Young Upstarts

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Event Coverage: iJAM Session, IDM Jamboree

iJAM Session, IDM Jamboree@iFuture, Singapore Science Centre, 11.45am – 2pm

Ideas are plenty, but it is the execution of an idea that is most important.

This seemed to be a message that the panel of entrepreneurship speakers continually stressed during the iJAM Session at the IDM Jamboree.

 It is not often that one attends a government-organised event and ends up hearing about entrepreneurship.  Although the focus of the session was to introduce iJAM, the public idea-generation platform that the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) will roll-out later this year, the panel of speakers MDA assembled spent most of their time discussing entrepreneurship in Singapore instead.

After Pam Hu, Director (Communications and International Relations), MDA introduced iJAM to the participants, the session soon kicked into full gear when Dr. Desai Arcot Narsimhalu, Associate Dean of the School of Information Systems at the Singapore Management University, and venture capitalist and Managing Director of Wholetree Technologies Mr. Chow Yen Lu led a spirited discussion about entrepreneurship.

Dr. Desai shared on three questions every entrepreneur should ask themselves.  Firstly, why would anybody want this product or service, and why from you? Secondly, how much and how often are they willing to pay for your product or service? Lastly, how many will pay, and where do they come from?  “Always remember, people don’t want technologies, they want solutions,” emphasised Dr. Desai.

Mr. Chow echoed similar sentiments. “Entrepreneurs should always ask what is their source of competitive advantage,” he said. Mr. Chow also shared on how to foster an entrepreneurial spirit, and encouraged entrepreneurs to always be curious, always wanting to explore and being willing to learn.

Another invited speaker, Mr. Stanley Han, the young co-founder of Personal e-Motion Pte Ltd shared his experience of starting his company against all odds.  His advice? “Always be realistic, don’t cheat yourself,” he said. “We tend to ignore problems. If your idea can face up against all forms of weather, then it’s a great idea.”

Some members of the audience was sceptical of iJAM as a platform for sharing ideas. They felt that few entrepreneurs would be willing to share their ideas on such an open platform in case their ideas got hijacked.  To this Dr. Desai replied, “Ideas are a dime to a dozen, but it is the execution of ideas that set real entrepreneurs apart. Some people are so scared that others will run off with their ideas!” Mr. Han agreed, saying, “99.9% of your time is spent on executing your idea.  It is not easy for someone to copy your idea, and have the passion and commitment to follow-through on it.”

“Execution is more important than anything else.”

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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