It takes one to know one. Natural, then, that The Peak turned to veterans who already have their fingers on the pulse of the entrepreneurial world. Meet the panel behind the 2017 Peak Power List.
The Peak Power List 2017 was fully unveiled on Nov 1.
| Christopher Lim
The Business Times
|Lim has been keeping tabs on the technology sector for the past decade. He initiated gaming coverage at The Business Times and covered lifestyle technology for both the financial daily and in-flight magazine Silverkris.
On the direction of technology, he says: “The emerging trend would be AI as the next step beyond algorithms. But the major ongoing trend (as opposed to emerging) is existing technology coming of age, and being packaged together for new uses. It’s the Apple effect writ large. The underlying infrastructure of bitcoin and blockchain is actually a collection of existing tech (peerto- peer, public-key encryption, etc) that was put to a new use, and is now being hyped to transform everything from fintech to proptech to legaltech.”
|Fang currently heads a bio-analytics company on the cusp of revolutionising the war on cancer. An honouree of The Peak’s 2014 Power List for venturing into the lifesaving stem-cell business, he has spades of experience in growing promising start-ups, particularly in the bio-med sector.
The serial bio-technopreneur doesn’t sit still, thanks to what he calls his 1-2-3 rule: He’s always running one major company, has two others in the incubator, and through it all, is formulating three great ideas. Once the primary entity “goes on autopilot”, he picks a new focus from “bucket 2”, and moves the nascent ideas up the chain.
This SOP allows Fang to continually value-add to ideas, while giving him “a sense of pulse” on new developments. On disruption, he writes: “Most businesses today must not only embrace disruption… they must also expect it to change how their industry evolves and operates.”
| Koh Soo Boon
|With a veritable wealth of experience in Silicon Valley dealings and as executive management in some of Singapore’s earliest venture capital forays, few have as keen a sense for business potential as Koh Soo Boon. Koh also chairs the Career Women’s Group of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, where she champions advocacy for career women in Singapore.
Her thoughts on how to break ground in the entrepreneurial arena? “It’s very tough. Unless you have the passion, don’t do it.” To her, domain expertise is key to truly redefine the boundaries of an industry, and racking up substantial working experience in the relevant field is the first step. “A business degree should only be (taken as) a secondary degree.”
|Having held down the directorship for almost two decades, Wong has been instrumental in shaping Singapore’s entrepreneurial scene, be it through the umpteen programmes, initiatives and competitions designed to hone business sense and instil best practices, or his ceaseless contribution to research and publications on the topic. Wong’s opinion is frequently sought by organisations such as the World Bank and the Economic Development Board of Singapore.
Wong notes that the X-factor for a start-up to go big has changed – no longer is it fashionable to import solutions that may have worked elsewhere in the world. “(It is now) the ‘local’ element, where locals understand the local market, have the local experiences and connections – that is really the biggest factor.”
Prof Wong Poh Kam
NUS Entrepreneurship Centre