Thank You, Tech Forum Ambassadors!

The 3rd Singapore Tech Forum recently concluded, but our event ambassadors who supported and promoted our campaign across the U.S., UK, and Singapore will be here to stay. Ranging from tech leaders, engineers, entrepreneurs, VC partners and even podcast hosts, some of the ambassadors share their Tech Forum experiences!

3 December 2020 / By SGN

A Zoom get-together with some of the Singapore Tech Forum ambassadors before the event!

Our recently concluded virtual Singapore Tech Forum (STF) had over 7,500 event registrations and was our biggest to date. STF 2020 was an excellent venue to understand why tech is Singapore’s strategic national priority, and how Southeast Asia’s tech sector is thriving with digital solutions. We had our most power-packed line-up ever, with headliners including Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, DBS’s Siew Choo, and Sea Group’s Forrest Li. For those of you who didn’t make it this time, read about it here.

STF’s huge draw was also due to the efforts of our ambassadors who played an integral role in promoting the event to their diverse community and network. We speak with some of them about their motivations and insights from the Forum. 

David Yin, Forbes Contributor; GGV Fellow; Ex-McKinsey, U.S.

David was previously a consultant in McKinsey’s startup practice, where he helped connect corporate innovators, investors and startups across Silicon Valley, Singapore, and Southeast Asia. He was also head of strategy at a fintech company, where he helped them expand into Southeast Asia via Singapore. 

Motivation to be an STF Ambassador

I always see myself as a bridge in the tech space between Singapore and the world, so being an STF ambassador was a natural fit. I’ve always been impressed by the number of Singapore-affiliated talent in Silicon Valley and across the globe that are interested in tech opportunities in Singapore.

Key Takeaway 

There is so much more to do as Singapore/Southeast Asia are still at an early stage of digital transformation! The successes from the previous wave in tech companies such as Sea and Grab will only generate greater interest in the region’s growth potential, hence attracting more capital, technologies, and talents. Returning to Singapore/Southeast Asia is my high priority, and I will actively think about what I can best equip myself to build for the region in the next 3-5 years.

Jenny Chong, Non-Executive Director in Medway NHS hospital; Technology and Innovation Advisor, UK

Jenny came from an extensive investment banking background with 20 years of leadership expertise in Credit Suisse. Her last role there was Global Head of Electronic Communications Surveillance, responsible for detecting malicious behaviour and market abuse on communication channels using behavioural algorithms, machine learning, and natural language processing.

Motivation to be an STF Ambassador

I am passionate about getting more kids, especially girls, interested in STEM subjects. STF gave me a platform to spread that message globally and showcase the far-reaching potential of tech across all industries.

Key Takeaway

The biggest takeaway was PM Lee’s commitment to planning and investing in sound infrastructure. His foresight to grow the country’s talent pipeline and recognition that changing the work culture in public service are two fundamental essentials to harness the potential that technology can unleash fully.

Eddy Chan, Founding Partner, Intudo Ventures

Eddy is a founding partner of “Indonesia-only” independent early-stage venture capital firm Intudo Ventures, which has invested in Indonesian companies, including Halodoc, Kargo, PasarPolis, TaniHub and Xendit.  Before that, he was a founder of a venture-backed startup in Silicon Valley and a venture investor in startups including PayPal, Palantir, SpaceX, and Affirm.  

Motivation to be an STF Ambassador

I was hoping to build relationships with talented individuals involved in global venture ecosystems, particularly in Silicon Valley, Singapore, and Indonesia.  I was motivated to join as an STF ambassador to bring such talented individuals together to build long term relationships with each other.

Key Takeaway

I was extremely impressed by Singapore’s PM Lee and the government’s in-depth knowledge of technology and their understanding of the need to bring in world-class talent and financial capital into Singapore and Southeast Asia more broadly.

Ren Yi Hooi, Founder & CEO at Lightning Social Ventures, UK

Ren Yi’s fintech startup aims to enable financially vulnerable people to receive fast financial support, recover from shocks and build economic resilience. She has worked across the fintech and social impact sectors in multiple continents, within fast-growing startups like Railsbank in the UK, high impact scale-ups in Asia and nonprofits such as The Rockefeller Foundation in the U.S.

Motivation to be an STF Ambassador

While currently based in London, I’m keen to stay connected to Singapore (which is still home for me) and learn about the exciting tech developments in the region.

Key Takeaway

I enjoyed learning about the approach to Rapid Experimental Product Development in the government shared by Li Hongyi. It was amazing to know how lean teams of 2-6 people have delivered large scale, high impact initiatives such as sgID and Postman, all while running on small budgets and enabling further cost savings. This complemented the human-centric perspective described by Janice Tan, who highlighted the importance of building trust in the community with sincerity and care.

Jingying Wu, Principal Software Engineering Manager at Microsoft, Seattle

Jingying has been with Microsoft USA for 12 years, and she is currently working for Azure FrontDoor managing infrastructure, building outs, and driving live site management. She graduated from Nanyang Technological University where she founded the Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques!

Key Takeaway

It is interesting to come to know people from different backgrounds. My new actionable item is to participate in more conferences (Virtual for now, in-person when COVID ends), and get to know more people, and learn more about the work people are working on.

Dan Gonzales (left) & Earl Valencia, Startup Mindsets Podcast Co-Hosts 

Among other things, Dan and Earl are co-hosts of Startup Mindsets Podcast where they look to provide a blueprint to thrive in an innovation-driven and globally connected digital age. They became fascinated by the market dynamics and efforts to develop the emerging market after hosting guests from Southeast Asia. 

Motivation to be STF Ambassadors

We were motivated to learn about the innovation ecosystem in Southeast Asia and to connect with like-minded folks making an impact through funding and technology in Singapore.

Key Takeaway

We loved the conference’s Virtual Lounge and enjoyed hearing from tech talent in Southeast Asia. The Forum showcased the strong desire of people from around the world to find a connection to Asia. We look forward to collaborating with EDB and other parts of the SG ecosystem to identify opportunities, find tech talent, and promote more cross-border knowledge exchange through our podcast.

Every STF ambassador received an exquisitely prepared swag pack (MacBook not included).  Photo credit: Gim Lay Tan

Keen to join us? SGN is a global organisation under the Singapore EDB, and we’re passionate about building relationships and connecting with individuals all over the world. If you’re keen to join SGN as an ambassador to promote our events, make new connections, and learn the latest perspectives, please reach out to David Ho, Regional VP of SGN, North America. We’d love to work with you to make our community even stronger and more vibrant!  


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