13 June 2014

Entrepreneurs have to keep an open mind, seize the day

Grace Clapham, Founder, The Change School and Change Ventur.es, advises fellow entrepreneurs to prepare themselves for any opportunity. Speaking at the MIT Technology That Matters Series: An Evening with Young Innovators Organised by Koelnmesse in partnership with The Hub Singapore and MIT Enterprise Forum in May, she said: "Keep an open mind for you never know when you will be inspired."

Clapham has built eco-systems across Singapore supporting and enabling creative entrepreneurs/professionals, as well as aspiring and current women entrepreneurs not only through CreativeMornings Singapore, but also SheSays Singapore and Secret {W} Business. "There is power in numbers, so collaborate. I am only good at something, I can't do everything alone," she noted.

Clapham keeps an eye out for initiatives to further the creative and entrepreneurial sector across Asia Pacific. Her CreativeMornings Singapore events have been held since 2008, and now boast 3,500 members with 71 chapters worldwide, she said.

She suggested the audience get outside their comfort zones and try to do something they love. "You need to look beyond culture in creating a new society," she added.

Fabian Lua, who heads community growth at PeaTiX, an events, ticketing and registration platform provider, continued on the theme of 'carpe diem' with advice that speedy action is essential for success. "When you are in an environment that grows very quickly, you must know what you value," he said.

Lua also echoed Clapham's advice that one person cannot do everything. "Hire from everywhere, it's about abilities not nationalities," he said. "Work from anywhere." 

A fireside chat with Pulkit Jaiswal, CEO & Founder, Garuda Robotics, a drone services startup and Ho Jia Jian, Co-founder of Viddsee, an online video platform, uncovered some traps that lengthened time to market.

"A lot of times, you get trapped into shipping the best product," Ho said, explaining that launching a good product may allow a startup to get a foot into the market earlier. 

Jaiswal referred to 'analysis paralysis'. "That's talking to people instead of building the product. Talk less, and build the product first," he said.

Organised by Koelnmesse, the Technology That Matters Series is a group of industry talks and networking events aimed to bring together innovators, researchers, scientists, technology leaders, entrepreneurs and investors under one roof. The platform to exchange ideas and share thought leadership is a run-up to the main EmTech Singapore conference taking place on 26-27 January 2015.