Time to stop and smell the flowers.
While the world enters a bear market, Luna gets a revival as Luna 2.0 in less than 16 days, stocks continue to tumble and fresh chicken runs out, I say it is about time we take a pause.
Time to take stock on what we, as StartupX, has done over the past few years.
We run high quality innovation programs like accelerators, pre-accelerators and hackathons.
We work closely with early-stage entrepreneurs.
We made early bets on founders.
We were there when they just begun their journey.
And no it hasn’t be easy at all.
Some of them go on to be really successful.
Does it mean we were clairvoyant?
No, it just meant that our trust in the process and people paid off.
It may very well have ended in shambles and bubbled away quietly.
But I am proud to say that what little we do for our ecosystem, is starting to see some juicy gains.
Forbes did what it did best and released its 30 under 30 last week.
Huge shout out to our StartupX alumni from the various programs we have done over the years:
Co-founders of Accredify: Zheng Wei QUAH, Derrick Lee, Shaun Cheetham, Edmund Chew
Co-founders of StaffAny: Janson Seah, Jeremy Hon, Kai Yi Lee, Eugene Ng
Co-founders of Augmentus: Daryl Lim and Chong Voon Foo
Starting a company is really not easy.
Starting a fledging startup and surviving an unprecedented global pandemic, facing numerous challenges and a gloomy landscape certainly ranks one of the toughest things one can do in life.
Much respect for these brave founders who put their heads down, grinded on and emerge alright after all these years.
They share the list alongside with Annette Lee, a rising star and content creator, National Shuttler Loh Kean Yew, and Ng Ming Wei, founder of Boom Digital Media (he has 20M followers on TikTok!).
4,000 nominees across Asia and Singapore had the second highest number of entries.
I am proud of Singapore and what we as a tiny nation has achieved.
But we should always be mindful that we cannot expect beautiful, ripe and juicy mangos without planting any seeds or watering them over the years.
While we praised and admire the ones who made it successful, let’s not ignore the saplings and tiny seeds that are still being planted.
Be it our sporting athletes, e-gamers, web3 builders or tech entrepreneurs, we simply cannot expect them to “make it” on their own.
If you want to reap the rewards of a healthy startup, tech, entrepreneurial ecosystem in 10 or 20 years to come, focus on the seeds, the soil on which they are planted, the water and minerals which they are fed and the people who will take care of them over the next generation.
There needs to be an entire ecosystem supporting and nurturing, inspiring and bolstering them as they grow, develop and mature.
There would be no Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) without Denzel Washington.
There would be no Jackie Chan without Hong Kong’s Golden age of Cinema in the 80s.
There would Apple or Amazon or Facebook or Airbnb without the amazing startup ecosystem of Silicon Valley.
Sure, not every seed or founder will grow up to be successful much like how most startups fail.
But it is worth it and we got to continue our efforts to nurture them as much as we can.
Ecosystem building is not for everyone and it is largely a thankless job.
Nobody asked us to do it and nobody would give us a medal for getting it right.
It is all for the community, layering our efforts so others may rise, one brick at a time.
Our thanks comes in the form of smiles and watching the founders get reported on the news about their successes.
Our successes are their successes and knowing the fact that the next generation of entrepreneurs will evolve and shine from what we do now, however painstaking and difficult the work is.
Let’s gun for the big league next and compete with the rising stars in Silicon Valley and Europe too!
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