Understanding that there will always be obstacles and success is a process.
Saving...

Darren Cheng

Co Founder & CEO

Fluidlytix

I believe that having resilience especially through failure is a key trait of a successful entrepreneur.
Darren Cheng
Co Founder & CEO
Fluidlytix
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What does this photo mean to you?
Always a good time with my founders in and out of the office
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Knowing that my company is making a positive impact amongst businesses
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Resilience. I believe that having resilience especially through failure is a key trait of a successful entrepreneur.
Saving...

Deb & Peter Oh

Co-Founders

The InvestQuest

As entrepreneurs, because you are in charge of navigating those external factors, you have no one to blame when things aren’t working the way they should. You are accountable.
Deb & Peter Oh
Co-Founders
The InvestQuest
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What does this photo mean to you?
Funnily enough, we think entrepreneurship is not too different from working in a challenging corporate job. Many of the traits you’ll need to really succeed in the corporate world are also ones that you’d need as an entrepreneur. The key difference for us has been accountability. As employees, it’s easy to blame external factors (whether justified or not) for any setback. For instance, an unfriendly boss or office politics or promotion freeze. As entrepreneurs, because you are in charge of navigating those external factors, you have no one to blame when things aren’t working the way they should. You are accountable. That pressure forces you to grow, both as a business owner and as an individual.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
There’s a Japanese concept – ikigai – that outlines four objectives for one’s career: doing what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. No matter what you do, there’s always some kind of imbalance between these four objectives. There’s always going to be something you’re unsatisfied with. The choices we’ve made so far in life have been driven by this restless desire to find a better equilibrium. We set up The InvestQuest because investing is what we are passionate about, and we set up Endowment Exchange because we saw a social need.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
The most important trait for any founder is to have grit. But since that’s commonly quoted, I’ll name an underrated one: Conscientiousness. Whenever we face challenging situations, the natural instinct is to prioritize urgent matters (Category 1). It takes conscious effort to also focus on things which are less urgent but crucial (Category 2). By definition, those who are conscientious do not falter in addressing such Category 2 issues – they are dependable, thorough in their work and consistently seek to deliver high quality work.
Saving...

Devin Otto Kimble

Managing Director

Specific Gravity Beverage Company

Sometimes you find the right path immediately, but more often you have to search to find a way to lead your business to success.
Devin Otto Kimble
Managing Director
Specific Gravity Beverage Company
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What does this photo mean to you?
It takes a great team to build a great craft beer company!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
When I started in the craft beer business in Singapore, we were literally pioneers. I love taking the seed of an idea and watching it grow into a tree of a business that is strong and lasting. I really like the early stages of putting a team together, getting systems in place, and creating a culture that will instill confidence and breed success.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Resilience is essential. Sometime you find the right path immediately, but more often you have to search and search to find a way to lead your business to success.
Saving...

Dingyao Wong

Co-Founder & CEO

Kydra

We hope to inspire future generation of Singaporeans, Asians and beyond, to explore a healthy , active lifestyle.
Dingyao Wong
Co-Founder & CEO
Kydra
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What does this photo mean to you?
Starting of a journey.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
We are building a community of fun-loving fitness enthusiasts, #KydraSquad, through our activewear. Through this community, we hope to inspire future generations of Singaporeans, Asians and beyond, to explore a healthy, active lifestyle.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Optimism. With no background in fashion design nor design, we had to develop our first product from scratch. From personally sourcing for manufacturers, to choosing the right fabric, nothing was a walk in the park. When we had eventually selected a local clothing manufacturer, we were asked to order a minimum of 1,000 pieces. This was daunting to us, as there was no guarantee that we were able to sell such a large quantity. However, we chose to remain confident in our product, and launched the Flex Shorts on crowdfunding website, Indiegogo. Alas, the shorts did not sell out overnight; in fact, it took over half a year for us to clear our stock. Nonetheless, heartened by the positive reviews and feedback by our consumers, we continued to pursue our ambition and expanded our inventory of products, with the goal of building SEA's leading activewear brand. Today, we have expanded our inventory by over 1,500%, catering to both males and females for a variety of occasions and activities.
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Dr Jun Yang CHAN

Founder

Sire

If you have an idea - Start now. People will come when they see the good work you are doing.
Dr Jun Yang CHAN
Founder
Sire
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What does this photo mean to you?
Ever knew there are "ship doctors?" Always think out of the box.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
As a doctor, I was trained to think methodically. It was rigid, yet essential, especially since we dealt with people's lives. But we all thought alike. There was no motivation to be better. Doctors used to be at the forefront of innovation. We invented antibiotics, life-saving surgeries, new understanding of the anatomy. I knew I wasn't going to make such an impact by being the same. So I took a leap of faith and left my dreams of being a surgeon. I'm now on a path less travelled, and some days I do look back. But I wake up every day with excitement, because I know I'm a step closer towards something new.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Have a "Do-it-yourself" attitude. You are going to take time to find talent, but your business has to keep moving. DIY allows you to understand the fundamentals of each business function. It helps you develop the communication and empathy required to build an effective team. So if you have an idea - Start now. People will come when they see the good work you are doing.
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Dragan Bozic

Founder & CEO

Ree-Pay Pte Ltd

Building a company is about creating value, success come with a teamwork able to work together toward a common vision. 
Dragan Bozic
Founder & CEO
Ree-Pay Pte Ltd
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What does this photo mean to you?
Building a company is about creating value, success come with a teamwork able to work together toward a common vision. 
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
1) Bring value working in multicultural, challenging and dynamic environments 2) Gratitude for life and Love for what I do 3) Building teams of extremely talented individuals driven by same passions
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Passion and Resilience: because it's hard! 
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Ekta Tejwani

Founder

MeetMumz

Strong perseverance & grit are key to a founder’s existence.
Ekta Tejwani
Founder
MeetMumz
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What does this photo mean to you?
This was me kickstarting at 8 months!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
The passion and the need to offer a solution, that you hoped you had in your time when you needed it most and to see that solution making a positive impact on another mother, that self-fulfilling need of doing good by others is what keeps the entrepreneur inspired.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Strong perseverance & grit are key to a founder's existence.
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Elizabeth Wong

Founder

BETH BARS PTE LTD

Someone once told me "If you never try, you never know. And if you never try, will you regret it later?" My simple answer was yes.
Elizabeth Wong
Founder
BETH BARS PTE LTD
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What does this photo mean to you?
This image was taken at Bhakude Besi in Nepal during my overseas community service project. I have always enjoyed helping others and giving back to society.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
The concept for Beth was conceived out of a desire to introduce more sustainable haircare alternatives in a plastic-heavy industry. My quest for more sustainable haircare alternatives led me to realise that there were many other problems with liquid shampoos. Many problems such as diluted product - 70% of the content in liquid shampoo are water and the pump is designed to give you more product you need to speed up the repurchase cycle. Every shampoo bar purchase is preventing 3 shampoo bottles from polluting our environment. Every purchase makes me excited knowing that people are trying to switch from bottles to bars. I am making an environmental impact. I mean who does not want to save the world?
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Just try' mentality. Someone once told me "If you never try, you never know. And if you never try, will you regret it later?" My simple answer was yes.
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Elsa Lambinet

Co-Founder & Creative Director

REVEAL

Entrepreneurship requires one to execute innovative ideas with a multi-angle approach and work with various business partners to complete projects.
Elsa Lambinet
Co-Founder & Creative Director
REVEAL
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What does this photo mean to you?
This picture was taken on Blair road (in Singapore) near a stunning shop house. It symbolises the inspiration I can get from the beauty of the South East Asia region. I get inspired by what I see around me and I like to integrate it into my work.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Whether it’s developing an interior design for a shop or an MNC, or branding assets for a flourishing start-up, curiosity drives me every day to create and develop new ideas.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Being resourceful! Entrepreneurship requires one to execute innovative ideas with a multi-angle approach and work with various business partners to complete projects.
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Elston Yee

Co-Founder & CEO

Forma

Doing a startup is never easy, there will always be ups and downs throughout the entire journey.
Elston Yee
Co-Founder & CEO
Forma
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What does this photo mean to you?
Hustling wherever we are~
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Seeing users all around the world enjoying using our product.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Doing a startup is never easy, there will always be ups and downs throughout the entire journey. One essential trait of a founder is GRIT - The perseverance and passion to build the startup from zero.
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Ethan Ang

Co-Founder & CEO

NodeFlair

Entrepreneurs must be guided by a strong vision of what a better world looks like, with high stubbornness on that vision, but yet nimble and humble enough to pivot.
Ethan Ang
Co-Founder & CEO
NodeFlair
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What does this photo mean to you?
SpaceX started with a vision to colonise mars so as a means to make human a multi-planet species. Rocketry, setting up StarLink (internet business) are just a means to achieve that goal. We as Entrepreneurs must be guided by a strong vision of what a better world looks like, with high stubbornness on that vision, but yet nimble and humble enough to pivot (and not be solution-bound) so as to find the best way of pursuing the vision.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Solving really difficult problems that brings huge value to users.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Vision - if you have no vision, no one will follow you to build the world you want!
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Eugene Cheng

Partner & Creative Lead

HighSpark Pte Ltd

Don't be afraid to challenge your existing view of the world and you'll find that limits you feel are usually self imposed. Move to a bigger shell.
Eugene Cheng
Partner & Creative Lead
HighSpark Pte Ltd
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What does this photo mean to you?
Entrepreneurship : Growing Out Of Your Shell
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I'm inspired by founders at the cutting edge of technology. We work with many founders in emerging industries like blockchain and foodtech on communications. I'm always left in awe by their brilliance and they drive me to continue doing what I do so that their ideas can get a fair chance in this world.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
You need to be be aware when your 'shell' becomes too small. When your learning plateaus and the results don't come as easily - that means that you need to change something. More often than not, it means you need to step out of your comfort zone and seek new knowledge and growth. Hermit crabs regularly need to switch out of their shells into bigger ones which they use as homes once they get too big to fit inside their current one. If they outgrow their shells, it leaves them vulnerable to predators as they become exposed. Founders need to understand that the journey is hardly a linear one and that growth sometimes happens in spurts and sprints. If you don't consistently challenge yourself or seek out new perspectives, you become too comfortable and begin to outgrow your current state. Boredom sets in, higher highs become more elusive. Don't be afraid to challenge your existing view of the world and you'll find that the limits you feel are usually self imposed. Move to a bigger shell.
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Eugene Tham

Co-Founder & CEO

Shopform

Entrepreneurship is all about having the mental resilience to withstand the highs and lows in the pursuit of your vision.
Eugene Tham
Co-Founder & CEO
Shopform
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What does this photo mean to you?
it inspires us to serve our users better every day.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Delivering happiness to my family, my team, and our users.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Mental resilience to withstand the highs and lows in the pursuit of your vision.
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Evan Chow

Co-Founder & CEO

Quest

As much as the Why and What you're building matters, the Who you're building it with matters the most.
Evan Chow
Co-Founder & CEO
Quest
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What does this photo mean to you?
As much as the Why and What you're building matters, the Who you're building it with matters the most.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
My team and the users we are impacting everyday.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Creativity and a little weirdness! In a world where everyone is trying to build something, that little weirdness might just be the difference you need.
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Fengru Lin

Co-Founder and CEO of TurtleTree

TurtleTree

Innovation is what keeps a company moving forward and staying competitive.
Fengru Lin
Co-Founder and CEO of TurtleTree
TurtleTree
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What does this photo mean to you?
At TurtleTree, we extract milk from cells in our lab to get real milk without having to harm the planet and harm the animals. This is the future of the dairy industry.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
What started as a passion to make cheese and the inability to find good milk in Asia, I knew had to do something about the challenges facing the dairy industry today. The convergence of science, food and business is only possible today – if we had tried to do what we’re doing now two years ago, we probably wouldn’t have had the resources to do it.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Innovative. To be innovative is not only to have novel ideas but also to challenge the current barrier and come up with solutions to bridge the gap. Innovation is what keeps a company moving forward and staying competitive.
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Fook Kwang, Han

CEO

Uncharted Power Pte Ltd

Persistence and resilience are what makes a successful entrepreneur.
Fook Kwang, Han
CEO
Uncharted Power Pte Ltd
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What does this photo mean to you?
Visiting potential sites for prospecting.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
It is definitely climate change.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Persistence and resilience.
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Franky Vij

Pet Enthusiast

PetParents App

Entrepreneurs always need to be on a drawing board. You may have a great idea, but you still need to keep designing it by listening to your users through feedback funnel and critique.
Franky Vij
Pet Enthusiast
PetParents App
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What does this photo mean to you?
We all must learn from the leap of faith our pets put on us, regardless of the differences.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Creating an app for the next generation of pet parents. We're doing something that is at odds with the current established paradigm, and seeing that shift of perception about the social structure within the pet community, is truly inspiring.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Always remember the excitement you had when you first started working on your idea. There will be some overwhelming experiences in this journey, but holding onto that one whole memory can take you to places!
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Gagan Singh

Group CFO

Deliveree Private Limited

Do it with passion or not at all.
Gagan Singh
Group CFO
Deliveree Private Limited
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What does this photo mean to you?
Do it with passion or not at all.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I am inspired by the fact that every day is a new day and there is an opportunity in every day, especially when you are building a business. The highs and lows can just be a few hours away keeping the adrenaline rush which eventually brings out "A" game at all times.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Character. Entrepreneurship is emotionally draining and requires you to have a nerves of steel. You might be the smartest guy in the room but if you lack character, you won't be able to make it.
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Galuh Koco Sadewo

Chief Business Dev & Partnership / Co-Founder

BOTIKA

What makes a great founder? One that is visionary and resilient.
Galuh Koco Sadewo
Chief Business Dev & Partnership / Co-Founder
BOTIKA
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What does this photo mean to you?
This is a reminder to keep calm in all conditions.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Being a visionary and thinking outside of the box.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
It's definitely resilience and always having solutions.
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Gerald Tan

Co-Founder & CEO

Yummy Bros

When you do something you truly enjoy, the tough times don't feel that terrible. It's about creating an environment that I feel happy and fulfilled in.
Gerald Tan
Co-Founder & CEO
Yummy Bros
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What does this photo mean to you?
When you do something you truly enjoy, the great times are great AF and the sucky times don't really feel that sucky! That's what entrepreneurship has done for me - to create a working environment that I feel happy and fulfilled in. On top of that, it has also allowed me to be who I truly am and reflect that proudly - a fitness enthusiasts! I love gymming and I love fitness! So, being the boss of a meal prep brand allows me to channel my passion & energy into my life filled with weights, healthy eating, and awesome tough training!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
True love! My past and present life is all about fitness - almost everything I eat, wear, and do is fitness related.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
A relentless need for growth. Businesses cannot stay stagnant because costs are always increasing, new competitors are always showing up, and customers are always expecting more. It's our job to keep improving. Continuous improvement not only increases the bottom line, it also makes our customers' lives better, employees' careers more fulfilling, and our intrinsic value more valuable!
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Gillian Tee

Co-Founder & CEO

Homage

Entrepreneurship is having an amazing team to build alongside with.
Gillian Tee
Co-Founder & CEO
Homage
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What does this photo mean to you?
Our HQ/MY team bi-weekly calls. Entrepreneurship is having an amazing team to build alongside with.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
There is not a single second now around the clock where Homage care delivery is not taking place. What drives me is that every part of what we do directly has such meaningful impact to those we work and partner with - be it our care recipients, our care providers or their loved ones.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Grit grit grit - you need it to weather all the troughs in the startup journey
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Gregory Van

CEO

Endowus

Hustle - because without it you will be trampled on.
Gregory Van
CEO
Endowus
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What does this photo mean to you?
This labour of love is for the very long-term.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Fairness in the opportunity to succeed. Endowus is democratising institutional advice and products to everyone with fair fees so that wealth management can serve their lives better, so they have more life to live. This will create a more creative and productive society, from which humanity can benefit.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Hustle - because without it you will be trampled on.
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Gustavo Liu

CEO

EAT Launchpad

Entrepreneurship is super hard. It is almost like you are going against the world and thus you need to have the tenacity to keep getting up whenever you fall.
Gustavo Liu
CEO
EAT Launchpad
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What does this photo mean to you?
Hosting my startup's first event.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Seeing the implementation of disruptive innovations inspires me a lot. By working closely with entrepreneurs and innovators, I had the opportunities to witness the birth of new technologies everyday. These technologies will eventually be used to shape our world of tomorrow and I am glad that I am involved in this new wave of revolution.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Resilience. Entrepreneurship is super hard. It is almost like you are going against the world and thus you need to have the tenacity to keep getting up whenever you fall and have the absolute faith that your startup is going to change the world for the better.
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Haley Ong

Founder & CEO

Pawtner

Persistency is the key to run the marathon ...
Haley Ong
Founder & CEO
Pawtner
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What does this photo mean to you?
Pawtner. Digitalising Pet Adoption and Beyond
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I'm passionate in using tech to solve social and community problems. 
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Persistence. Founders often get external voices or rejection. Persistency is the key to run the marathon. 
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Jane Peh

Co-Founder

Pawjourr (Powered by Woof Agency)

Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster ride. There are bound to be good days and bad days. What’s important is to understand & learn from each failure and improve from there.
Jane Peh
Co-Founder
Pawjourr (Powered by Woof Agency)
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What does this photo mean to you?
Entrepreneurship is going to be a bumpy ride but smile and enjoy the process.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Pet owners leaving positive reviews or feedback on what we do and their experience with us! It makes us want to do more knowing that our effort is being seen and that our creators are getting rewarded to have fun with their pets!
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Not getting hung up over failure or rejection. Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster ride, there are bound to be good days and bad days. What’s important is to understand & learn from each failure and improve from there.
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Jayden Soh

Co-Founder

Motionsauce

The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.
Jayden Soh
Co-Founder
Motionsauce
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What does this photo mean to you?
Trying to look good even with the dark eye rings and eye bags.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Passion. Working alongside people of the same passion inspires me every single day. As the director and co-founder of Motionsauce, I communicate with everyone in the team on a daily basis (excluding weekends, of course). One of my goals is to create a safe haven for my creatives, having been involved in the filming side of the creative industry years ago. Art is extremely universal, yet individualised. While we strive to deliver our clients’ requests, it is also important to ensure that the works by the creatives are well-respected. Only then, we can truly observe - the growth that they will experience without the influence of others. A blank canvas is all they need, and we’ll leave art to speak for itself. A committed team getting their gear on, is what drives me most. It often reminds me about this quote by James Cash Penney, "The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison." The sky’s the limit, isn’t it? To have these people onboard the ride with me fuels me to go the distance, for this exciting journey shall be one for the books - diving into the future of endless possibilities.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Courage. To think is one but to act is another. Starting a business is not always easy with the many risks that come with it. In my opinion, it takes greater courage to have to navigate through the Great Unknown, especially when all seems futile in the moment. However, with each satisfied client, each positive review, and each happy employee, it makes it all worth it. At the end of the day, it’s the hardships that make us stronger, and united. 2020 has been a challenging year for Motionsauce and probably for the rest of us too. With the coming year posing as another hurdle, it is important that we keep our heads up, no matter the ups and downs. Here’s a reminder to hold on to our hearts’ callings, passions and visions, because great things await. Stay fearless!
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Jennifer Widjaja

Co-Founder & CEO

Just Dabao

Entreneurship is about creating positive impacts in people's life, be it big or small, it gives me joy and purpose when there is value created.
Jennifer Widjaja
Co-Founder & CEO
Just Dabao
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What does this photo mean to you?
Jennifer with sustainability advocate Kate Yeo for the Behind the Scenes Blind Tasting Test Video Production to raise awareness about the food waste scene in Singapore and showcase the fact that surplus food can be delicious and perfectly edible.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
What drives me the most is when our customers and merchants believe and take action in our cause. To me, entrepreneurship is about creating positive impacts in people's life, be it big or small. It gives me joy and purpose when there is value created because of your persistence in your believes.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Open-mindedness.
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Jillian Koh

Co-Founder

Tittle&Jot

When we know our strengths and face our weaknesses, constant learning and self growth is a given...
Jillian Koh
Co-Founder
Tittle&Jot
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What does this photo mean to you?
I’m constantly inspired by my surroundings and especially so when photography is able to capture the moments of beauty and struggle in life.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Our current generation struggles a lot with mental health, and with the degeneration of our Earth, I’m driven to do my part, no matter how small, to make an impact in promoting sustainability and the benefits of journaling on mental health.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Integrity: Being true to yourself, your values, and your word. Your business needs to align with your values and the need to make this world a better place. With integrity, you’ll know how you can positively impact the world and thus persevere in the challenges. When we know our strengths and face our weaknesses, constant learning and self growth is a given.
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Jingjin Liu

CEO

ZaZaZu

A founder's journey is extremely volatile, the one who can survive the ambiguity and uncertainty during this marathon will succeed.
Jingjin Liu
CEO
ZaZaZu
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What does this photo mean to you?
Breaking taboo and truly empowering women to own their sexuality.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
It has always been my passion and calling to help women to establish intrinsic confidence that drives positive impact. I believe that if women are comfortable with their sexuality, and build confidence from within, then there is little need to harness the power of attraction to tell the universe what you want. Sexuality informs identity, and this is my belief. When you are secure in your identity, that builds innate confidence. Confidence is what empowers people to ask for what they want, to stop doubting themselves and ultimately go out to change the world.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Perseverance - startup journey is extremely volatile, one day you feel like a genius, the other day an idiot, the one who can survive the ambiguity and uncertainty during this marathon will succeed.
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Joanna Pawluczuk

Managing Partner

2Market Global

Being open to feedback - that's how we come better.
Joanna Pawluczuk
Managing Partner
2Market Global
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What does this photo mean to you?
Being everywhere at the same time!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Ability to choose who I work with, what I work on and when.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Being open to feedback - that’s how we become better.
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