Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

Startup@Singapore JTC Entrepreneurial Workshop

iHub at JTC Corporation, 10am – 2pm

Organised by Startup@Singapore under NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, NUS Business School Alumni and the NUS Entrepreneurship Society, this workshop stood out more for its lively panel discussion than the actual presentations that preceeded it.

Part of the programme of Startup@Singapore’s National Business Plan Competition, the JTC Entrepreneurial Workshop saw a lively turnout of around 100 of which included many business school students and quite a few budding entrepreneurs.

The first speaker, Mr. Chan Dik Wan, Deputy Director of One-North Development Group, Jurong Town Corporation, shared with the audience on JTC’s increasing focus to help grow the entrepreneurial field in Singapore by providing suitable infrastructure for startups. “We aim to set up an ecosystem of entrepreneurs,” said Mr Chan, who explained that startups incubating at JTC premises have a chance to interact with other startups, thereby creating an environment that encourage synergies and partnerships.

Following Mr. Chan was Mr. Vincent Low, Regional Director of Sales – Southeast Asia, Netgear.  Mr. Low explained the importance of a secure and efficient IT network infrastructure to small businesses.  He explains how such an efficient IT network is a business advantage – “Speedy transmission of data means faster time-to-market for businesses,” said Mr. Low,  “and a secure network means that critical business information is protected.”  The last thing a business needs is to waste time fighting viruses, he adds.

A lively discussion soon followed the presentations, where Mr. Low – himself an entrepreneur during his younger days – was constantly quizzed by multiple participants on his earliest experience in a startup.  Despite some awkward moments – including a disgruntled JTC tenant who was set on egging Mr. Chan about uncompetitive JTC tenancy rates and a member of the audience who seemed more interested in sharing his theories on technopreneurship than listening to the panel – Mr. Low and Mr. Chan highlighted their views the key factors that make a successful entrepreneur:

1. Passion. Someone asked if entrepreneurs required passion, as long as they were able to find a successful business model for their work.  Netgear’s Mr. Low highlighted that many people have too narrow a definition of passion.  “It was their passion in the first place to lead them to that business idea,” he said.  “It was my passion to succeed that drove me to do what I do.”

2. Perseverance.  “Persevere, persevere, persevere,” said Mr. Low, “if you fail and then give up, you’re not an entrepreneur.”

3. Optimism. JTC’s Mr. Chan claimed that successful entrepreneurs are those who are optimistic – these are the ones who are most likely to spot business opportunities.

4. Courage. “It takes courage to step out to become an entrepreneur,” said Mr. Chan, “and many don’t make that first step.”

To find out more about Startup@Singapore’s National Business Plan competition, click here.  Registration is open till 26 January 2007.


Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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