Startup Advisories

What you should expect from your startup mentor

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It is a perilous journey for an entrepreneur, especially for the inexperienced. There are no straightforward ways of building a business, as dynamics changes very often in a complex business environment. I know this, as I too was a young inexperienced startup founder 19 years ago, during the early dot-com era. Whatever I tried applying […]

Startup Advisories

4 overplayed startup themes in Singapore and the challenges of implementing them

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As an early-stage VC in Singapore, Tri5 Ventures usually gets a good number of pitches monthly from Singapore-based startups. Given that we are an appointed incubator by SPRING Singapore to facilitate startup grants we receive a lot of millennial entrepreneurs who are usually first or second-time entrepreneurs who want funding to grow their business ideas. Unfortunately, Singapore is […]

Startup Advisories

Your IP questions answered by legal director of Singapore’s Intellectual Property Office

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For many startup founders, getting day-to-day operations going—product development, marketing, fundraising, and hiring—consumes most of their time. The last thing they need is another issue to think about. But when team members leave your startup and take valuable IP (intellectual property) along with them, it might be prudent to pause and consider the issues of IP. […]

Startup Advisories

How military leadership training shaped us as entrepreneurs

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To every male Singaporean citizens and second generation PRs, National Service is a rite of passage of boys becoming men. Singaporean males around the ages of 18 to 19 are generally conscripted for a two-year stint, and are deployed to various uniform services. When asking a conscript on how the experience of National Service was, answers range from […]

Startup Advisories

Mom, I’m going to be an entrepreneur

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“You want to start your own business? Why are you so stupid?” cried Joe’s mother. It was five years ago when I remembered hearing the personal story of an entrepreneur during my pro-bono mentoring days at Angels Gate Advisory (AGA). Joe (not his real name), was then a recent graduate at a local Singapore university. “But mom, […]

Startup Advisories

The traits of a business mentor

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In his book on Startup Communities, Brad Feld defines mentors as ‘experienced entrepreneurs or investors who actively contribute time, energy and wisdom to startups.’ While an advisor has an economic relationship with the entrepreneur, the mentor is one who gives before he gets, and has no clear outcome goals or economic rewards. From time-to-time, AGA invites […]

Startup Advisories

It’s not the pitch or the plan, it’s you

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When asked “What is first thing that you consider before making an investment in a tech startup?”, many seed investors, including myself, give the cliché line “It is the entrepreneur.”, but it is unfortunately the truth. It is a privilege to talk to over 450 startups in 1-1 free advisories at AGA and hearing another 100 or […]

Startup Advisories

Marketing lessons from the durian trade

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Ahh.. durian… the lovely King of Fruits, according to South East Asians. Here in Singapore, durians are the rage. Mostly imported from neighbouring Malaysia, it has become a cultural activity to eat and buy a durian anywhere from US$5 to as expensive as US$30. This year, there was a bumper harvest and coupled with the Ramadan […]

Startup Advisories

Are you transforming and impacting your community?

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In all the sexy glitz and glamour of the tech entrepreneur industry, we have seen many entrepreneurs building up their start-ups to be the next big unicorn exit. After all, ye who succeeds in building lots of traction and high revenue growth are truly one to be invested in, respected and glorified. No doubt on […]

Startup Advisories

Do entrepreneurs with family make good entrepreneurs?

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Three years ago, during a start-up event, I distinctively remembered a young upstart Brian Wong, founder of Kiip, mentioned that start-ups should not hire people who have kids. Wong explained that people with kids will not be able to commit full-time to the business, as compared to those who have no family commitments. I wasn’t there […]