So who is Christopher Quek? I consider myself as an evangelist in the Singapore startup community, with a vision of creating a vibrant startup ecosystem by investing, nurturing and mentoring a group of Singapore-based entrepreneurs to expand themselves regionally and internationally.
Entrepreneurial and Investment Background
Being entrepreneurial runs in my blood. I am a fourth generation businessman in Singapore, from my great-grandmother who operated a bus company in the 1950s to now being a VC for early stage tech startups. I now run TRIVE Ventures, an early-stage venture fund, which invests in SEA-based startups expanding into the regional SEA market.
I have gained 24 years of entrepreneurial and investing experience, from as young as 15, working for my father’s conglomerate, from marketing and managing F&B outlets, to investing in dot.coms, a journalist in a publishing firm, commercialising IP from Russian tech and even advising plastic tooling manufacturing plants in China.
I was a pioneer in the 2000 dot.com era, running my very own eCommerce store in Malaysia and Singapore. And it wasn’t enough. Being serial entrepreneur in nature, I further dabbled into education centers, investing in properties in Singapore, and ran a government appointed incubator, supporting 38 startups to get US$5.3m in follow-on funding, and providing over 700 1-to-1 free advisories to startups.
We have built much since then. TRIVE, which I am Managing Partner, now holds various ecosystem assets, including 2 programming schools, 1 pay-it-forward incubator and 1 government-backed blockchain accelerator.
My features on mainstream media and tech publications in Singapore.
An influencer and thought-leader in the SEA startup ecosystem
People know me as a regular guest writer of Tech in Asia, e27 and BEAM, who has written over 100 articles on many topics like Startup Advisories, Engineering in Singapore, the state of accelerators in Singapore and Asian tech ecosystems.
I took writing to a further level and turned it into journalism. I did many interviews, including exclusives with known personalities like Ryan Holmes of Hootsuite, Peter Ho of Hope Technik, Getty Goh of CoAssets and Shirley Wong of TNF Ventures.
The connections with various influencers and entrepreneurs, coupled with my experiences as a VC, have given me a deep insight of this region, which I share willingly across multiple startup platforms.
Paying-it-forward to grow the ecosystem
I always believe that to build an ecosystem is to pay-it-forward movement. To this end, I ran Angels Gate Advisory (AGA) from 2011 to 2016, a pro-bono community incubator which supports entrepreneurs. As previously mentioned, AGA has done over 600 free one-to-one advisory sessions and assisted over 38 startups in obtaining US$5.3m in government grants and angel funding.
Currently, TRIVE is continue to support Singaporean startups. As of Oct 2018, it has supported 22 Singaporean teams to obtain the SG Startup Founder Grant.
Other notable community involvement would be a guest judge at business plan competitions like the SMU-LKY Global Business Plan competition, and being a guest examiner for business courses at the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Polytechnic.
Speaking at our pay-it-forward celebration event in April 2018, where TRIVE commits to our continued pay-it-forward initiatives to boost the Singapore Startup ecosystem.