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Connecting the Dots: Investment Banking to FinTech — Dinner with Sam Ng, Co-Founder of Fundnel

Sam donating dinner and raising 90 volunteer hours

Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their life and career, where we get a glimpse into their mentality and attitude behind their ventures and stories.

From investment banking to co-founding Fundnel — Asia’s first online investment network, Sam Ng has deep experiences in both traditional banking to the forefront of fintech.

Having evaluated over 6,000 startup companies to eventually invest in 15 deals worth over US$49 million, Sam shared key factors he’d look in a startup from both a founder and an investor perspective — Are there age diversity in the team? How committed are the founders? Is there a high opportunity cost? After that, we dived into a few rapid fire questions on his life views.

How you think about your two identities, an investment banker and a fin-tech entrepreneur?

“I think that having one thing in a time is not enough, life is about connecting dots and connecting the world together.

Having experiences in banking helped me understand the financial world, having experiences in Fundnel helped me understand the technology world. Can I connect these two together to do something meaningful in the future? I will keep thinking about that again and again. And I consider it (connecting dots) absolutely crucial in my life journey as well.”

What is a life motto you live by?

“I would like to be passionate about what I do. If I try to do something, I would like to be the best of it, to be passionate about it. If not, it isn’t worth the time. That actually comes to my next principle: if I feel currently what I am doing is something that I am not passionate about, I will stop and cut loss.”

What qualities do you look for in people?

“Energy, intensity and passion.

These are three principles on how I judge people and they help me to understand questions such as how hardworking the person is and how well he will perform in the future. These qualities guide me to hire the right people.”

What is one message you’d like all of us to take home?

“All of us here are exploring possibilities. As a university graduate, you may want to step into those well-established workplaces just like everyone else. On the other hand, you may also ask yourselves from time to time: can I do something different? I will say you should definitely try it. Explore beyond the limit and achieve your goals.”

Thank you Sam for donating dinner and raising 90 volunteer hours to Hong Kong Christian Service, Sunshine Action, Diamond Cab, Crossroads Foundation, Kids4Kids, FoodAngel and more!

For more experiences, visit Time Auction where you can meet Hong Kong’s most astonishing people by volunteering 10 hours to charity.

What did the volunteers think?

Stephanie: Interesting meeting with Sam and I learned a lot from his mistakes. Things that seem to be common sense turn out to create unexpected issues. For example, a company should not be structured with 3 shareholders holding 1/3 of the stake each. Or other problems like can emerge like the lack of incentive for a web service provider to perform well. Thank you Sam.

Singh: Thank you Sam for your time today at the dinner! Being a finance enthusiast, it was great to learn from you about traditional investment banking as well as the fintech disruptions that are happening. I am so grateful to hear your honest opinions on the questions asked and how you view the industry and career as a whole. Hope to stay in contact in the future and thank you once again!

Emily: I have learned the fin-tech development and ibankers’ life.



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Time Auction

Time Auction

Time Auction is a charity that advocates volunteerism. We encourage volunteering with inspiring experiences, while connecting skilled-volunteers with NGOs.