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.
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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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Joel Leong

Co-Founder & Country Head

Aspire

The ability to think critically amidst the noise, challenge the assumptions (especially your own), and then remembering to do so on a regular basis.
Joel Leong
Co-Founder & Country Head
Aspire
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What does this photo mean to you?
On a work call, in a cafe, with baby wipes, and wine. When you're an entrepreneur, you're always on.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
My family, and the thought of building something that has meaningful impact.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Critical assessment. The entrepreneurship journey is fraught with a whirlwind of ups and downs. The ability to think critically amidst the noise, challenge the assumptions (especially your own), and then remembering to do so on a regular basis.
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John Tan

CEO

Doyobi

The best founders build what's not obvious to everyone else.
John Tan
CEO
Doyobi
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What does this photo mean to you?
Entrepreneurship is peering into the future.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Help kids learn better and find their purpose.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Imagination, because the best founders build what's not obvious to everyone else.
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Joline Tang

Founder

The Sustainability Project

It is always important to stay true to what you believe in and hold on to the very end to see what you believe in come to life.
Joline Tang
Founder
The Sustainability Project
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What does this photo mean to you?
This is me sharing with customers the products that I curated, which allows them to reduce waste in their daily lives!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
My passion and calling to conserve the environment! The urgency to devote my life to drive change in Singapore and create more awareness as there is not much time left to be wasted. Identifying the gap in the market, trying my best to fulfil it to make sustainable living easier for everyone, and allowing them to learn more about how to be conscious consumers—that's what drives me. But also, just to be honest that even with the drive, there are times that I will feel unmotivated and slightly burned out. I realised it is also important for me to remember the reason why I started the business and to take breaks in between.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Resilience! It is always important to stay true to what you believe in, not get affected easily by challenges (because there will be a lot of them coming your way when you start a business, expected and unexpected), bouncing back up after being defeated, and holding on to the very end to see what you believe in come to life and make an impact.
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Jomar Eldoey

Managing Director

Ohm Energy

A founder should understand the business they are establishing completely while securing and trusting capable talent.
Jomar Eldoey
Managing Director
Ohm Energy
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What does this photo mean to you?
If you want to build something - you have to be willing to get your hands dirty.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Passion - the desire to create something that I believe in. I believe that you should only do things you love and believe in. If you do, you will most likely succeed.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Understand but trust - A founder should understand the business they are establishing completely while securing and trusting capable talent.
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Jonathan Eg

Founder & CEO

Partipost

When I see that I positively impact others, it inspires me to do more and be better.
Jonathan Eg
Founder & CEO
Partipost
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What does this photo mean to you?
Being and seeming confident on the outside but worrying a lot on the inside.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
When I see that I positively impact others, it inspires me to do more and be better. My team drives me to work harder everyday.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Grit which is the combination of passion and perseverance. Most, if not all, early startup founders will go through a lot of trials and tribulations. Using an example, I personally got rejected by the first 10 clients when I tried to sell our idea to them. If I had given up too early, then we wouldn’t grow to where we are today.
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Jothi Krishnan Menon

Co-founder & CEO RtistiQ

RtistIQ Pte Ltd

As the saying goes "Rome was not built in a day" ...
Jothi Krishnan Menon
Co-founder & CEO RtistiQ
RtistIQ Pte Ltd
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What does this photo mean to you?
Entrepreneurship for me has been about scaling new heights and chartering through unknowns to fulfill your vision of creating an organization. While it starts with a small problem statement, but it requires new way of thinking each time you are faced with a challenge and there is no set path for it.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Driving change from the front seat is something that has always excited me. To become and drive the change that you want in the market or society and to actually be able to accomplish that inch by inch is what inspires me most.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Perseverance. Building an organization is about owning a vision and then making it brick by brick. Its long drawn process to continuously pursue for the goals and address challenges coming over the day. As the saying goes "Rome was not built in a day"
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Julien Condamines

Managing Director & Founder

Co-creation Lab

You don't have to wear a suit to have great ideas, nor to seriously work on them
Julien Condamines
Managing Director & Founder
Co-creation Lab
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What does this photo mean to you?
You don't have to wear a suit to have great ideas, nor to seriously work on them.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Enabling professionals from all backgrounds and origins to collaborate towards the creation of a better, more sustainable and more creative world.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Resilience. Being a founder is about solving problem and scaling solutions. You can't do that if you don't proactively look for problems to solve and bang your head on them hard enought and long enough to find a way to turn them into opportunities. 
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Justin Kong

CEO

Payd

No matter how much you prepare and plan, you will come across obstables that you never expected, and it will happen all the time. The ability to think on your feet is critical for any founder.
Justin Kong
CEO
Payd
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What does this photo mean to you?
Being an entrepreneur comes with many sacrifices, for me it's not being able to spend as much time with my family.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Making a positive change to people's lives. We live in a world where the richer you are, the cheaper things are. You can buy in bulk discounts, you have lower interest rates, you never incur late payment fees and never worry about running out of money. I want to change this, our purpose at Payd is to make financial services cheaper and more accessible to everyone. What really drives me to build a better product is when I hear customer stories about how our solution has helped them to get on top of their debt, save money on interest charges or late fees which can be used elsewhere, or generally feeling much happier and less stressed.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Aside from a never say die attitude, I would say it is the ability to problem solve. No matter how much you prepare and plan, you will come across obstacles that you never expected, and it will happen all the time. The ability to think on your feet is critical for any founder, you have many different ways to fix a problem, what option will you choose? This is a primary trait I look for when hiring employees as well.
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Kathleen Gondoutomo

CEO & Founder

H! Cups

Entrepreneurs face different challenges on a daily basis. It is the resilience and long-term mindset that helps founders to bounce back from failures.
Kathleen Gondoutomo
CEO & Founder
H! Cups
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What does this photo mean to you?
H! Cups' vision is to empower women in tier 2, tier 3, and rural areas across Indonesia.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Our vision is to empower women financially and emotionally in rural areas across Indonesia. Here at H! Cups, there are about 100+ females who serve as the backbone of their families, providing a better quality of life for their families. This always motivates me to fight and strive every day.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Entrepreneurs face different challenges on a daily basis. I think grit is an essential trait of a founder. Grit helps founders pick themselves up whenever they have setbacks. It is the resilience and long-term mindset that helps founders to bounce back from failures.
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Kent Teo

Founder & CEO

Invade

To be an entrepreneur, you must possess strong passion, enthusiasm, and determination to be the driver of the organisation.
Kent Teo
Founder & CEO
Invade
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What does this photo mean to you?
In any business, I believe it is teamwork and attitude that drives the organisation forward.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
The pursuit of coming out with genuine solutions to solve real problems.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Ardency. You must possess strong passion, enthusiasm, and determination to be the driver of the organisation.
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Kevin Dam

CEO

Aemorph

Be prepared to do things that others aren't willing to do, pave the way for others to follow and find solutions to problems no one even know exists yet.
Kevin Dam
CEO
Aemorph
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What does this photo mean to you?
Work hard anywhere.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Empowering others to succeed and being able to pass on what I've learnt so they can get what they want and need is what drives me. When the cause is greater than yourself you'll be more willing to put in time & effort and it's a bonus when you do something you enjoy. Seeing others grow and achieve a breakthrough and being part of that is a great feeling too so that's the selfish reason.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Being prepared to sacrifice is an important trait as a founder because you need to be prepared to do things that others aren't willing to do, pave the way for others to follow and find solutions to problems no one even know exists yet.
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Le Anh Tien

Founder & CEO

Chatbot VietNam.JSC

“The best way to predict the future is to create it,” I quote the famous quote of former President Abraham Lincoln.
Le Anh Tien
Founder & CEO
Chatbot VietNam.JSC
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What does this photo mean to you?
When starting a business, we must have a strong and steadfast spirit. You have to commit to seeing the road to success and earning a lot of money is a road full of thorns and challenges. On this path, you will be knocked down many times, and all successful people must have a stronger will and energy than others. Forging a strong spirit, firm mind, and resilient spirit from a young age is the key to unlocking sustainable success in the future.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
We want to help customers manage data easily and provide detailed statistics. In particular, we integrate AR technology to bring unique experiences to users. We are constantly innovating products, improving technology and management methods to turn Bot Ban Hang into a "Super Platform", making Chatbot Vietnam a leading technology company in Vietnam and ranked high in the world.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
First, the initiative. “The best way to predict the future is to create it,” I quote the famous quote of former President Abraham Lincoln. Whether male or female, the opportunity will come when you have the initiative and work hard and try your best. Second, perseverance and persistence. I think that when we succeed, we often don't realize where we succeed but failure will give us a quiet time to think. It is the best time for each person to realize their own lesson. “Luck is a practice of hard work. The more you do, the more you fail, the luckier you get. If you wait and don't dare to fail, you will never succeed and you will never be lucky." Third, empathy. Leaders must help people empathize with each other, stand in each other's position, and leave the ego. After that, our company culture was gradually formed.
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Livette Dikalenko

Founder & CEO

Exquisite Art

Art has been always a huge part of my life and I hope all paintings from my online art gallery will find a home.
Livette Dikalenko
Founder & CEO
Exquisite Art
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What does this photo mean to you?
Digital gallery in Life events
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Around the world, there are a lot of professional and emerging artists who can create beautiful paintings but do not know how to sell them. My challenge is to create a website structure and plan products’ details to make it convenient for both sides, for sellers and buyers.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Art has been always a huge part of my life and I hope all paintings from my online art gallery will find a home. 
Saving...

MaiLinh Nghiem

Co-Founder

Pawtner

It's all about doing hard things in a human way.
MaiLinh Nghiem
Co-Founder
Pawtner
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What does this photo mean to you?
This was captured in April by my co-founder when we were in the ZumVet office. I was laughing because the cat went in front of the camera while we were having a live session. And I thought about how my two cats at home would sniff non-stop thinking I betrayed them when I get home. After the session ended, the four of us sat together and shared our stories. It reminds me of the fun we can have, the amazing people we meet throughout the journey that lead to series of events that keep us going. It boosts me to believe in what we're doing even more.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I believe one thing all social entrepreneurs share is the passion to use technology for a social impact. Personally, there are so many things that drive me to continue doing what I'm doing. I love animals. My family has always had pets in our home back in Vietnam. I had a beautiful childhood growing up with them. But along with it comes painful experience too. Creating Pawtner fulfils my desire to help animals as much as I can. The journey and lessons we learned when building the company are absolutely precious. I've learned so much more than what I had over a few years of freelancing and working full-time with different companies. Together with my team, we learned to collaborate with each other better, connect with others from the startup community, help each other, and most importantly, share a growth mindset–pushing ourselves to a different space.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Compassion. To understand people, nurture innovations, have self-compassion and lead effectively. It's about doing hard things in a human way. And I'm still learning.
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Mandy Chan

Co-Founder

The Bold Company

Being an entrepreneur drives me to be the best version of myself.
Mandy Chan
Co-Founder
The Bold Company
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What does this photo mean to you?
My Life.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Being the best version of myself.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Boldness.
Saving...

Mano Nhouvannasak

Founder

mktg. Sports Agency

I am inspired and believe in the Power Of Sports to drive powerful emotions and add value through sports to peoples lives.
Mano Nhouvannasak
Founder
mktg. Sports Agency
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What does this photo mean to you?
They may forget what I said but they may will not forget it I made them feel about the emotions of sports.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I am inspired and believe in the Power Of Sports to drive powerful emotions and add value through sports to peoples lives. I am that one person, one action, can have a ripple effect that can make a difference.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Be yourself!
Saving...

Maria Frances Marinay

Co-Founder

Beige. Social

Being resilient is what sets apart doers from the rest. And as a founder, you keep going no matter what.
Maria Frances Marinay
Co-Founder
Beige. Social
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What does this photo mean to you?
Behind the scenes of the Muuse x By The Bay campaign shoot at the Marina Bay Financial Centre.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I am driven by the fact that I can effect change in the industry. Social media in itself is such a powerful and influential tool. Working with different business owners and brands to help transform their social media to become conscious, fuels me to keep going because how we influence them, influences their community and I would love to live in a world filled with conscious communities.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Resilience. Nothing will ever go as planned and there are people who will be doubtful of you and what you do. Being resilient is what sets apart doers from the rest. And as a founder, you keep going no matter what.
Saving...

Marilyn Chew

Founder

Eterate Calligraphy

Entrepreneurship is a non-linear journey. It looks like a dream when we see the glamorous side, but a bootstrap creative company goes though lots highs and lows.
Marilyn Chew
Founder
Eterate Calligraphy
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What does this photo mean to you?
Entrepreneurship is a non-linear journey. It looks like a dream when we see the glamorous side, but a bootstrap creative company goes through lots of highs and lows. What keeps me motivated is being able to do it our way and continue sharing the art of penmanship with the world.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
What keeps me motivated is being able to do our way and continue sharing the art of penmanship with the world.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
If I have to pick one essential trait of a founder, I'll pick Grit. It requires both passion and perseverance to go through every new hurdle.
Saving...

Maulida Ranintyari

Co-Founder & Chief of General Affairs

Nalayan Indonesia

Integrity is what makes a great founder.
Maulida Ranintyari
Co-Founder & Chief of General Affairs
Nalayan Indonesia
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What does this photo mean to you?
We started with three people and eventually grew to 11 in the team. Even though there are people who come and go, I'm still grateful for what I've been through. Entrepreneurship not only taught me how to see opportunities and seek a profit, but it also taught me how to build a family and how to look objectively without forgetting the human side of it all. Through this business, there's been a maturing process for me and this is me as the best version of myself.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I graduated with a fisheries and marine science major in one of the largest maritime countries, which has the highest total fishery production in the world. With fish stunting on the rise, our solutions can help increase the level of national fish consumption and assist the community in realizing a healthy lifestyle.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Integrity is what makes a great founder.
Saving...

Melinda Sutikno

Founder

Anya Active

Be bold and move foward in spite of your fear. Take calculated risks but don't let these risks hold you back.
Melinda Sutikno
Founder
Anya Active
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Happiest in my element (of finally starting and journeying through my own business).
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Anya was founded on my own personal story of a long struggle with multiple eating disorders, body image and depression. I started Anya with a mission to help encourage more women to adopt an active lifestyle and more importantly, embrace their body. After all, business is all about adding value to the life of others. The journey in itself also drives you--because it is rewarding to see your "baby" grow.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Be bold and move forward in spite of your fear. Take calculated risks but don't let these risks hold you back. Another important trait is to be flexible and adaptable.
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Mili Semlani

Founder

Youth4IG

The chance to bring about change stimulates me and compels to keep moving ahead to improve society, one day at a time.
Mili Semlani
Founder
Youth4IG
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What does this photo mean to you?
The power of coming together as a community.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
The chance to bring about change stimulates me and compels to keep moving ahead to improve the society, one day at a time.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Resilience - the never give up attitude is what will keep you going in spite of the many obstacles and failures
Saving...

Ming Hui Lee

Partner, Head of Operations

Moovaz

To me, a founder always has to keep a positive mindset. They have to believe that despite all the struggles and difficulties, there is still a chance for it to work out.
Ming Hui Lee
Partner, Head of Operations
Moovaz
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What does this photo mean to you?
This photo doesn't just show how we cherish team togetherness, but also the easy relationships we have with one another and being able to poke fun at each other. This photo signifies how Moovaz operates, being open and at ease with each other so that we can discuss ideas openly to drive things forward at breakneck speed.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
We all want our startup business to succeed and get a good valuation. But for me, what really inspires me is that I could be achieving all this with a team that believes in the same journey. The feeling of fighting together along a difficult journey and finally succeeding together is truly the best feeling.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
To me, a founder has to always keep a positive mindset. They have to believe that despite all the struggles and difficulties, there is still a chance for it to work out. It is easy to give up when the going gets tough and by "psycho-ing" yourself that it's going to be fine; it will help to keep the ship moving. As a founder, you need to keep the ship moving no matter what.
Saving...

Nellie Wartoft

Founder & CEO

Tigerhall

Believe in disciplined and consistent effort, with a long-term state of change or progress you want to drive through that consistent effort.
Nellie Wartoft
Founder & CEO
Tigerhall
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What does this photo mean to you?
Entrepreneurship to me means having the ability to work on something I believe in, in the way I think the problem should be solved, with the people I think are the right ones to solve it. By far the biggest upside to me is being able to handpick individuals that make me super excited to wake up every morning and get to work with, hence the picture of my fellow tigers.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I'm not a fan of relying on inspiration as it's very temporary and fluctuating. I believe in disciplined and consistent effort, with a long-term state of change or progress you want to drive through that consistent effort. For me, the progress I want to see in the world is a world where organisations are meritocratic and your ability to do a job is not assessed based on the brand name of the university you went to. I want to replace theoretical and old-school universities with real-world education for real-world businesses.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Sense of humour and perspective. If you can't take a step back, have some perspective, and laugh about situations, your life will be constant hell. Don't fall into the trap of thinking your business is the universe.
Saving...

Nghia Vu

CEO/Co-Founder

Bizzi

Turning a startup idea into a successful business is full of mental and physical challenges...
Nghia Vu
CEO/Co-Founder
Bizzi
Text Link
What does this photo mean to you?
Stronger together
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
What gets me up every morning is the vision about the future of work for modern and agile finance-accounting operations where AI and automation technology can free finance team from manual and repetitive work, thus focusing on critical and valuable tasks.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Perseverance is undoubtedly essential for founders as the road from turning a startup idea into a successful business is full of mental and physical challenges.
Saving...

Nguyen Thanh Binh

CEO - Founder - Chairman

Phuong Binh Group

In today's fast-changing world, you have to adapt and learn many times faster than you did a decade ago.
Nguyen Thanh Binh
CEO - Founder - Chairman
Phuong Binh Group
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What does this photo mean to you?
If you want to do great things, you must have an open mind and a warm heart
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Connecting great minds for a better world.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
In today's fast-changing world, you have to adapt and learn many times faster than you did a decade ago.
Saving...

Pascal Henry

CEO

HReasily Asia

If you have grit, you have the courage, determination and stamina to keep progressing and working hard, despite inevitable setbacks.
Pascal Henry
CEO
HReasily Asia
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What does this photo mean to you?
Be open to finding inspiration and opportunities in places you never thought to look.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I want to create real value. I want our work to make an impact and help others achieve their goals. Seeing how far we have come, and knowing how much further we can go, is my motivation.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
To me, one essential trait every founder must have is grit. If you have grit, you have the courage, determination and stamina to keep progressing and working hard, despite inevitable setbacks.
Saving...

Pocholo Miguel Espina

CEO

Sip PH

It's not really a race of who gets there first but rather who stands the test of time.
Pocholo Miguel Espina
CEO
Sip PH
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What does this photo mean to you?
Running a business rarely exempts you from doing the dirty work. Here are Loop's founders during our moving day looking haggard from all the moving and cleaning!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
The desire to be excellent in my work.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Able to pace oneself. It's not really a race of who gets there first but rather who stands the test of time.
Saving...

Priya Vakil

Founder & Managing Director

PHI Space

I believe the best buildings and cities are yet to be built.
Priya Vakil
Founder & Managing Director
PHI Space
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What does this photo mean to you?
Making note of every design idea!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I believe the best buildings and cities are yet to be built. Our purpose and vision is to be part of those transformational spaces and experiences.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Persistence and perseverance.
Saving...

Raimie Tang

CEO

Date Ideas

The best entrepreneurs are like camels. They eat and live prudently while getting tons of stuff done, knowing that an amazing oasis awaits them one day.
Raimie Tang
CEO
Date Ideas
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What does this photo mean to you?
The best entrepreneurs are like camels. They eat and live prudently while getting tons of stuff done, knowing that an amazing oasis awaits them one day.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Working hard to solve an extremely challenging problem in the world that nobody else will solve, if not for myself.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
The ability to learn and grow oneself at a phenomenal rate with every experience, big or small.
Saving...

Raymond Thomas

Co-Founder, Director & Wisdom Activator

Enible

Inspire to Lead.
Raymond Thomas
Co-Founder, Director & Wisdom Activator
Enible
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What does this photo mean to you?
Inspire to Lead.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
The passion of working with people, discovering what makes them tick and unlocking their potential.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Sparking Plugs (Metaphor loaned from there purpose of spark plugs in automobiles).
Saving...

Ricardo Sentosa

Managing Director

Venuerific

The ability to execute is more important than having a big vision as what you do today will make the difference of tomorrow.
Ricardo Sentosa
Managing Director
Venuerific
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What does this photo mean to you?
Venuerific's growth and success is attributed to the team and its people. My goal as the managing director is to empower each employee to be the best version of oneself.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
What I love about entrepreneurship is that there is always something new to learn. For a plant to grow, it needs three things: sun, water and nutrients. For us humans, we need enlightenment, water and food. If we are not growing, we are dying. Entrepreneurship keeps me alive by enabling constant personal growth.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
The ability to execute is more important than having a big vision as what you do today will make the difference of tomorrow.
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Robert Rajeswaran

Co-Founder

Boxaroo

Building a business can be rollercoaster ride. Looking at problems as challenges and having the persistence to break through — these are so important.
Robert Rajeswaran
Co-Founder
Boxaroo
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What does this photo mean to you?
Boxaroo at work!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I was a child refugee that managed to escape a war zone. I'm so fortunate to have all the opportunities and privileges that many people can only dream of. Every day I think about this and push myself to become a better person and achieve success.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Problem-solving abilities. Building a business can be a rollercoaster ride; there is always ups and downs. Looking at problems as challenges and having the persistence to break through is so important.
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Romain Lazzarotto

Founder

CINEMATIC.SG

Never let others discourage you. Embrace the ups and downs. It will pay off down the road – that's guaranteed.
Romain Lazzarotto
Founder
CINEMATIC.SG
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What does this photo mean to you?
This is me living from my passion in video and loving it everyday!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Waking up every day and being excited about a creative project that will answer business needs for an organization; using audio and video mediums to create memorable experiences; and above all, developing self-sustainability while being helpful to others and nice to work with. Continuous learning!
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Self-confidence — you need to know what you are capable of. Never let others discourage you. Embrace the ups and downs. Persevere. It will pay off down the road – that's guaranteed.
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Rorian Pratyaksa

Co-Founder

Woobiz

What makes a great founder? Having grit and persistence.
Rorian Pratyaksa
Co-Founder
Woobiz
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What does this photo mean to you?
This photo always reminds me to believe in your passion and to work tirelessly to make it a reality. In the process, you’ll find and give support and make an impactful journey to your life and others.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Working with a clear vision and mission, and living day-to-day knowing that I could make a real impact, making sure each day is one step closer to making it happen.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Grit and persistence. The ability to fully understand the objectives, have a clear mission and vision to get through any future challenges with optimism and positivity.
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Sandhya Sriram

Co-Founder & CEO

Shiok Meats

You need to be mentally and physically strong and most of all resilient to go through and survive all the way.
Sandhya Sriram
Co-Founder & CEO
Shiok Meats
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What does this photo mean to you?
The long road ahead and behind, always with a smile.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
The human body or biology in general.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Resilience - as a founder, you will be tried and tested every step of the way. You need to be mentally and physically strong and most of all resilient to go through and survive all the way!
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Seah Pei Song

Founder

Dialogic Academy

Being a founder always requires us to respond quickly to our customer's needs and the evolving landscape.
Seah Pei Song
Founder
Dialogic Academy
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What does this photo mean to you?
What you see is the best version of ourselves when we face our clients or our team. What you don't see is the blood, sweat and tears in every entrepreneur's journey. 
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I started Dialogic Academy motivated by the belief that our youths today will require competencies such as critical thinking and public speaking to remain relevant in an age of increasing automation. It is these "human" skills that make us irreplaceable and should be developed as young as possible! We do so through our LIVE online classes, allowing our students in Asia to be mentored by the best coaches from around the world. 
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Adaptability! Being a founder always requires us to respond quickly to our customer's needs and the evolving landscape. For example, COVID-19 caused significant impacts on the way we do business. However, it also forced us to relook into our playbooks and pivot quickly into the online enrichment space, carving out a niche for ourselves. 
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Shayne Tan

Co-Founder

Coalculus

Steve Jobs was called crazy many times...
Shayne Tan
Co-Founder
Coalculus
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What does this photo mean to you?
Taking enterprise blockchain to the world stage. 
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Doing what I love since 2017. You will be surprise how amazing it feels when a passion and a career come together.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
The ability to stop caring about the little things and just doing it! Thinking and overthinking cost founders a ton of mental energy. So the next time you think something needs to be done, just keep your mind blank, think like a crazy person, and just do it. Yes, it sounds absurd. Steve Jobs was passionate about future and for that he was called crazy many times.
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Shi Ling, Tai

CEO

UI-licious

Know when to say no.
Shi Ling, Tai
CEO
UI-licious
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What does this photo mean to you?
My co-founder and I goofing around at JSConfAsia 2019 with a unicorn floatie. The JSConfAsia event and community means a lot to us. We first presented our first prototype in a lightning talk at JSConfAsia in 2016, and have very enthusiastic response from the developer community about our idea, which really convinced us to further develop it into a product and a business. Since then, we've been to JSConfAsia every year to learn, meet new people in the community, and share our knowledge about building great software. Since the COVID pandemic, we really miss conferences like these that bring the developer community together.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
As a kid, I was always fascinated by technology and how it empowers people, that's why I choose to study computer science and become a software engineer. UI-licious was founded on the desire to empower non-technical software testers who were testing software by hand to automate user interface testing without needing to learn to code. At times when running the business felt too hard, it keeps me going when a user writes to us sharing about how our product makes their work fun, gives them peace at night knowing that their systems are up, and occasionally saved the day by catching a major defect before the software is released to their customer.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Knowing when to say no. Running a business is not trivial at all, and when you have a limited runway, it is essential to know what to focus on, and to keep your focus on it. In the beginning, I noted down every suggestion and accepted every meeting request from investors, from users, and tried to get them all done. I had a super long to-do list that made me very stressed and it also distracted me from what really needed to be done, or really accomplishing anything at all. It's like juggling - if you had 10 balls and tried to juggle all of them, you might just drop all of it. It would be better to focus on 3 balls, and let the rest drop, so that at least you have 3 balls in the air. My personal health and well-being being one of the balls I've learnt to never drop. 
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Shin Ng

Founder

RushOwl Singapore

A founder needs to act like a parent for your startup. You should always be 100% ready to give and work hard for this child of yours.
Shin Ng
Founder
RushOwl Singapore
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What does this photo mean to you?
It reminds me that we should be the dauntless bunch of people that pursues impact over money.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I started RushOwl intending to transform the public transportation industry, which has been operating at standards implemented more than 30 years ago. Passengers around the world now have greater demands on how they commute and it is up to people like us to disrupt existing modes of unsustainable operating methods.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
A founder needs to act like a parent for your startup. You should always be 100% ready to give and work hard for this child of yours.
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Stuart Thornton

CEO

Hoolah

Entrepreneurship is about creating value from nothing and bringing great people together to achieve success.
Stuart Thornton
CEO
Hoolah
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What does this photo mean to you?
Entrepreneurship is about creating value from nothing and bringing great people together to achieve success.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
3 things: 1) every cloud has a silver lining 2) an aversion to the word "cant" or "no" 3) my daughter
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Optimism and the ability to appreciate risk but not let that stop you.
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Tee-Ming Chew

Co-Founder

Seedly

Entrepreneurship is all about assembling the right people to do the right things together.
Tee-Ming Chew
Co-Founder
Seedly
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What does this photo mean to you?
Birthday celebration for a team member.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
To me, Entrepreneurship is all about assembling the right people to do the right things together. I'm always grateful to be able to meet smart and talented people, learning from them while working as a team to resolve the problems that lie ahead of us. The right team also helps to push and motivate me during tough times as I know I can rely on them to get through the various obstacles that lie ahead of us.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Passion - as putting in long hours on something you don't love will be challenging!
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Thibaut Briere

Founder

Growth Marketing Studio

Several things fundamentally drive me: 1) Freedom and ownership 2) People and impact 3) Realizing my potential
Thibaut Briere
Founder
Growth Marketing Studio
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What does this photo mean to you?
As entrepreneurs we are deeply rooted in our local ecosystems. We must know it by heart and be part of it, but our raison d'être is also to make a positive impact on it. As a French living in Singapore, this photo captures that spirit!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Several things fundamentally drive me. 1.) Freedom and ownership - I deeply enjoy being free to work on what I love and being in charge. With it comes an extreme sense of ownership as well that's very gratifying. No excuses! 2.) People and impact - As a business, the impact we're making on people, partners, customers is incredible. Nothing is more fulfilling than feeling the excitement in the room when working with clients. 3.) Realizing my potential - As an entrepreneur I learned like never before. Expanding my comfort zone and pushing my boundaries is both challenging and extremely rewarding. I wouldn't be able to wake-up at 5am excited without this!
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Grit and resilience!
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Thibaut Meurgue-Guyard

Co-founder & Meme lord

Found & Seek

It is key to know yourself and have a true, honest vision of you. Accept yourself, love yourself and rock the world!
Thibaut Meurgue-Guyard
Co-founder & Meme lord
Found & Seek
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What does this photo mean to you?
I am the grumpy big boy, she is the loud grand girl. Cause an entrepreneur journey has to come with a like-minded spirit >> that's the moment we just learned we got funded actually!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I want to leave an impact and be proud of the path I chose cause when I have to explain my grandkids I could not save the world, I will need somehing to start with! So I am trying to make a difference in this big moving planet. ‍Fuelled by what I call pragmatic sustainability (not the wishful thinking, the real deal), I want to establish Found & Seek as the leading authority for industrial sustainability. Might not sound as cool as cleaning the oceans or calculate your footprint, but that's a huge impact for future generations and it is an absolute need to onboard EVERYONE on the sustainability journey!
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Self-honesty -> Know truly who you are and where you standIt is key to know yourself and have a true, honest vision of you. Accept yourself, love yourself and rock the world!
Saving...

Vu Nguyen

Co-Founder & Head of Strategy

MicroFund JSC

When we still believe that our solution will ease customers' pain, be happy and go ahead...
Vu Nguyen
Co-Founder & Head of Strategy
MicroFund JSC
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What does this photo mean to you?
Be Go-Giver, it always make us lucky
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
We admire Kabbage in US, Funding Societies in Singapore and other Financial Institutes who strengthens SMEs by un-secured loans. Fintech Lending is going to awake traditional banks and together make lending access equally to SMEs.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Consistency. Even most of the time you feel alone and face difficulties, keep continue until you perceive that it's better than yesterday. Our ideas could be too difficult to implement for anyone, or just trivial that nobody wants to take. But when we still believe that our solution will ease customers' pain, be happy and go ahead.
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Wei Liang Wang

Co-Founder & CEO

Proccoli

I wake up everyday knowing that my work is challenging the status quo for the better.
Wei Liang Wang
Co-Founder & CEO
Proccoli
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What does this photo mean to you?
All the hustle behind the scene needs to be effectively translated when the time comes for you to pitch.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
When I wake up everyday knowing that my work is challenging the status quo, of how things work and operate, for the better.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Trust. Trust is easy to lose and hard to regain in whatever you do.
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Will Fan

CEO

NewCampus

The path of an entrepreneur is incredibly lonely, but my thesis is that the biggest risk is not taking any risk at all.
Will Fan
CEO
NewCampus
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What does this photo mean to you?
Teaching one of the first classes ever at NewCampus.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I never saw myself as an edtech entrepreneur, but as someone who fell into this industry. I’ve fallen in love with this space and am driven to help others reinvent themselves through accessible leadership education. This could mean shedding light on new career pathways, making introductions to a new network or allowing them to develop the business confidence for a changing market. We’ve helped transform over 2,000 lives and I look forward to the next milestone of 100,000.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
There were many times in my life where I would have liked to follow the herd, and instead I followed my gut and took the riskier pathway. Often that path is incredibly lonely, but my thesis is that the biggest risk is not taking any risk at all. When I was younger, I had a pretty high tolerance for risk in general, but as I matured as an entrepreneur, it’s evolved into taking more calculated bets on where the market is moving, how to approach certain problems or doubling down on a business opportunity. This has certainly helped with the experience I’ve gained with the various companies that I’ve founded across several geographies.
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Willynn Ng

Founder & CEO

Piggyback Singapore

Most entrepreneurs need to ponder over thousand issues everyday as the team relies on you to bring home the bacon. I guess motherhood gave me an early start and preparation for entrepreneurship.
Willynn Ng
Founder & CEO
Piggyback Singapore
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What does this photo mean to you?
Most entrepreneurs need to ponder over thousand issues everyday as the team relies on you to bring home the bacon. I guessed motherhood gave me an early start and preparation for entrepreneurship. The lack of sleep, the anxiety on the welfare and etc...
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
My family inspires me, despite growing up with "limited resources", it did not stop my parents from extending help to the neighbours or even strangers as long as it's within the capacity. The ability and capability to resolve issues and create an impact in someone's life drove me further to pursue my passion and dream.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
I will definitely say - Grit. You will meet naysayers more than believers and they will continue to pour you a wet blanket at every stage that you passed through. What matter most is what you believe. Never give up on failures but use them to teach you to be better and stronger the next time around. After all, God will only send the toughest fights to the strongest soldiers.
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Wilson Wang

Founder

WoofWaggers

It's important to have the capacity to recover quickly from any setbacks in order to achieve what we have set out to do.
Wilson Wang
Founder
WoofWaggers
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What does this photo mean to you?
WoofWaggers - Creating Better Lives for Dogs
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Got saved by a dog while battling through depression and it's time to return the favour to not one, but all the dogs in the world.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Resilience. The journey to any start-ups or businesses would often be faced by challenges and it's important to have the capacity to recover quickly from any setbacks in order to achieve what we have set out to do.
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Wilson Yanaprasetya

Co-Founder

Dagangan

Being able to bounce back from punches and setbacks is the most vital skill to being a successful entrepreneur.
Wilson Yanaprasetya
Co-Founder
Dagangan
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What does this photo mean to you?
Entrepreneurship is about using innovation to create opportunities that will impact lives, connecting people, solve problems, and gain your customer's trust. It's about passion, commitment, hard work, and sacrifices.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Being able to support the underserved in the rural areas who keep paddling to make ends meet.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Resilience. Being able to bounce back from punches and setbacks is the most vital skill to being a successful entrepreneur. We all experience failure; it is often the best way to learn. It’s what you do after the failure that makes all the difference.
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Wisnu Nugrahadi

CEO & Co-Founder

Sampingan

I believe that being genuinely compassionate allows for better and more open collaboration and a massive increase in trust and relevant decision making.
Wisnu Nugrahadi
CEO & Co-Founder
Sampingan
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What does this photo mean to you?
This was our first worker gathering in late 2018 — we only had 5 people in the team and a few hundred workers on the platform. The feedback and insight from that first gathering became the foundation of what the company should focus on.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
I'm driven by life stories. Stories of the workers in our platform, the people in our team, the clients that we serve. There are certain stories that you'll only hear when speaking 1on1 over a cup of $0.2 coffee on the side of a busy road in Jakarta - stories about their background and motivation. It makes me grateful for what I have and why I need to work harder to help them achieve their goals and dream bigger.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Compassion and really understanding the pain points of each stakeholder in any businesses requires deep empathy and care. In a team setting, I believe that being genuinely compassionate allows for better and more open collaboration and a massive increase in trust and relevant decision making.
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Wong Yong Jie

Chief Software Architect

Glints

Without trying repeatedly and learning valuable lessons from each failure, I don't think we would have been able to get to the breakthrough moment.
Wong Yong Jie
Chief Software Architect
Glints
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What does this photo mean to you?
Glints Co-Founders and Friends, 2015. I broke my hand from a basketball game, but still had to write code to launch the first few versions of Glints.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Work takes up a substantial portion of our lives. If we consider the typical 8-hour work day, we spend close to one-third of our adulthood at work, but yet many in this region are not matched with career opportunities that bring out the best in them. The potential to positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions across Southeast Asia by democratizing career discovery and development is exciting. We're only 1% done, and there's so much interesting problems in this space to solve.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
I think grit is key. From our inception till today, we have gone through many pivots, failed product ideas or business models. We didn't experience significant growth for the first few years. There were many moments where it just seemed easier to give up, and personally, to switch just work at more comfortable places. Without trying repeatedly and learning valuable lessons from each failure, I don't think we would have been able to get to the breakthrough moment.
Saving...

Woo Sze Ming

Co-founder

Gamurai

You only live once! Make your impact! Don't regret!
Woo Sze Ming
Co-founder
Gamurai
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What does this photo mean to you?
Lots of hardwork, rejection, development, iteration, breaking things apart, rebuilding it again that occur behind the scene to present something!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
You only live once! Make your impact! Don't regret!
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Keep on flowing! It's a process of continuous improvement.
Saving...

Yann Follain and Jonathan Poh

Managing Director and Director

WY-TO

There will be many hurdles along the way that will require mental strength and creative ingenuity before arriving at innovative solutions.
Yann Follain and Jonathan Poh
Managing Director and Director
WY-TO
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What does this photo mean to you?
Here's team WY-TO in action!
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Nature's ability to be so resilient and to continuously provide despite adversities inspires us. This resilience motivates us to play an active role in ensuring a long-lasting environment that is meant for the people to enjoy, regardless of background, religion, gender or age group.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why.
Perseverance because there will be many hurdles along the way that will require mental strength and creative ingenuity before arriving at innovative solutions. As a design studio that is fully committed to holistically transform society, it also takes time and effort to change mindsets.
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Yann LeMoël

Founder

Living Labs Federation

The success of an entrepreneur will be linked to the team he/she will be able to rely on.
Yann LeMoël
Founder
Living Labs Federation
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What does this photo mean to you?
The purpose to drive change becoming an obsession through my contact with Nature, the strength provided by my partner Nassima, and the expertise and motivation these great persons bring when we need it.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
Nature inspires me by its marvels though fragility. The new generation drives me as they are want to take action very young in the possibility of a different future.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Team builder: Entrepreneurship is an often lonesome journey, but the strength needed to get inspiration, launch, scale, pivot, improve is given by the right people surrounding you. The success of an entrepreneur will be linked to the team he/she will be able to rely on.
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Yash Gadodia

Co-Founder & CTO

AfterClass

A founder needs to face tonnes of obstacles along his or her journey...
Yash Gadodia
Co-Founder & CTO
AfterClass
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What does this photo mean to you?
Despite lockdown, we managed to onboard a whole team of people and our weekly calls ensured that we got to each other on a personal level despite never having met physically.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
My Co-Founder inspires me because he is extremely good at what he does. So I wish to better myself I can bring just as much value to the company. 
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Have a can-do attitude. If a founder easily gives up, the company will not success as a founder needs to face tonnes of obstacles along his or her journey.
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Yasmine Khater

Lead Researcher & CEO

Sales Story Method

You need to always figure out how to solve problems and once you, you build systems and put it on repeat.
Yasmine Khater
Lead Researcher & CEO
Sales Story Method
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What does this photo mean to you?
Operating in possibility
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
As a kid with mixed heritage, I would hear comments of all the reasons why I was weird. As a result, I was so shy, bullied, and felt so misunderstood. I did not speak up and hated the idea of someone seeing me. Until one day in University, Sami who was part of the student union asked me to introduce myself. Instead, I kept stuttering, looked down, so embarrassed. He let me off the hook, and the remaining session, I felt so uncomfortable. He came up to me and said ""People are more afraid of speaking than dying"". A few weeks later, I was in a near-death accident and then a few months later my dad had his diagnosis of 4th stage cancer. Within less than a year he passed away. When he got his prognosis, I asked him, what else he wanted to do? He said, ""I've done it all."" That statement inspired me so much that I've made that the key question I wanted to live by. This has helped me author a story of my life wilder than my wildest dreams. Today, I enabler leaders to author a life that is wilder than their wildest dreams. Part of that goes from being unheard, misunderstood to stepping into their authority. So that they can grow their impact, income, and influence.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Resourcefulness. You need to always figure out how to solve problems and once you, you build systems and put it on repeat.
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