Ideas

Ideas seed actions

Notes on disruption, entrepreneurship, and venture capital

Archive blog entries from previous Quest websites and Medium are progressively translated and migrated here, and may not be uploaded in chronological order.

Zhongguancun taking shape

Today was the third meeting for the Beijing Committee for Youth Entrepreneurship organised by the Beijing chapter of the Communist Youth League. The CYL is famous for its alumni of political leaders who rose through its ranks to later lead China, including Hu Jintao and Li Keqiang. The initiative to revamp and rejuvenate Zhongguancun is taking on momentum. Among the list of gripes, lack of cheap working space for like-minded entrepreneurs and investors to gather, lack of structured seed financing, and lack of training similar to Y-Combinator (or “YC” in local parlance). The increasingly larger group was hosted at the…
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Burpple and Series Seed

Burpple has announced that they have raised USD 500,000 from a group of investors including us: TechCrunch, e27, Forbes. Burpple is more than an investment. It is symbolic of our commitment to Singapore and the larger Southeast Asia tech ecosystem,. Burpple is the flag bearer of a new wave of tech entrepreneurs, many of whom are housed at the new Blk71. The “Burpple Boys”, as they are popularly known, are key community drivers, are humble, and work hard. We are proud to be part of this journey with the awesome team driving Burpple’s phenomenal growth in users and engagements.
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Why we moved to Zhongguancun

When Quest started, we worked out of a service office in CBD and took meetings at the cafes nearby. One of our favourite meeting places was the Hong Kong cafe at Guomao before it had to shut down due to renovations by the mall. One day, Zhaoying, our super plugged-in marketing manager, said that there was a new co-working space that was launching at Zhongguancun, and asked the company to consider moving there. To put things in perspective, all VCs work out of either CBD or Financial Street. Only one well-known fund — Innovation Works — had located itself in…
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Business model arbitrage

Participated in a panel discussion at the gala dinner of the NUS InnovFest 2012. The moderator from Channel NewsAsia was surprised at the scale of our operations because Groupon/ Beeconomic was already huge but that was just in one city (Singapore). Amit Anand of Jungle Ventures chimed in at one point to encourage entrepreneurs to think beyond Singapore. Indeed, the longer I stay in China, the more I consider myself fortunate to witness firsthand the scale of the challenges that entrepreneurs face, and the opportunities that come with those challenges. The next Google will not be from Southeast Asia —…
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First fapiao

To celebrate the completion of the registration of Quest, the whole team went for dinner at Meilucun (literally, Beautiful Stove Village). Wang Yunming had the honour of providing his namecard, which had the official company name on it, to the restaurant for them to issue an official receipt, ie, fapiao. It was just a coincidence that it was also Valentine’s Day. What a day to remember.
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Out of Singapore, into a big pond

Participated in Penn Olson’s Startups in Asia Conference today. This was the first Startups in Asia conference and a testament to the vision of the young entrepreneur, founder and CEO Willis Wee, I met in Beijing last year. Willis did a pre-event write up. Kuo-Yi of Infocomm Investments (IIPL) was the keynote speaker. I had not seen Willis moderate a panel before, he was lobbing hard-hitting questions, albeit respectfully, at Kuo-Yi. IIPL was an investment firm that focused primarily on US “startups”. As a government-backed investment fund, Kuo-Yi was asked what could be done further to support the growth of…
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Burpple — first investment in Singapore

Had lunch with the awesome team from Burpple today at the new Fusionopolis near Blk71. Blk71 is the new startup hub for Singapore and aims to be a mini Silicon Valley. Converted from flatted factories, some of these low-rent bare offices are jointly managed by NUS Enterprise, Singtel Innov8 and MDA. Burpple is working out of the co-working space. I first met Elisha Ong, founder and CEO, in Silicon Valley in 2010. At the Oasis restaurant near Stanford in Palo Alto, I had heard Singaporean accented conversations from the tables across the pub and went over to introduce myself as…
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The views and opinions expressed in Ideas are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Quest Ventures.

Archive blog entries from previous Quest websites and Medium are progressively translated and migrated here, and may not be uploaded in chronological order.

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