Wednesday, June 25, 2014

More local Singapore SMEs & Start Ups

Always interested in the start-up scene. Came across this interesting article at Tech In Asia
where it talks about 2 key observations gathered from talking to more than 14 start ups and SMEs in Asia.

1. Israeli start ups have original solutions, not me-too ideas
Israeli
Key words:
Highly original, not just business model,  but also product solution fit ( a whole range of unique ideas solving a variety of different needs )
Strong Engineering Background - STEM Subjects

Singaporean
Key words:
Modifications of existing, successful start ups already established elsewhere
shortcut - jump straight into finding solution and market fit
[ we cannot 'tahan' the long wait - simply said because our opportunity cost is high. Unlike the Israelis probably finding a job is not as easy in Singapore. As many who struggle between starting their own and career, is it worthwhile to throw down a career earning a stable living being able to own the things you want for that? And truth be said, I don't think a lot of Singaporean families can accept the long wait. ]
Little innovation
Soft Skills- Finance & Service sector [ This I don't really agree. There are many who are in the technical field. But many Singaporeans in the Engineering field have no interest. That's the problem. They just see it as a tool for work. So the interest in 3D Printing I hope can make that difference. But of course, that's only 1 new tool that probably other countries have already done more in depth research on]

2. Israeli start ups go global ASAP

Same constraints
- Small Domestic Market
- Hard to penetrate regional market
- Lack of resources

Israeli focuses on globalization since Day 1
E.g Upon incorporation, went straight to overseas to get product approved for distribution there.
Singaporeans focuses on gaining local traction first
E.g typically create solutions for the local market and then worry about globalization plans  only after have success locally
Conclusion : More Risk-Averse Singaporeans
Why so?  - Worry? Responsibility to family? Fear of Failure as seen in the Asian Perspective? Changing but slow to change perception of start ups as a job rather than a sideline? Recognition given in the community few and little? Government support? 

* Key phrase in this article that hit right on the core: demonstrate product viability before the agencies will support and provide aid or even simply marketing support.

And for Singapore, as most of our start ups or SMEs are service or Techno related, the government entities or even our own people, don't see it as a Singaporean brand that can be leveraged on - unless of course we do it on our own and achieve success overseas - then we will get noticed.

But once again, I reiterate, as a startup or SMEs, we should not rely too much on funding from government entites etc but should up our own boldness and make it out in that oceans of countries.
Because afterall, thats a bonus and not a given.

But we would appreciate if support and networks are given and introduced. Not just to those you find as a potential possibility. How do you know years down the road?
Opportunities can never be calculated.
Why keep all the information you have?
Help to share the networks and as to what and how to do next, that we will ask those who have done it before. We just need to know the people (successful or not) - as long as they have tried- that has gone in already so we can learn from their experience, know about the processes, the regulatory restrictions or openness of the country to us as foreigners etc

OKAY AND HERE'S SOMETHING TO SHARE


Well, if you are in Shanghai tomorrow, maybe this is a start :
Startup weekend shanghai - 27th June 2014
Cost: 180RMB



In May 2014, I was part of a business study trip to Israel to learn about what earned them the moniker “Start-up Nation”. At any point in time, there are over 100,000 Israelis working in Silicon Valley, not counting the thousands more back home working on their own startup. Here are some key observations I gathered after talking to more than 14 startups and SMEs in Israel. 1. Israeli startups have original solutions, not me-too ideas Israel’s startups are highly original, not just in terms of business model, but also product-solution fit. In my short stay in Tel Aviv, I witnessed a whole range of unique ideas solving a variety of different needs. Pixspell, a startup based in Tel Aviv University, developed a patented on-screen camera calculation tool that informs users in real-time how to take better photos without needing to know concepts like rule of thirds. Another startup SolChip created the world’s most efficient solar battery that allows the Internet of Things to work without a power grid. These companies are just the tip of the iceberg. Now, I’m not saying Singapore’s startups aren’t innovative or revolutionary. Yet in my years of involvement in entrepreneurship here, ideas trended towards modifications of existing, successful startups already established elsewhere. This can be a highly savvy move considering entrepreneurs can skip discovering product and solution fit by adopting a me-too idea. They jump straight into finding a solution and market fit. But what kind of environment and culture are we creating locally? If we simply adopt tried and tested products, can we really aspire to be an innovative nation, which is what the Singapore government yearns for? One reason why I believe Israeli startups tend to be more innovative is their strong engineering background. For Singapore, decades of focusing primarily on the service and finance industry have dramatically changed the education landscape to produce more graduates armed with soft skills rather than STEM subjects. This no doubt percolates down to the startup scene. See: Why Israel is a Startup Nation 2. Israeli startups go global ASAP Singapore and Israel have similar constraints. We have a small domestic market (five million versus eight million), a hard to penetrate regional market (language barriers and lukewarm relationships), and a lack of resources (water, space, and more). Now here’s the difference: Israel’s startups seem more focused on globalization from day one, while Singapore startups only venture out after getting local traction. What do I mean by that? Well, startups in Israel generate ideas that require them to move into the global arena from the get-go. Autotalks, a fabless semiconductor startup, produces a vehicle-to-vehicle transmission chip. Upon incorporation, it went straight to American and European safety boards to get their product approved for distribution there. Singapore startups, on the other hand, typically create solutions for the local market and then worry about globalization plans only after they have financial success locally. In today’s competitive landscape, being global is key to not just a startup’s but also a country’s success. So why is it that the Israelis embrace it so much more? I would like to propose three reasons: One, a strong and active in-combat military. There is a saying in Israel that everyone you meet will know someone who died in combat. Military service is treated as a badge of honor for both male and female enlistees; a far cry no doubt from Singapore’s own active service. More importantly, this very real fear of being overrun by enemies has created a “carpe diem”, or “seize the day”, mentality. This influences their entire outlook on life and explains why they are so willing to take on risk to venture abroad early. Two, a culture of risk acceptance. This topic has been explored to death in Singapore. It’s seen as the key obstacle hampering our startup culture. The Israelis have turned this entirely upside down; they frown upon you for working at a large conglomerate instead of starting up or being part of a smaller, more innovative company. Three, support facilities to aid globalization. The Singapore government through IE Singapore and SPRING Singapore have a whole range of facilities to help take Singapore companies into overseas markets. However, many of these schemes are not geared towards early stage enterprises. In fact, for most of them, you will need to demonstrate product viability even before the agencies release aid. This differs from Israel where the modus operandi is to take a product built at home and quickly export it to the world, sort of like Singapore’s vision of test bedding new products locally but done right. These are just some of the visible learning points I got on my recent trip to Israel, which is truly an ideal cultural melting pot for startups.

Read more: What Singapore entrepreneurs can learn from Israel http://www.techinasia.com/singapores-entrepreneurs-learn-israel/


  • 知行合一 Education
    创业周末是通过创造性行动来学习。不必被理论所困,建立你自己的策略,并不断去验证它。
    Startup Weekends are all about learning through the act of creating.  Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go.
  • 人脉搭建 Build your network
    它不仅仅带给你欢乐时光,创业周末将吸引社群中最好的实干家,并通过花费一个周末的工作来搭建解决现实问题和可规模化的公司,你将搭建长期的人脉关系,并有可能获得一份新工作甚至是投资人。
    This isn’t just a happy-hour. Startup Weekend attracts your community’s best makers and do-ers. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, you will build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or even an investor.
  • 伙伴寻觅 Co-Founder Dating
    创业依靠的不仅是好点子,更多的是好团队。创业周末是你能真正找到理想伙伴并一同创业的极佳途径。
    We all know it’s not just about the idea – it’s about the team. Startup Weekend is hands down the best way to find someone you can actually launch a startup with.
  • 技能学习 Learn a new skill
    迈出你的舒适区。奉献一整个周末徜徉创造力的海洋,创业周末充满着在新平台工作,学习新程序语言的最佳机会,或者只是想尝试些新东西。
    Step outside of your comfort zone. With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or just try something different.
  • 真实创业 Actually launch a business
    超过36%的创业周末项目在3个月后变得更强大。约80%的参与人在创业周末活动后仍计划一同与团队成员或项目继续工作。
    Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months.  Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend.
  • 会面“大牛” Get face time with thought leaders
    当地技术和创业“大牛”们将作为活动的教练和评判。这里能获得同创业社群“大牛”们一对一会面的机会。
    Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends as coaches and judges. Get some one-on-one time with the movers and shakers in your community.
  • 加入全球社群 Join a global community
    加入超过100,000人的创业周末校友中,只为一个任务:改变世界。
    Join over 100,000 Startup Weekend alumni, all on a mission to change the world.
In May 2014, I was part of a business study trip to Israel to learn about what earned them the moniker “Start-up Nation”. At any point in time, there are over 100,000 Israelis working in Silicon Valley, not counting the thousands more back home working on their own startup. Here are some key observations I gathered after talking to more than 14 startups and SMEs in Israel. 1. Israeli startups have original solutions, not me-too ideas Israel’s startups are highly original, not just in terms of business model, but also product-solution fit. In my short stay in Tel Aviv, I witnessed a whole range of unique ideas solving a variety of different needs. Pixspell, a startup based in Tel Aviv University, developed a patented on-screen camera calculation tool that informs users in real-time how to take better photos without needing to know concepts like rule of thirds. Another startup SolChip created the world’s most efficient solar battery that allows the Internet of Things to work without a power grid. These companies are just the tip of the iceberg. Now, I’m not saying Singapore’s startups aren’t innovative or revolutionary. Yet in my years of involvement in entrepreneurship here, ideas trended towards modifications of existing, successful startups already established elsewhere. This can be a highly savvy move considering entrepreneurs can skip discovering product and solution fit by adopting a me-too idea. They jump straight into finding a solution and market fit. But what kind of environment and culture are we creating locally? If we simply adopt tried and tested products, can we really aspire to be an innovative nation, which is what the Singapore government yearns for? One reason why I believe Israeli startups tend to be more innovative is their strong engineering background. For Singapore, decades of focusing primarily on the service and finance industry have dramatically changed the education landscape to produce more graduates armed with soft skills rather than STEM subjects. This no doubt percolates down to the startup scene. See: Why Israel is a Startup Nation 2. Israeli startups go global ASAP Singapore and Israel have similar constraints. We have a small domestic market (five million versus eight million), a hard to penetrate regional market (language barriers and lukewarm relationships), and a lack of resources (water, space, and more). Now here’s the difference: Israel’s startups seem more focused on globalization from day one, while Singapore startups only venture out after getting local traction. What do I mean by that? Well, startups in Israel generate ideas that require them to move into the global arena from the get-go. Autotalks, a fabless semiconductor startup, produces a vehicle-to-vehicle transmission chip. Upon incorporation, it went straight to American and European safety boards to get their product approved for distribution there. Singapore startups, on the other hand, typically create solutions for the local market and then worry about globalization plans only after they have financial success locally. In today’s competitive landscape, being global is key to not just a startup’s but also a country’s success. So why is it that the Israelis embrace it so much more? I would like to propose three reasons: One, a strong and active in-combat military. There is a saying in Israel that everyone you meet will know someone who died in combat. Military service is treated as a badge of honor for both male and female enlistees; a far cry no doubt from Singapore’s own active service. More importantly, this very real fear of being overrun by enemies has created a “carpe diem”, or “seize the day”, mentality. This influences their entire outlook on life and explains why they are so willing to take on risk to venture abroad early. Two, a culture of risk acceptance. This topic has been explored to death in Singapore. It’s seen as the key obstacle hampering our startup culture. The Israelis have turned this entirely upside down; they frown upon you for working at a large conglomerate instead of starting up or being part of a smaller, more innovative company. Three, support facilities to aid globalization. The Singapore government through IE Singapore and SPRING Singapore have a whole range of facilities to help take Singapore companies into overseas markets. However, many of these schemes are not geared towards early stage enterprises. In fact, for most of them, you will need to demonstrate product viability even before the agencies release aid. This differs from Israel where the modus operandi is to take a product built at home and quickly export it to the world, sort of like Singapore’s vision of test bedding new products locally but done right. These are just some of the visible learning points I got on my recent trip to Israel, which is truly an ideal cultural melting pot for startups.

Read more: What Singapore entrepreneurs can learn from Israel http://www.techinasia.com/singapores-entrepreneurs-learn-israel/
In May 2014, I was part of a business study trip to Israel to learn about what earned them the moniker “Start-up Nation”. At any point in time, there are over 100,000 Israelis working in Silicon Valley, not counting the thousands more back home working on their own startup. Here are some key observations I gathered after talking to more than 14 startups and SMEs in Israel. 1. Israeli startups have original solutions, not me-too ideas Israel’s startups are highly original, not just in terms of business model, but also product-solution fit. In my short stay in Tel Aviv, I witnessed a whole range of unique ideas solving a variety of different needs. Pixspell, a startup based in Tel Aviv University, developed a patented on-screen camera calculation tool that informs users in real-time how to take better photos without needing to know concepts like rule of thirds. Another startup SolChip created the world’s most efficient solar battery that allows the Internet of Things to work without a power grid. These companies are just the tip of the iceberg. Now, I’m not saying Singapore’s startups aren’t innovative or revolutionary. Yet in my years of involvement in entrepreneurship here, ideas trended towards modifications of existing, successful startups already established elsewhere. This can be a highly savvy move considering entrepreneurs can skip discovering product and solution fit by adopting a me-too idea. They jump straight into finding a solution and market fit. But what kind of environment and culture are we creating locally? If we simply adopt tried and tested products, can we really aspire to be an innovative nation, which is what the Singapore government yearns for? One reason why I believe Israeli startups tend to be more innovative is their strong engineering background. For Singapore, decades of focusing primarily on the service and finance industry have dramatically changed the education landscape to produce more graduates armed with soft skills rather than STEM subjects. This no doubt percolates down to the startup scene. See: Why Israel is a Startup Nation 2. Israeli startups go global ASAP Singapore and Israel have similar constraints. We have a small domestic market (five million versus eight million), a hard to penetrate regional market (language barriers and lukewarm relationships), and a lack of resources (water, space, and more). Now here’s the difference: Israel’s startups seem more focused on globalization from day one, while Singapore startups only venture out after getting local traction. What do I mean by that? Well, startups in Israel generate ideas that require them to move into the global arena from the get-go. Autotalks, a fabless semiconductor startup, produces a vehicle-to-vehicle transmission chip. Upon incorporation, it went straight to American and European safety boards to get their product approved for distribution there. Singapore startups, on the other hand, typically create solutions for the local market and then worry about globalization plans only after they have financial success locally. In today’s competitive landscape, being global is key to not just a startup’s but also a country’s success. So why is it that the Israelis embrace it so much more? I would like to propose three reasons: One, a strong and active in-combat military. There is a saying in Israel that everyone you meet will know someone who died in combat. Military service is treated as a badge of honor for both male and female enlistees; a far cry no doubt from Singapore’s own active service. More importantly, this very real fear of being overrun by enemies has created a “carpe diem”, or “seize the day”, mentality. This influences their entire outlook on life and explains why they are so willing to take on risk to venture abroad early. Two, a culture of risk acceptance. This topic has been explored to death in Singapore. It’s seen as the key obstacle hampering our startup culture. The Israelis have turned this entirely upside down; they frown upon you for working at a large conglomerate instead of starting up or being part of a smaller, more innovative company. Three, support facilities to aid globalization. The Singapore government through IE Singapore and SPRING Singapore have a whole range of facilities to help take Singapore companies into overseas markets. However, many of these schemes are not geared towards early stage enterprises. In fact, for most of them, you will need to demonstrate product viability even before the agencies release aid. This differs from Israel where the modus operandi is to take a product built at home and quickly export it to the world, sort of like Singapore’s vision of test bedding new products locally but done right. These are just some of the visible learning points I got on my recent trip to Israel, which is truly an ideal cultural melting pot for startups.

Read more: What Singapore entrepreneurs can learn from Israel http://www.techinasia.com/singapores-entrepreneurs-learn-israel/

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