Tech In Asia
Tech in Asia’s top 10 AMA sessions of 2015 included Min-Ling Tan, CEO of Razer, Ajeet Khurana, former CEO of SINE, and James Tan, Managing Partner at QuestVC.
Before this study trip to Beijing, my understanding of China was limited to that of a fast growing economy with a huge population and plenty of opportunities for startups. The impression I had was that innovation in China is mostly limited to the “reverse engineering” of ideas from the West, then reproducing a similar product at a much lower price. I also heard rumours of extensive government intervention on businesses. However, this trip has proven me wrong many times over. Chinese startups can be really innovative and each solution is uniquely tailored to solve problems in China. My intention of taking part in this course is: first, to understand China better, especially in the technology startup industry; second, to learn the journey of a startup, both successful and failed examples; third, to explore market opportunities.
The trip was organised by SMU’s partners in China – QuestVC and Jetbay. They did a fantastic job as hosts and the planning was outstanding right down to the arrangement of hotels, transport, company visits and our daily lunches. We were fortunate to try a variety of Chinese food, from Ma La (麻辣) dishes to the famous Beijing duck. On top of that, it is part of the Chinese culture for the hosts to cater more than enough food for their guests so it is common to see ten over dishes on our table during every hosted meal!
During the trip, we visited ten companies which are startups or incubators where we managed to participate in several insightful sharing sessions from the various representatives of these companies. It was certainly an educational experience as we get to see their working environment, hear the stories of how these companies started and the challenges they faced along the way. From the visits, we have gained valuable insights about the China market. I learnt that it is really crucial to have a local partner if a foreigner wants to venture into China as it is not easy to understand the Chinese culture, much less thrive in it. The trip has definitely highlighted how capable the Chinese technology startups are and they are proving to be comparable with their US counterparts, or at the least catching up with stunning speed. Companies like Meicai (美菜) and APUS have achieved incredible success as they managed to expand from less than fifty employees to a few hundreds and thousands in just over a year.
This seven-day trip to Beijing has given me a rare opportunity to know more about what is required of an entrepreneur. Previously, I always had the mentality that one day if I ever fail at doing a startup, I can still fall back to a corporate job. However, from the trip I can see how passionate the speakers are – they treated the startup as a form of lifestyle, a vocation that they never thought of giving up. Even if they failed in one of their startups, they will try again and again. This tenacity is key to success and the three main points I learned for doing a startup are:
To conclude, I really enjoyed the trip a lot and given the opportunity, I would definitely recommend future students to take up a Technopreneurship Study Mission as there is so much to gain from it.
Burpple, a digital guide to restaurants and cafes in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur has received up to US$6 million (S$8.45 million) to expand into other Asian cities. Launched in 2012 by three Singaporeans, the company’s existing shareholders include Neoteny Labs, Silicon Straits, NUS Technologies Holdings and QuestVC.
Salah satu paling mudah memulai bisnis adalah mengamati budaya lokal. Itulah kiranya yang telah dilakukan oleh seorang James Tan. Pengusaha asal Singapura ini melawati harinya sebagai mahasiswa di Negeri Tirai Bambu. Hingga, ia sukses mendirikan perusahaan sendiri, pendiri dari 55tuan.com ini mencoba menceritakan sedikit kisahnya.
Ia menjelaskan dalam dua atau tiga tahun mulailah menyesuaikan diri. Temukan mereka teman- teman baru di tempat yang kamu tuju. Kemudian kamu akan menemukan orang- orang yang bisa dipercaya. Mereka lah yang mungkin menjadi mitra bisnis kamu kelak. Inilah seklumit penjelasan kenapa Tan getol belajar sampai ke negeri China.
Menjalankan 55tuan.com bukan perakara mudah. Situs ini sekarang salah satu situs jual- beli terbesar di China. Banyak kloning Groupon bermunculan tetapi tidak mampu bertahan. Mereka tidak bisa bertahan dari pesatnya pertumbuhan Internet di China. Tan pun sudah mengambil ancang- ancang mendirikan perusahaan baru berupa VC atau Venture Capital.
Dia bersama kawan lantas mendirikan QuestVC, sebuah perusahaan pendanaan asal China. 55tuan miliknya menarik banyak pendiri startup. Mereka pemilik eCommerce tentu tidak akan melewatkan satu sesi mentoring. Tan lantas menjelaskan fokus QuestVC adalah investasi angel. Bukti kerja kerasnya ada 6 perusahaan yang berumur 1,5 tahun dan dua perusahaan teknologi asal Singapura, Carousell dan Burpple.
Goh Yiping, co-founder and CEO of AllDealsAsia, venture partner of QuestVC, and CPO of MatahariMall.com, joins a panel that includes Ong Peng Tsin of Monk’s Hill Ventures and Teddy Himler of Softbank to discuss everyone’s favourite topic: Indonesia.
James Tan, managing partner of Quest Ventures, titled his talk ‘Winter is coming.’ He said 25% of Chinese startups were funded in just the past year and a half, growth that not only couldn’t continue but that would reverse amid China’s stock market sell-off…
Organised by the “China-Singapore (Suzhou) Innovation Center”, the NUS Research Institute – Flex Global Business Plan Challenge held its finals in Suzhou. Finalists tackled smart city issues such as pollution, water resources and IOT. The panel of judges was chaired by QuestVC managing partner James Tan and made up of representatives from the Suzhou government, venture capital firms and Flex.
James Tan, Managing Partner of QuestVC, takes part in Tech In Asia Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. He took questions on his entrepreneurial journey, the startup and investment scene in China and living in China, generating more than 200 comments by the time the session concluded.
Jerry Ku, partner at international law firm Gunderson Dettmer, and Chinese venture capital firm QuestVC managing partner James Tan attempted to paint a picture of setting up a business in China. It’s a tougher proposition than Singapore, but one that can be very rewarding due to sheer market size.
Concluding half a year of acceleration and competition in many countries in Europe, Middle East, the US, China and Asia-Pacific, regional finalists gathered at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, to compete in the grand finals of the Global Mobile Challenge. QuestVC managing partner James Tan participated as a jury member together with members of the board of the Applied Innovation Institute (non-profit organiser of the GMC).
After months of grueling competition, Claco Music (Taiwan), Erdo (Taiwan) and Jetbay (China) emerged winners at the inaugural SEAMAC Asia Pacific Mobile App Challenge.
After months of competition, three teams emerged victorious in the inaugural SEAMAC Asia Pacific Mobile App Challenge. The panel of 10 judges who selected the three winners from a field of 26 finalists included Jeffrey Paine, Founding Partner of Golden Gate Ventures; David Dacus, Founder & CEO of HitPlay; James Tan, Managing Partner of QuestVC…
James Tan, Managing Partner of QuestVC, will talk about how foreign tour operators can share in China’s inbound travel market. China is also the focus of the topic of online marketing.