By Velia Ng, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Alumni members of the Master of Science Technopreneurship and Innovation Programme (MSc TIP) were invited to share their experiences over Zoom on 11 Jan 2021 to current students, giving them information and inspiration for their learning and entrepreneurial journey.
The first speaker, Mr Richard Soh, began by sharing his experiences of working in law enforcement. Spending 16 years in the sector, Mr Soh was tasked with building a forensic department and was therefore responsible for coming up with ideas for equipment and technology that met certain needs.
Calling himself an entrepreneur, Mr Soh said that he likes to create things, change things, and do things that are different. Eventually after, he joined UOB with the offer to create a team that fights scams and has since become the Vice President of the company.
He believes that the MSc TIP program is a platform that prepares students to enter the outside world as it is an opportunity to ask more questions but a way to train presentation skills and sell ideas. Mr Soh, who graduated in 2018, also said that is a place where mistakes can be made and students can explore potential business ventures.
Using his motto, “Every door is a window.”, he appealed to the audience to never stop innovating and to always try again if one fails. He concluded his sharing by saying that life is never easy for those who dream, but it is nevertheless rewarding to stick to one’s aspirations.
The second speaker, Mr Andy Wee, who graduated in 2014, presented several learning points from his experience as an engineer and entrepreneur.
Key ideas shared include the importance of communication, research and understanding of customers so as to be able to sell ideas that gather interest and commitment and that the value of the product and service can be easily measured.
Moreover, he advised picking a business one is strongly motivated by or has a deep connection to and to learn from the experiences of others so as to prevent the same mistakes and increase the chance of success.
Mr Wee also said that it is important to take action and execute ideas as it is not only a learning experience to learn more about the environment the business is trying to break into but to have a product that others may be able to see.
He concluded his sharing by appealing to the audience to constantly adapt and acquire new skills and be precise in selecting areas that can maximise one’s abilities and areas where one has the ability to gather resources.
The last speaker, Mr Hayden Low, who graduated in 2019, founded Amazin’ Graze with his friends in order to provide healthy snacks to consumers. His team realised that people’s lifestyles have changed but their diets have not, resulting in health issues being a growing concern in Asian countries.
As such, Amazon’ Graze was founded not only to educate consumers of health risks but to also meet the changing lifestyle needs of the community.
Mr Low also said that as a start-up, Amazin’ Graze needed to be adaptable and have a business model that enabled it to enter the market and stay competitive. As such, the company is constantly trying to push the market boundaries and innovate their products to keep up with their consumers’ wants.
As one of the top five brands operating on e-commerce platforms like Shopee, Mr Low also said that Amazin’ Grace is also looking to build concept stores to allow their customers to experience and learn more about the brand while also expanding their smoothie bars.
The session concluded with a Q&A segment including queries that ranged from the experience of the alumni to advice about the curriculum.