Why I built Asia’s first gender lens VC fund

Virginia Tan champions gender lens investing for emerging Asia as she believes empowering women economically is both an untapped commercial opportunity and a driver for positive social change. This #IWD, the founding partner of Teja Ventures, the first gender lens VC fund in emerging Asia and founder of Lean In China, one of China’s leading non-profit platforms for women, shares why the She Economy is the next big thing you should look out for.

How Singaporean Music Director Lenny Wee Empowers Celebrities to Hit All the Right Notes

Ever wondered what it is like to work with celebrities like Jennifer Lopez AND direct a live band performance at the U.S. presidential inauguration ceremony at the same time? We speak to Singaporean Music Director Lenny Wee, the man behind Jennifer Lopez’s showstopping medley performance at Joe Biden’s Inauguration earlier this year.

The Medical Concierge Group CEO and Founder Daniel Choo shares his Start-up Journey and the Secrets to Succeeding in Indonesia

Recognising a gap in the private healthcare market in Singapore and Indonesia when it came to providing a one-stop reliable, ethical and high-quality medical concierge service, Daniel Choo established The Medical Concierge Group (TMCG) in 2013. Daniel candidly shares about his entrepreneurship journey, what he’s learnt from starting a business in Singapore and overseas, the less glamorous side of entrepreneurship and what it takes to succeed in Indonesia.

#IWD2021: Singapore’s Women Leaders Driving Change in China

Women have always been an important driver in economic development, especially in an ever-changing market like China. In conjunction with the #IWD2021 on 8th March, 企航新加坡 and Singapore Global Network had a chat with three Singaporean Women Leaders who are based in China, to share their stories and the opportunities and challenges for enterprises in China. Their experience as business leaders, unique insights and new perspectives on a market like China, demonstrates the strength and resilience of Singaporeans, as well as the success of Singapore enterprises.

From Strength to Strength: How Life’s Triumphs & Tragedy Have Shaped Olaplex CEO JuE Wong’s Journey

Singaporean JuE Wong holds many titles: an indefatigable champion of women, a dedicated mentor, a doting mom and grandmom, and an accomplished 4-time CEO of global beauty companies. In celebration of Women’s History Month, SGN chats with JuE (pronounced Ju-Ee), now Chief Executive Officer and Executive Board Member at Olaplex Inc., on her remarkable journey that has shaped who she is today.

Foundation for The Arts and Social Enterprise Founder Michael Tay On How the Smallest Act of Giving Can Transform the Arts Scene

In 2003, fuelled by a love for the arts and music and a passion for Singapore, Michael Tay, the then-Ambassador to Russia, commissioned Russian composer Vladimir Martynov to compose a symphony about Singapore. The symphony, now titled UTOPIA, has been recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under their LPO label and released worldwide in November 2020. But Michael’s passion for the arts would carry on in the later half of his career – as Founder and Director of The Foundation for The Arts and Social Enterprise, he has helped to connect many local artists to opportunities across the world. SGN speaks with Michael about how his passion has led him to build he bedrock for a thriving arts scene in Singapore.

Building Bridges with Music: How Russian Composer Vladimir Martynov Composed a Symphony Inspired by Singapore

Inspired by Singapore’s culture and identity, renowned Russian composer Vladimir Martynov accepted a commission by ex-Singapore Ambassador to Russia, Michael Tay, to compose a symphony in 2003. UTOPIA, which premiered in 2005 in Russia and performed in 2007 in Singapore, was most recently performed and recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) and London Philharmonic Choir in Abbey Road. The symphony will be performed live in Singapore at the Esplanade in 2022. SGN goes behind the scenes and speaks to Vladimir Martynov on his creative process in creating UTOPIA and his experience getting to know about Singapore’s rich culture.

Meet our Expats: I now call Singapore ‘home’

From Bristol to Sydney to Toronto and New York, Kash Hasan’s exciting career in the events and MICE sector has allowed him to travel the world! Currently residing in Singapore, he shares more about witnessing and experiencing the genuine sense of community here, where to find his favourite hometown fish and chips, and what makes Singapore the ‘perfect destination for the MICE industry’.

#couplegoals: Love Across Borders

As they saying goes, “there is only one happiness in life – to love and be loved”. With the pandemic season upon us, we know that there are many couples in long distance relationships missing each other. For this upcoming Valentine’s Day, we had a chat with Terrence, who heads the Singapore Airlines (SIA) office based in Shanghai, as he shares about his long distance relationship (LDR) with his wife, Anna! Trust us, this is a good story <3

A Reel Dream Come True: Oscar-winning Lighting Artist Roger Lee on His Disney Animation Career

Roger Lee has come a long way from Punggol, Singapore to his current residence in Arcadia, California. However, Roger's animation career wasn’t always smooth sailing. A father of triplets, he shares his experience working on some of Disney's biggest hits such as “Zootopia” and "Frozen", including setbacks, challenges, and sage advice for aspiring animation artists.

Meet Ghib Ojisan: How A Backpacking Trip Led to Full-time YouTube Career in Singapore

It’s not every day that we get to meet a Japanese YouTuber based in Singapore. Yup, you already know who we’re talking about – in this edition of our Meet Our Expat Series, we have a candid chat with the 184,000 followers-strong Ghib Ojisan about his experience living in Singapore and what he has picked up from the city over the years.

From 3 to 120: How a Swiss innovation company built top-performing tech teams in Singapore

Poised for accelerated growth amidst COVID-19, the Singapore tech scene is thriving with innovation and set to become a regional powerhouse. We speak to Zuhlke — a Swiss global innovation and technology company – and their employees on the local tech scene and what makes Singapore a prime location for regional innovation as a tech hub.

From Myanmar to Singapore (and back): former A*Star researcher and consulting firm founder and MD Dr Myo Thida shares her incredible journey

In her decade-long journey from Myanmar to Singapore and back, Dr Thida has met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Nobel Laureate iconic politician, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, published over 10 international scientific papers and founded Myanmar-based consulting firm VigorZwe. We speak to her to learn a more about her journey and what it’s like to straddle Myanmar and Singapore.

Bean There, Done That: Venezuelan Coffee Roaster Marian Aguilar Perks You Up with Good Coffee

For us, coffee is how we kickstart each day. For Marian Aguilar, coffee is her way of life – she runs a thriving coffee roasting and consultancy business in Singapore. In the second run of our Unusual Jobs series, we catch up with Marian about life in Singapore, her business, and staying connected to her Venezuelan roots.

Investing in The Right Hustle: How Koh Shiyan Is Tapping into SEA’s Potential

Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem has matured over the last 10 years with record deal sizes, an increase in exits, and a huge influx of venture capital into the market. We chat with Koh Shiyan, Managing Partner at Hustle Fund, about her experiences building NerdWallet in Silicon Valley, why she decided to go from operator to early-stage investor in Southeast Asia, and her belief in Southeast Asia’s founders.

Women in Tech: Uplifting Sisters in Cybersecurity

Magda Chelly has made it in the world of tech as a renowned cybersecurity consultant, and now she wants to uplift other women in the industry. In this edition of our Women in Tech series, we chat with her about her career, why she feels women need a role model in tech and her thoughts on the cybersecurity scene.

Food For Thought: How Kausmo Redefines The Dining Experience

Ever wondered what goes on your plate? Kausmo (derived from the word “Cosmos”, referring to a system of thought), a dining concept launched in 2019, takes food for thought to the next level, with aims to spark conversations about practicing thoughtfulness and conscientiousness in the way we dine and live. We speak to young founders Lisa Tang and Kuah Chew Shian on how they’re redefining the dining experience.

Harnessing the Data Revolution: Madhu Shalini Iyer on Investing with Data Science

Growing up in Singapore as a teenager, Madhu Shalini Iyer shares her journey from being the Chief Data Officer at Gojek to becoming an investment partner in the Bay Area at Rocketship.vc. We chat with Madhu to learn how she is leveraging data science and tech to uncover rising companies across diverse sectors and identifying the exciting growth markets to venture into.

SG Junior Part 2: The little overseas Singaporeans

Last month, Lim Monica Devi spoke to parents to find out how they keep their Singapore spirit alive. In the second part of this story, she continues her journey and speaks to several Singaporeans living overseas and their children to find out just how Singaporean our little Juniors are.

“Where are you from?”

22 years ago, armed only with a couple suitcases, Rebecca Bisset moved to Singapore as a ‘trailing spouse’ with her then young family in tow. She had grown up as an expat in different countries, so moving was something she was used to. As Editor in Chief of Expat Living Publications, she has now been helping other expats settle into Singapore for nearly 20 years. Read about her journey below.

Making Every Second Count: Living University Life to The Fullest

Believing that there should be no boundaries when it comes to chasing after her dreams, Nicole Anne Hia set off to South Korea to pursue higher education, spurred by her interest in studying international relations but also wanting additional global exposure and a regional focus in East Asian affairs.

SG Junior: The little overseas Singaporeans

Singapore is a country of immigrants. We are constantly welcoming newcomers to our shores, but we are also bidding adieu to many who leave to set up homes overseas with their foreign spouses or to pursue their careers. In the process, many Singaporeans take their children along, or have children born away from the island. How much do these children, “SG Jr.”, know about their parent’s homeland?

In Code-nito Mode: Uncovering the Role of Tech for Public Good in Singapore

Technology has the power to radically enhance our lives. Previously based in the U.S., GovTech Singapore’s Deputy Director, Open Government Products, Li Hongyi and software engineer Janice Tan share their passion about the Tech for Public Good movement and what’s needed to ensure it continues to make a positive impact on life in Singapore.

Back to the Little Red Dot

When asked how long he has been in Singapore, Teymoor finds it a difficult question to answer. After all, he has had his first contact with our island from way back in 1993. Read about his journey back to the Little Red Dot after being away all this time.

Southeast Asia: The Next Growth Frontier for Tech Companies

Southeast Asia’s tech sector is thriving with increasingly connected consumers and a spike in businesses adopting digital solutions. We chat with Prithvi Rai, Founder and CEO at borneo and Forrest Li, Chairman and Group CEO of Sea Group, to find out what makes Southeast Asia and Singapore a growing market for tech.

Singapore: An Emerging Bright Spot for Tech Business

Singapore has experienced stellar growth in the technology sector, and it is beyond a commercial centre today. Global tech companies have set up regional headquarters here and are steadily building industry-leading product and engineering teams, and homegrown companies are flourishing with Singapore as a springboard for the region.

A City to Finally Call Home

Born in the US, his father a black man from Jamaica and his mother a white woman from Cleveland with Russian and Czech heritage, Triston has been acutely aware of racial differences since his childhood. Read about his journey as he finds a place where he finally feels comfortable enough to call home.

5 Lessons from Chasing Dreams around the World

In the past 15 years, positive mindset and perseverance helped Anna Ratala pursue her career adventures across 3 continents and 5 countries. From Finland through Belgium, Germany and the U.S., Anna navigated a unique path, which finally led to her current job as CEO & co-founder of Zvook, an AI-powered audio advertising platform that started in Singapore.

What investors need to know about Indonesia’s Omnibus Law: Katadata Insight Centre Research Director and senior public policy specialist Dr Mulya Amri breaks it down

Katadata Insight Centre Research Director and Jakarta Property Institute Program Director Dr Mulya Amri is an Indonesia-based senior public policy and urban development specialist with over 20 years of experience working with government officials, businesses, and civil society groups through policy analysis, regional economic development, and city planning projects in Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, China, and the U.S.

From Silicon Valley to Singapore: Silvanus Lee On Returning Home for Tech

Technology has seen explosive growth in the past decade, with Singapore and Southeast Asia’s (SEA) tech ecosystem expanding rapidly on a global scale to unlock many growth opportunities. SGN chats with Silvanus Lee, Director of Twitter’s APAC Engineering Centre and Co-Founder of BasisAI, who went from living every techie’s dream – building and leading critical teams at Dropbox and Uber in California – to returning home to Singapore at the height of his career. Why did he make the switch? Read on to find out and learn how Silvanus continues to pave the way forward for the future of tech in Singapore and the region.

Marooned for 7-months: The Longest Trip Home

Eve shares how her short trip back to Singapore earlier this year for the Lunar New Year turned out to be her longest visit home in a decade. With a golden ticket in hand, she is finally back in Shanghai after spending 7 months in Singapore, and shares her journey back with her family.

Envisioning Tomorrow’s Workplace: Hiring Solution Start-up Workstream CEO Desmond Lim on Hiring with Tech

As COVID-19 accelerates future work trends, SGN digs deep into the new workplace normal and how behaviours, culture and skillsets are shifting. We chat with the CEO and Co-Founder of San Francisco-based hiring solution Workstream, Desmond Lim, on his success story from humble beginnings in the little red dot to pushing the boundaries of the future of work.

Women In Tech: Weaving in Data for Change in Asia

In this edition of SGN’s Women In Tech series, we chat with Aparna Saxena, the Chief Executive Officer of TORAJAMELO and Chapter Head of She Loves Data (SLD) Indonesia, on how she pushes to create and find meaning with data to empower other women in ASEAN.

Millennials of Singapore: Successful Entrepreneurs You Should Be Following Right Now

For some youths, their dream job is to be self-made bosses. For Kendra Liew, Founder of I Love Katfood, and Hong Kai, Co-Founder and CTO of Roceso Technologies, they have taken that step towards pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams – albeit a tough road they’ve had to navigate. Hear their personal stories on why and how they started, challenges they faced, experiences of starting businesses in Singapore, and why you should be following them right now.

Celebrate SG: Feeling Like Home Away from Home

This year’s National Day is unlike any other – it’s the first digital National Day Parade we’ve experienced! Whether you’ve had a downsized celebration with friends and family or tuned-in for a Zoom party, it’s the perfect time to reminisce the journey of our little red dot through the eyes of some of our overseas Singaporeans and local expat friends.

Re-imagining Media & Entertainment: Entrepreneurship in AI-generated Media

Synthetic Media leverages AI technology, and it will completely reshape the landscape of media and entertainment. Learn more from Arif Khan, CEO and Founder of Alethea AI, about some real-world use cases that the technology enables.  5 August 2020 / By Arif Khan…

Pushing the envelope of innovation: Reshaping the future of fintech and payments

The adoption in fintech has accelerated in the past few months and will continue to do so in a post-pandemic landscape. We speak with Imran Hajimusa, GM & Head of payments platform at Silicon Valley Bank, on what the future of payments will hold and where Singapore stands. Married with three daughters, Imran’s fondest Singapore memories include enjoying seafood at East Coast Park with family and friends.

Lockdown Cooking: A Taste of Home

In the last of our three-part series on Lockdown Cooking, Lim Monica Devi, a Singaporean in Belgium seeks out the Singaporean community around the world to share a common love – food! This month, as we celebrate National Day, many countries are still practising some form of quarantine. With safe distancing in mind, Monica takes a virtual peek into their larders (which often has a second refrigerator) and gardens to uncover how Singaporeans living overseas dish out a plateful of home while away from the island.

Women in Tech: Driving business with data

In this edition of our Women in Tech series, we speak to two tech leaders – Dr Megan Yao, head of advanced analytics at NTUC FairPrice, and Shaowen Ang, regional lead of seller operations and listings at Shopee – who are both leading teams to capitalise on data for organisational success.

Lockdown Cooking: Beyond Borders

In the second of our three-part series on Lockdown Cooking, Monica Devi Lim, a Singaporean in Belgium seeks out the Singaporean community around the world to share a common love – food! She will be speaking to them about their journeys and joys during the global lockdown, including their favourite dishes to make and memories of the Little Red Dot. Get your forks ready as she dishes out this month’s flavours: international recipes from Italy, Greece, and India. And if you wish, of course you can adapt the recipes to suit your taste – just go easy on the chilli (or not)!

5Qs with Joanna Lau

5Qs with Joanna Lau - Joanna came to the U.S. to attend New York University 13 years ago. As the Founder & CEO of JEMMA, a fashion e-commerce handbag brand, Joanna shuttles regularly between Singapore and New York, where the brand is based.

What If.

2020 is an unprecedented year for all of us. Some of us may be fearful, some optimistic. Some could be very anxious, and perhaps some excited. But no doubt 2020 is a year of learning, of survival, of trials and of successes. Hear from Harshika, as she shares snippets of her thoughts through the past couple months.

Remaining rooted to Singapore: “Where are you really from?”

Sharmishta is only 26 years old, but in this short amount of time, she has lived in nine countries, across 3 continents. She shares her rootedness to Singapore even though she has spent a majority of her life away from this island, her insights as a third culture kid moving around the world, and how being a global nomad steered her passion for international affairs and global governance.

Going green from the red dot: How a smartphone app is empowering social change

Singapore is a gastronomical city-state where enjoying good food is a shared culture but vegans may find it a challenge to find options that work for their lifestyle. Vikas Garg, founder of smartphone app, abillionveg that boasts a global community of vegans, shares his plans to change that and rally for more to adopt a sustainable lifestyle.

Lockdown Cooking: For both circuit bakers and circuit eaters

In the very first of our three-part series on Lockdown Cooking, Lim Monica Devi, a Singaporean in Belgium seeks out the Singaporean community around the world to share a common love – food! Over the next few months, she will be speaking to them about their journeys and joys during the global lockdown, including their favourite dishes to make and memories of the Little Red Dot. Dig in as she rolls out this month’s flavours: baking recipes. Start with the truly simple one-pan, rise to a cake made without an oven, then crank up the heat with a slightly more complicated braided beauty. The recipes here will entice both circuit bakers and circuit eaters!

Stories from a photographer’s lens: Makiyo Lio

They say you don’t shoot what it looks like, but what it feels like. Hear from Makiyo Lio, a Singaporean girl who followed her dreams and took a different career path from the usual conservative route. After buying her first camera at the age of 17, I guess you could say the rest is history. She shares her journey through the years, and some tips for young aspiring photographers!

5Qs with Nadia Ann Huifang

Our 5Qs series is a chance for you to get to know more about folks in the Singapore Global Network community, where we pose 5 questions to exciting individuals to find out more about what they do!

How Great Founders Win: Insights from 200 Founder Interviews in Southeast Asia

Iterative is an operator-led accelerator modeled after YC. We invest US$150K into promising early-stage startups, then rigorously help founders navigate early-stage startup challenges in a 3-month program to facilitate their raising a Seed / Series A round comfortably. Investing in all of Southeast Asia (Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, etc.), we’re particularly fond of Fintech, SaaS, marketplaces, AI, healthcare, and consumer.

Lights, Camera, Advice: Filmmaker Thomas Lim on Success in Showbiz and Life

Singaporean director Thomas Lim, Head of Sun Entertainment Culture Los Angeles, recounts his experiences as a filmmaker and shares how cheetah cubs in the zoo inspired him to realise his potential on the biggest stage in the world — Hollywood. Growing up in Tampines and having lived overseas for the past 20 years, Thomas says Singapore is still home no matter where he is.

No limits: training like champs while staying home

With travel bans in place due to the global pandemic, it pains us to know that people are separated from their families and friends. With gyms and fitness centres closed, many of us are struggling to keep fit. Local professional athletes, Herlene Yu (triathlete), Radeem Rahman (pro-MMA fighter) and Ng Ming Wei (taekwondo athlete) are especially feeling the heat. These professionals share their experiences adapting to training in the new ‘norm’ and how you can adapt too!

5Qs with Pearly Tan

With travel bans in place due to the global pandemic, it pains us to know that people are separated from their families and friends. HOur 5Qs series is a chance for you to get to know more about folks in the Singapore Global Network community, where we pose 5 questions to exciting individuals to find out more about what they do!

Love in the time of Covid

With travel bans in place due to the global pandemic, it pains us to know that people are separated from their families and friends. However, amidst these challenging times, here are some love letters from our overseas community to their loved ones in Singapore. Love truly knows no distance, and we all hope that the world will be reunited soon. Till then, stay strong everyone!

SG Social enterprises: making a mark beyond the red dot

Singaporean entrepreneurs are making waves of positive impact off the shores of the sunny island and into global waters where they continue to champion for the greater good. Dive deeply into the stories of passion-led organisations – Freedom Cups, Wateroam and Project Dignity – who are successfully expanding their scopes to the globe.

Rethinking Normal

It rained yesterday evening – one of those tropical thunderstorms that leave the air feeling fresh and cool and the entire landscape looking washed clean, ready to start anew. The windows of my Stay-Home-Notice hotel room right in the heart of the city look out towards a balcony adorned with lavender-pink bougainvillea; in the distance, ancient trees rise into the skies, stately and serene. I’m not sure if these trees belong to the Istana grounds – but whatever the case, they are beautiful. Once in a while, I spot some bird of prey with outstretched wings coasting in the air, a dark speck against the steel-blue skies.

5Qs with Flora Tay

Our 5Qs series is a chance for you to get to know more about folks in the Singapore Global Network community, where we pose 5 questions to exciting individuals to find out more about what they do!

5Qs with Josie Kiew

Our 5Qs series is a chance for you to get to know more about folks in the Singapore Global Network community, where we pose 5 questions to exciting individuals to find out more about what they do!

Navigating China as a Singaporean

Ms Mae Ng was 23 when she first moved to China to work. During the 10 years when she was formerly with The Ascott Limited (Ascott), she lived in four different cities across the country. Mae, who currently oversees operations for faculties and student accommodation with one of Singapore’s top tertiary institutions, shares the lessons she has learnt from her stay in China.

The rise of the independent film industry in Singapore

Singapore film is returning to global prominence with critically acclaimed productions such as Boo Junfeng’s Apprentice and Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo. For journalist and researcher Alfonse Chiu, he believes more can be done for the film industry in Singapore, because of the special role it plays in defining our culture.

Christmas Reunions

This Christmas, three Singaporeans share heartwarming stories about celebrating the holidays abroad in Shanghai, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Read on and discover their unique Christmas traditions and how they stay close to their loved ones despite being so far from home.

A Singaporean Christmas Carol, lah

We all know the classic tale of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol – a story of about miser Ebenezer Scrooge, visited by three ghosts that changed his life. It has been more than a century since this story came about, but the tale of love, family and Christmas never gets old. This festive season, as we celebrate the season of gifting and giving, gather the entire kampung under the Christmas tree, and let us tell you our version of the Singaporean Christmas Carol lah!

Love Letters to Singapore

For so many Singaporeans residing overseas all over the globe, maintaining their ties to our Little Red Dot can require a dash of creativity and a generous helping of impressive out-of-the-box thinking. In this final instalment of our “Love Letter to Singapore” series for the year, United States-based mother and daughter Lena Gan and Sara Kay share how they remain connected to their home country.