Mentoring is the keystone of JFDI’s work. Our community of mentors are passionate about disruptive innovation and the potential of digital technology.
Mentors provide feedback and guidance to entrepreneurs going through JFDI’s programs, sharing important lessons and insights they have learned through direct personal experience. In return, they get to meet world-class startups who are interested in their advice and appreciative of their contributions as they explore new technologies, business models and markets. Mentors also have the opportunity to collaborate with a community of fellow mentors and investors. We are deeply grateful to all the mentors listed here who have contributed so much since 2010:
Abhinav and OurHealthMate are changing the way Non-Resident Indians take care of family members back home. OurHealthMate’s platform allows Indian expats to purchase medical packages for love ones. His team has striked partnerships with major healthcare and clinics providers in India, and has built great retention with a pool of beta users.
Aditya is the founder of Slicemetrics, a data-driven inbound marketing consultancy. He helps funded startups and businesses acquire more users and improve their conversion rates through content and search marketing. Prior to founding Slicemetrics, he spent over 8 years at Google where he helped start the global sales & support operations as a member of Google India’s founding team. He also helped launch Google Analytics and iGoogle in India and later, managed global sales and support operation teams for global AdWords advertisers.
Akshay is a versatile startup executive and co-founder of Komli Media, Asia’s leading venture-backed digital media and advertising technology company. Headquartered in India, Komli has raised over $50m in venture capital and has over 300 employees in Asia. Akshay is a member of the firm’s executive leadership team and currently serves as VP, Strategy and Operations where is responsible for the development and execution of the firm’s corporate strategy and execution of company-wide operational and strategic initiatives.
As Head of Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd, Dr. Alex LIN led the team of investment professionals to develop the infocomm start-ups ecosystem in Singapore, through strategic investments in promising companies.For last 10 years, Alex had been actively building companies, mentoring entrepreneurs and investing in promising start-ups. He held entrepreneurship and investment related roles in several organizations working closely with Singapore universities promoting creation of rapid-prototyping capabilities and incubators.
He invests and coaches young technology startups from ideation to maturity. Regionally, Alex led several technology infrastructure investments in China, such as technology park development, and High Temperature Conversion of Waste installations.Prior to his investment and mentoring roles, Alex was the Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Operation & Technology in SembCorp Logistics, where he led teams of professionals in sales acquisition and maintenance of technology infrastructures.
Alvin Chan is the Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer for Brandtology, the leader in Business & Brand online intelligence services. Using proprietary technologies and proven process, combined with trained and experienced analysts, Brandtology helps companies analyze online conversations on social media and make strategic decisions for their brands in a timely manner.
Alvin, spearheads the technology and development efforts in the areas of social media and business intelligence. In addition, his portfolio not only includes the R&D aspects, but also holds the responsibility for operations and infrastructure for both Singapore and China offices.
Angela is the Chief Happiness Officer of Strikingly, a YC alum that had recently expanded to Singapore. She bridges developers, business-end and the Strikingly user community — thrive though UI/UX changes, synthesizing feedback, translating needs into action, increasing sustainability, and managing a team of support staff to deliver happiness.
Ari Klinger, Co-Founder of Spring.me & Partner of Right Click Capital and Sydney Seed Fund.
Ari has extensive experience in starting, building and selling Internet-related businesses. Co-founder and CEO of iMega, an online media network with over 30 million visitors a month, sold to a listed marketing services group in 2006.
Co-founder and CEO of Online Marketing Group (OMG) in 2008, which quickly grew to become Australia’s largest network of websites and owner of premium domain names. Sold to Fairfax Media in 2010.
Now Ari is a partner at Right Click Capital and Sydney Seed Fund, co-founder at Spring.me.
EXPERTISE: Marketing, Funding
MARKET: Domain, Mobile
INDUSTRY: Media, Online
Benjamin Scherrey started his first business in 1989 quite by accident. Known for being able to deliver complex computing systems into operation under tight deadlines with high reliability; he discovered that most of his efforts were focused on building the development model, team and infrastructure rather than actual programming. Since then he has built software development groups for other companies around the world until finally starting his own, Proteus Technologies. His focus is on identifying strong talent and carrying fresh concepts to implementation.
As an architect, he introduced Agile processes and methodologies to companies around the world. He’s architected and built real-time, event-based, and web-based systems that have scaled to hundreds of thousands of simultaneous users and processes billions of dollars of transactions. As a consultant, his focus on helping bridge the communication gap between business requirements from management’s perspective and the impact of technological decisions by development staff using general systems methods.
his technical qualifications span numerous hardware architectures, operating systems, and programming languages, as well as design and development methodologies. He has been featured in many periodicals including the Wall Street Journal, VAR Business, Byte, Communication Week, Computer World, industry reports by IDC and several Internet-based conferences. I have served in both management consultant and technical capacities to companies including Thomson Reuters, Scientific Games International, IBM, CSX, GE Capital, Borland International, CibaVision, Ericsson, Harris DTS, and H.B.O. & Company.
Bernard Leong is Vice President of Digital Services at Singapore Post Pte Ltd.
Outside his corporate role, his present & past entrepreneurial pursuits include:
- Entrepreneur-in-Residence, INSEAD Business School
- Co-founder of This Week in Asia, a weekly podcast on technology business with notable pundits all over Asia.
- Former co-founder of SGE.io, online portal on trends & opportunities on technology in Southeast Asia & is acquired by TechInAsia.
- Former technology manager from Vistaprint, building & managing a lean startup team taking idea to prototypes.
- Former co-founder & CTO of Chalkboard, a location based mobile ad network, where I managed engineering team of 10, architect the platform in mobile web space, build strategic relationships with Microsoft and Yahoo! & sales operations.
- Early stage investor under Thymos Capital LLP on online social networks (Eteract, iHipo), consumer internet (Padlet – now Y-Combinator company).
- Taught & lecture courses on entrepreneurship & new venture financing in Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
Formerly, he was co-founder and CTO of Chalkboard, a location based mobile ad network, where he managed engineering teams, architect the platform in mobile web space, and built strategic relationships with Microsoft and Yahoo!
EXPERTISE: Product management & development, UI/UX, Social Media marketing, PR, Term Sheet
Cameron Priest, Co-Founder and CEO of TradeGecko
Cameron is the Co-Founder and CEO of TradeGecko, a cloud based inventory and order management platform for SMEs. TradeGecko lets SME wholesalers and distributors manage their entire businesses sales & supply chains in one beautiful software-as-a-serivce solution.
EXPERTISE: product development
INDUSTRY: Supply Chain Management, Inventory Control
Chris is a Partner, Innovation Works Development Fund (IWDF), based in Beijing, China.
He has 10 years of ‘hands on’ entrepreneurial experience primarily in Information Technology, as well as in the shipping and hospitality / entertainment industries. He has served as the CEO of ICDL Asia Pacific Ltd., an organization with operations in over 25 Asian countries which he helped turnaround and relocate in Singapore.
He is also a Founding Member of the China Business Angel Network (CBAN) as well as a Director of the Business Angel Network South-East Asia (BANSEA).
EXPERTISE: Fund raising, pitching
Christoph Zrenner, Co-Founder and CEO of Wildfire.Asia
Christoph is the CEO and Co-Founder of Wildfire Pte Ltd, an influencer word-of-mouth media company based out of Singapore and Shanghai. Wildfire received the Most Innovative Company Award 2011 in the Interactive Digital Media category from the Singapore Venture Capital Association (SVCA).
Before becoming a full-time technology entrepreneur (Wildfire is his third start-up), Christoph studied medicine and qualified as a doctor. During his research work in neuroscience he developed an experimental method for the real-time modification of brain cell activity using multi-electrode-arrays (published in Frontiers Neuroscience).
He met his Co-founder, Benjamin Duvall at an MBA program in Singapore and in 2008, they founded Wildfire where Christoph is leading the development of a new product to modify online conversations in real-time through engaging authentic consumers; the platform is based on a technology architecture combining large data, smart algorithms and game mechanics.
EXPERTISE: data mining, semantic text analysis, machine learning, web technology architecture, early-stage start-up fundraising
MARKET: marketing, retail enterprise
Darius Cheung, Co-Founder & CEO at 99.co
Darius is currently co-founder and CEO of 99.co. Previously he was cofounder and CEO of tenCube, a Singapore-based mobile security company that was acquired by McAfee Inc.
INDUSTRY: TELCO, OEM
EXPERTISE: Multiplatform, workflow
He is a serial entrepreneur and have been with three successful startups across stages (0-1 million, 1-10 million and 10-100 million). He is also a Mentor at 500 Startups and the Founder and CEO of KarmaCircles.
At Coupons.com, he invented Brandcaster Social and created couple of multi-million dollar products and grew one product by almost 10X. At IndiaHomes, he invented Genie ecosystem and created their product/marketing strategy. Helped grow revenue by almost 5X. At Packback, he created their product strategy, online marketing strategy and built engineering team from scratch.
He has experience across domains (email, content, coupons, retail, e-commerce, real estate, maps, traffic & education), across product types (consumer, enterprise, mobile, social and platform) and across functions (engineering, product management & marketing).
He likes to help startups by working with them on their product strategy (pricing, features, etc) and online marketing strategy (SEO, SEM, Email, Affiliate etc). He also help them with their pitch deck and fund raising process.
Dmitry formerly served as an advisor to several investment groups and corporations pursuing technology and media opportunities across developing Asia, with Media Development Authority of Singapore, Singtel, ru-Net, IDG Ventures Vietnam, SUP Media, Livejournal.com, Chinese Founders Fund, VIVA Media and Nusantara Ventures among his clients.
In 2008-2009, Dmitry was part of investment team of IDG Ventures, where he provided extensive operational support to portfolio companies in Vietnam and was in charge of sourcing and assessment of investment opportunities in Indonesia and Singapore.
Prior to that, Dmitry spent several years in business development roles with Yahoo! Southeast Asia, negotiating a series of content, distribution, monetization and technology deals for Yahoo! in Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Dmitry also acted as a business strategist for regional managing director, working on vertical strategies for e-commerce, gaming, travel, finance, telecom and other sectors.
Prior to his move to Asia, Dmitry served as a CMO at Digital Design, leading Russian enterprise software solutions provider, focusing on brand development and lead generation and managing relationships with strategic partners, including Microsoft CIS and IBM Russia. Earlier in his career, Dmitry also worked at several FMCG companies in Russia and the UK, including L’Oreal and Procter & Gamble. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dmitry graduated from St. Petersburg University School of Management, holds an MBA from INSEAD and has lived in Singapore, Finland, France, Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, Indonesia and the United Kingdom.
Edgar is the CEO for SingTel Innov8. Based in Singapore and has over 17 years of telecommunications experience.
Prior to SingTel Innov8, Edgar was VP of Strategic Investments responsible for coordinating and executing all M&A activities undertaken by SingTel. He has been with SingTel for close to 10 years.
During his tenure at SingTel, Edgar also set up and headed SingTel’s first ever Group Innovations unit which was tasked with identifying new technologies and innovations that had the potential to have an impact on the telco industry and SingTel Group.
Before SingTel, Edgar spent almost 7 years with British Telecommunications (BT), the UK’s largest telecommunications service provider, working in a number of strategy and corporate finance roles across the BT Group both in the UK and Asia Pacific.
MARKET: Consumer, data, mobile, telco
INDUSTRY: Media, telecommunications
Florian Cornu, Co-Founder and Director of Flocations
Florian has a background in business and finance. He drew the initial vision of the Flocations’ travel inspiration. He now focuses on building and empowering the team. That sometimes includes cooking breakfast for them.
EXPERTISE: product development
Hian Goh, Co-Founder and MD at Asian Food Channel
Hian Goh is Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Asian Food Channel (AFC), the first and only pan-regional 24-hour food TV channel in Asia. Hian brings financial expertise to the establishment, having extensive experience as an investment banker and entrepreneur. His business experience has helped to propel the channel from strength to strength, transforming it into one of the leading lifestyle TV channels in Asia today and ensuring the Channel’s continued growth.
Huifen Zheng was previously Regional Counsel APAC at NXP Semiconductors
Prior to her position at NXP Semiconductors, she was Legal Counsel or Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
EXPERTISE: R&D agreements, supply chain agreements, licensing agreements, partnership agreement, obligations as a partner/shareholder
Jamie Lin, Founding Partner, appWorks Ventures
Jamie Lin is an entrepreneur turned venture investor. He’s the Founding Partner of appWorks Ventures, a US$ 11M Super Angel Fund located in Taipei, Taiwan with a focus on the mobile and consumer internet space.
Prior to appWorks, Jamie was once an Associate at HSS Ventures and an Analyst at All Asia Partners. During his life as an entrepreneur, Jamie co-founded Social Sauce, which is behind travel social network Sosauce.com and web 3D game production house Muse Games.
Prior to that, he co-founded Intumit, the leader in Chinese search engine technologies, and Hotcool.com, a build-to-order online PC retailer, among other things.
EXPERTISE: funding, fund raising, strategy, lean practices, marketing
MARKET: Taiwan, US, Mobile Internet, Consumer Internet
INDUSTRY: E-Commerce/M-Commerce, Web/Mobile Gaming, Online/Mobile Advertising
Jayesh Parekh, Managing Partner at Jungle Ventures
Jayesh is one of the Founders of Sony Entertainment Television, a major television network launched in collaboration with Sony Japan. He is a board member of Shemaroo Entertainment (media & entertainment), One Animation (animation & special effects) and eBus (TV commercial digital distribution).
Jayesh is an active angel investor with investments in various Venture Capital Funds in Silicon Valley and start-up enterprises across the broad technology and media space. Prior to the above ventures he spent over 12 years at IBM in various technical, sales and marketing positions based in Houston and Singapore, and part of the team that brought IBM back to India.
Jeffrey Paine is the founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures, an early stage technology incubator based in Singapore. Jeff started and manages the Founder Institute in Asia where he is currently overseeing its expansion in the Southeast Asian region. Since 2010 the Founder Institute in Singapore has graduated over 60 companies in Asia.
Jeff spent the first eight years of his career in early stage venture and private equity in the US, North and South Asia. He co-founded a China market entry advisory firm which was then merged with a China mid-market private equity firm.
MARKET: Consumer, SaaS, Emerging Market, Feature Phone, Smart Phone
INDUSTRY: Mobile, Media
Joe Cunningham joined Visa in 2008, and is responsible for all future-focused aspects of Visa’s technology.
Joe’s accountabilities include defining Visa’s long term technology direction, ensuring alignment of all major technology investments, and representing Visa’s Global IT in all corporate acquisition/JV due diligence activity. He leads Visa’s Open Innovation & Research team, responsible for scanning the external landscape for new technology trends and opportunities, and evaluating emerging and disruptive technology for applicability to Visa’s business.
EXPERTISE: payment (getting paid), facilitating payment, payment gateways
INDUSTRY: Retail Banks
MARKET: Mobile and Web
John is an ex-management consultant who decided it is more interesting doing things than telling people how to do things. He dabbled in froyo, coffee and education before finding his calling in tech. He is an economist by training (BSc@UCL) but has never put it to use.
He is an active early & growth stage angel funding and is a Partner at 8capita.
Jon is a serial entrepreneur who has started and sold companies in the US and Asia. Jon’s passion is for building companies that solve real problems with a strong focus on execution. His interest is focused on companies in the B2B and SaaS space.
He is the Head of Product at RedMart, responsible for defining the strategy and roadmap for all products at RedMart and managing a great team of product managers.
Joshua’s area of practice covers corporate finance (equity capital markets i.e. initial public offerings, rights and warrants issues, placements, bonus issues; and mergers & acquisitions), corporate restructuring, general corporate and commercial, asset/fund and wealth management, and advising on securities regulations.
EXPERTISE: T&C’s, Term Sheets
INDUSTRY: O&G, Pharma, F&B, Digital Media
20+ years of corporate and consulting experience showcased by contributions in identifying and following through on breakthrough ideas and building, transforming, leading and sustaining game-changing businesses. Strong strategy orientation with capabilities in spearheading business plans for realizing major global growth and expansion opportunities.
Founded The Propell Group which is focused on funding and mentoring start-ups in healthcare in emerging high-growth markets. Support start-ups with advisory, access to network of multinationals, investors, and other stakeholders, and provide access to follow-on funding for most promising start-ups. Advise SMEs and larger organizations seeking to deliver innovative commercial solutions in Asia Pacific.
Justin Wilcox started his first company at the age of 10, and hasn’t been able to stop. Graduating from Cal Poly’s Computer Science program, Justin worked at Microsoft for five years before leaving to start Nimbus Health – an electronic medical record company.
In addition to running Nimbus, he’s launched a couple mobile apps in his spare time, including a top seller in the Travel Category and Bounce on Android. When Justin’s not entrepreneuring, he’s blogging at CustomerDevLabs.com about “”crowdtesting”” or maybe doin’ a little dancing.
EXPERTISE: Customer development, Lean Startup
Kevin is an investor, entrepreneur, Lean Startup coach.
As an investor for In-Q-Tel, he helped make over $20M of venture investments in 25 start-ups. As an Entrepreneur-In-Residence for the National Science Foundation (NSF), he raised Venture Capital and won NSF grants to fund his startups in consumer finance, transportation, and healthcare.
He has mentored many startups in industries as diverse as biotech, manufacturing, and enterprise/consumer software, and continues to make time for entrepreneurs, and help them with customer development and applying Lean Startup.
EXPERTISE: Customer Development, Lean Startup
INDUSTRY: Personal Finance, Transportation, Healthcare Financial, BioTech, Enterprise & Consumer Software
MARKET: Web, Mobile
Kingsley is an engineer, a gadget-guy, a pilot and an all round tech-enthusiast. He has worked for several big name companies in the hi-tech and IT world, currently Director of Cloud Solutions at Red Hat Asia Pacific where he is responsible for Strategic Business Development for all things cloud-related in Red Hat’s Emerging Products lineup. Prior to that he joined Amazon in the early days of AWS in Seattle, and moved out to Singapore in 2010 to be part of the original team opening up AWS in Asia and has travelled extensively throughout the APAC region, evangelising cloud computing at dozens of conferences and meet ups, and providing advice and services to hundreds of companies ranging from startups and accelerators through to large brand name multi-national corporations.
Krish Surendran, CEO and Co-Founder of Klinify
Krish and Nishanth spent a year doing customer developments with clinics and discovered that they could charge 3 times as much as compared to offerings in the market, and provide only a quarter of the functionality to solve one of all doctors’ biggest pain point—managing patients records.
- pre-disposition on mentors
- see if what mentors say match what customers say
- B2C mentors didn’t really help
- asked for specifics and look for commonality, but they don’t have to be in the same space as long as you know how they can help you
- how to approach fund raising
- look for similar VCs, found that VCs talk to each other
- ask specific questions to mentors
Kristine has a decade of experience building successful marketing campaigns and running communications for international organizations. Her work has ranged from managing outreach efforts (direct mail, events, web) for Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation to running community marketing for four million users a month at www.PBwiki.com.
- Trying to understand potential customers (who they are) and or current customers
- community involvement and engagement
- email marketing: Awebber, MailChimp,
- community management, 4mn users (pbwiki) as no 4.
- community outreach—walkabout (1200 on mailing list), FailCon SG (250 people attended), TheList (3000 people)
- doing Marketing for Twitter: Asia, talking to large brands
Kuo-Yi has been active in the IT startup space as founder, early employee, mentor and investor, spanning the US and Asia. He was a senior sales and business development executive at Encentuate (acquired by IBM) and Reputation Technologies (acquired by Security Sources). He was also a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group where he worked with senior executives in the telecommunications, automotive and financial services industries. Kuo-Yi graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the bachelor, master’s and doctorate degrees, all in electrical engineering with focus on nano photonics.
EXPERTISE: Business Development, Sales, Funding
INDUSTRY: telecom, automotive, financial services
Laurent Gasser, Director of Business Development at Collabspot & CFO.
Laurent runs Business Development, managing the sales process and reseller relations, making sales and industrializing the Sales, Customer Success Team and Helpdesk processes.
After having cofounded and managed Revevol as CEO over the past several years, Laurent made his exit from Revevol to relocate in Singapore last year. Revevol is one of the largest Google Apps reseller outside of the United States. Laurent has an acute understanding of working with businesses, and uncovering the dynamics of a B2B sale, from SMB’s to Multinational corporations. His knowhow includes:
- Back office: accounting, processes
- Channel, distribution, direct sales
- Understanding business needs, and the dynamics of the sale: UVP and what drives customers, and teach it to resellers.
- Matching software development with business needs
- Google’s Cloud Platform
- Business development in multicultural & international environment
- Partnership with global vendors
Marc is a serial entrepreneur based in Zurich, Switzerland.
Aged 20, he founded party website usgang.ch which he exited through a trade sale to listed media group Axel Springer in 2008. He went on to co-found online event registration system amiando which was awarded Global Technology Pioneer status by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2010. The business was sold to listed business platform XING the same year.
Marc is partner of the listed investment company Next Generation Finance Invest, founding partner of the crowdfunding platform c-crowd, member of the board of the Pioneers’ Club PCU and angel investor in several startups.
EXPERTISE: Unique Value Proposition, strategy, distribution
INDUSTRY: Media, Events
Michael is highly experienced with online businesses, and has worked with or as CTO for several different companies. He also has worked with several different business involving legal or legislative practices. He has experience in APAC and other emerging markets, as well as currently focusing on product development for an online global provider of bollywood content.
Michael has been a successful, active, early-stage investor in the UK since 2000 and having invested in some 25 business and realised 4 profitable exits to date, including, the sale of Commerce Decisons Ltd to Qinetic and Pout to Catterton Partners. In 2013, he founded Cub Capital in Singapore to expand his operations to SE Asia.
Current investments in UK include Bybox Ltd, Virtual IT, Specle and Glow Digital Media. In Singapore he has invested in Crème Simon, Anchanto, Stumply Ventures (trading as Greyloft) and 91 Design Labs (trading as Fresh Monk).
He is actively looking for further, early-stage, investment opportunities.
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Nishanth is working on creating flexible IT systems in the healthcare industry which dont impede workflow.
He is excited about building systems – be it a business or a technology or a productivity hack. He believes that although the initial effort can be daunting, well structured systems dramatically increase productivity and provide the foundation for innovation. He is currently working on helping clinics create systems to manage their patients better with modern technology.
Paul Santos, Managing Partner at Wavemaker Labs
Experienced entrepreneur and early stage investor. Has co-founded six companies across different industries and exited thrice. Currently leading the Asian office of an early stage, cross-border venture capital fund and its affiliated incubator. Both invest in start-ups in e-commerce, SaaS and mobile technology that target the US and Southeast Asia.
- Need to be able to explain the problem being solved and/or prove the delight being delivered
- Cares about how target customers/consumers cope today if they don’t know about your startup yet (i.e. alternatives)
- Cares about numbers/metrics/business models
- Uses industry contacts to help assess opportunities
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Priyam Bose has 12 years of diversified experience in mobile, digital and IT industry and has worked across Indian sub-continent, Asia Pacific, North America and Europe.
Priyam is currently with Microsoft and earlier with Nokia where he has been focusing on Mobile Apps & Publishers/App Stores led mobile Ecosystem development for India/South Asia and expanding regional engagements to markets like Middle East/Africa and South East Asia. He is responsible for driving mobile publisher (app start-ups/developers, consumer internet brands/global publishers) ecosystem engagements on Microsoft platforms and technologies-apps led partner acquisition strategy and deals, apps product development lifecycle, apps go to market including marketing and distribution, user engagement and monetization. His focus is across mobile consumer focused verticals such as gaming, social/IM platforms, media and entertainment, e/m-commerce, travel and lifestyle and banking and finance.
Priyam has a strong expertise in Business Development and Strategic Partnership Management, techno-business focused evangelization and fostering scalable ecosystems. He is also well versed with strategies focused on market development/partner acquisition and Apps distribution strategies and mobility consulting.
Priyam is a passionate public speaker and speaks at various industry/community and academia forums in mobility domain in India. He also has a penchant for mentoring mobile/cloud focused start-ups to contribute to the overall growth of mobile and cloud first ecosystem in growth markets. Currently Priyam is also associated in the capacity of a mentor for mobile focused start ups at Microsoft Ventures-Accelerator Programs-India.
Ramesh Raghavan, Founding Partner at Tenshi Peak
Ramesh has nearly 15 years experience in the investment banking and securities business in Asia Pacific advising institutions on various equity and equity linked investment strategies. Ramesh has held several senior leadership roles with Morgan Stanley for nearly 12 years and later with The Royal Bank of Scotland. His financial services career has taken him from New York to Hong Kong and then Singapore during which time he led and managed the hedge funds Sales and Institutional flow derivatives business for Asia Pacific Equities. He has had considerable involvement in capital raising activities for many businesses across a variety of sectors over the years.
EXPERTISE: Startegy, Pitching
A Member of Abacus’ Leadership Team, reporting to Group CEO and head Corporate Development and Abacus Ventures for Asia Pacific’s leading GDS. In this capacity, Rani also serves on the Boards of several Abacus International subsidiaries across Asia Pacific.
Rani leads Mergers and Acquisitions activities, define and execute respectively long and short term strategic initiatives. He is also responsible for infusing nascent technologies into the business fabric at Abacus through Abacus Ventures, which was set up as the corporate ventures unit and entrepreneurial arm of Abacus International, to ensure that the company’s current distribution model continues to grow.
Rani is geared towards producing an optimal customer-shareholder-employees balance. He has extensive experience in international and multi-cultural environments. He is a passionate traveller, entrepreneur and lecturer who also enjoys speaking at his alma mater and other universities around the world.
Ravi Mantha is an angel investor and entrepreneur investing in social impact businesses. He is co-founder of the BOPHUb. Ravi is President of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Singapore and a member of the board of trustees of TiE.
From 2001-2011, Ravi was portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments in Boston and London, where he co-managed the $35 billion Select global and emerging markets funds.
EXPERTISE: Equities, Term Sheet, Funding
INDUSTRY: Private wealth management
Reza Behnam, Founder and CEO of ADZCentral
With more than 15 years of internet industry experience and 21 years of technology experience behind him, Reza has worn many hats, including long stints as a management consultant, a marketing research/science expert, a corporate executive and an institutional investor. Immediately prior to ADZ, Reza was a venture partner with IDG Ventures SEA, a venture capital fund focused on the technology, media and telecommunications sectors in South East Asia. Before this, Reza was the Managing Director for Yahoo! South East Asia from 2004-2007. During this time, Reza was responsible for Yahoo! SEA’s end-to-end delivery teams, including product, engineering, sales, marketing, strategy and G&A.
Reza is an investor, entrepreneur, advisor, and director in a number of digital media companies across South East Asia and globally. He sits on the board of MOL Global, which owns Friendster. He is an advisor to UK-based StrikeAd, the world’s first dedicated mobile Demand Side Platform, and he is also a founding partner at Digital Direction – an executive advisory practice in the field of digital strategy and execution. A Co-Chair of H2’s Singapore Chapter, Reza is a node in the leading global community and resource for digital executives.
Reza graduated from Boston University with an MA in Economics, after completing two undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Economics and dabbled in a PhD in Marketing Science at UC Berkley. He has lived in the UK, US, Greece, India, Iran, and Singapore.
Rico is the Asia Pacific Director of Fiksu – heads up the global expansion efforts in the Asia Pacific region for Fiksu, the mobile app marketing experts. Rico’s roots run deep in the mobile space as an entrepreneur and angel investor in mobile apps, m-commerce and mobile marketing ventures including Cassiber,Foodpanda, and tenCube (acquired by McAfee). Rico graduated from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and is based in Singapore.
Roger Egan, Co-Founder and CEO of RedMart
Roger is Co-founder and CEO of RedMart. RedMart is an online marketplace for household essentials. He has dealt with logistics of providing services in an B2C market, to marketing, customer service, building out one of the most successful eCommerce platforms.
Roland Turner is Labs Director for TrustSphere where he develops experimental applications of the company’s technology. He has lived in seven cities across four continents and has a diverse software and network engineering background including the building of ERP systems, ISP networks, media post-production tools, a cross-border wine-brokering marketplace and a network intrusion prevention appliance. He has been involved in the founding of technology community groups since late 1980s – most recently Hackerspace.SG – in Internet and email service provision since early 1990s and is currently active in SPF, DKIM and DMARC development. Roland holds an Honours degree in Computer Science from the University of Technology, Sydney and, when not living, eating and breathing technology is an avid dancer and runner.
Roshni Mahtani is a Singaporean entrepreneur best known for launching the parenting website theAsianparent.com in 2008, family activity website Kidlander.sg in 2011, Kid’s fashion store MissVanda in 2012 and Pregnancy portal pregnant.sg in 2013. In 2012, her company, Tickled Media was certified as one of the world’s most democratic companies by WorldBlu and ranked among Singapore’s 10 hottest startups in 2012 by Singapore Business Review. One of her passions is helping woman founders along on their entrepreneurship journey.
Rowan Simpson is an experienced software developer, business person and investor who is passionate about creating great products which people love to use. He is also an angel investor.
His background is in software engineering. He was a product manager at TradeMe, and they focused on 2 releases a day. At Vend, he handled Marketing and Sales, structured deals, and raised funding from Venture Capital. At Xero he was part of the team the prepared for the roadshow that eventually led to an IPO.
EXPERTISE: software development, Agile
Sangeet is a widely published technology analyst and researches internet business models, and design patterns in startup failure/success. As a former incubator and investor, he has had extensive experience leading early stage ventures from idea stage to a functioning business.
Sangeet works closely with the startup ecosystem as a mentor at various incubators and serves on the advisory board of prominent startups like SkillShare (New York).
Sangeet was earlier a founding member of Intuit’s business in Asia and was responsible for leading new venture incubations and early stage investments across Asia-Pacific.
Based in Singapore, Selene Daswani has worked for Google, Yahoo! Samsung and Amazon. With over 25 years of experience, Selene has worked in senior positions in Sales, Business Development, Strategic Partnerships, Channel Management, Strategy & Operations. Her area of expertise is to develop strategy, identify partners and launch partnerships in Asia Pacific. Prior to joining the tech industry, Selene held roles in Investment Banking at Smith Barney. Selene was also the Regional Ambassador for GoogleServe20 – a skills based philanthropic program designed by Google. Selene is currently the co-founder of a start-up called “Knots” which is building the next generation social platform. She is also a mentor at JFDI – the most successful seed accelerator incubator in Southeast Asia.
Selene received her MBA in Finance from “The City University Business School” in London.
On a personal front, Selene is on a mission to help abused migrant workers in Singapore become self-sufficient and fend for their families. She runs internet training programs which enables them to find new jobs or start their small businesses in their own countries. Her classes also extend to senior citizens.
Shane is the Founder and General Partner of Acumen Ventures, a seed stage venture capital fund investing in Australia and South East Asia.
Previously, he was an Investment Manager with Playford Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm.
Prior to this, Shane was a State Manager for the Australian Institute for Commercialisation where he provided transaction advisory and commercialisation services to companies in consumer internet & media, medical devices, enterprise software, mobile, geospatial imaging and mining technology.
INDUSTRIES: software, mobile, SMB
MARKET: health, education, infrastructure (telco, water), Australia
Simon Dale is head of technology and innovation at SAP Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ). His primary focus is to drive adoption of SAP’s leading-edge innovations such as in-memory computing, cloud computing and mobility, across the APJ region.
He has deep experience in driving customer adoption, facilitating ecosystem relationships in the region and acting as Regional Lead for the regional innovation centres at SAP.
EXPERTISE: Sales & marketing, PR, BD, external communication
MARKET: Software development tools
Steven is the CEO and co-Founder of mig33, a leading Social Entertainment Services company for emerging markets.
He has extensive experience in developing and commercialising internet services for consumers & fundraising. Steven has also founded Sanford Securities, established Bell Direct.
EXPERTISE: marketing, finance, project management, software development, system architecture, public & private board, IPO, fund raising, pitching
MARKET: mobile, consumer internet
INDUSTRY: social networking, wealth management, financial services
Stuart is an expert at innovation, strategy, digital and sustainability and wants to continue developing innovations in education, research and consulting. He has experience in senior management and leadership positions and SMEs. Stuart has authored/co-authored several publications. He is currently working on a book on Asian entrepreneurs, social innovation with communities and advising green and digital startups.
He is the Head of Ananlytics and lead all analytics and data science efforts at Veritrans Indonesia.
Previously Thomas handled analytics and growth at Spuul. He worked at Apple as well, where he automated processes and look at data, and Yahoo, where he was doing product management.
Thomas works on side projects to learn and experiment and writes about things that keep him amused. Currently, he is working on several data-mining and machine learning projects including fraud detection and recommendation engine.
He loves to help you out if you have large amount of data and are thinking of ways to use it.
Thomas has founded, supported and lived startups on 4 different continents as a web UI expert, developer and entrepreneur – mostly wearing a hat and flip-flops. A UI Geek, Thomas likes to say “UI design is the second most important feature of every product – right after solving a problem.” Thomas moved to Singapore to join online-advertisement startup ADZ in 2010 as its first employee to build Asia’s first real-time audience marketplace.
Tom Clayton is CEO at Bubble Motion. Prior to Bubble Motion, Tom was the GM of the Worldwide Telecom Business at BEA Systems. He also worked as an economic policy consultant to The White House, where he drafted the U.S. High-Tech and Telecommunications Economic Stimulus Policy for building out nationwide ubiquitous broadband access.
EXPERTISE: Strategy, Business Development, Operations, Product
INDUSTRY: Telecom, Social Network, eCommerce
MARKET: mobile, consumer
Vinnie is a Founding Partner at Golden Gate Ventures, an early stage seed fund for startups in Southeast Asia with strong ties to Silicon Valley. In 2006, he founded the Silicon Valley NewTech Meetup, which has featured over 300 startups to a monthly audience with thousands of followers. He personally reviewed and critiqued over 1,000 Silicon Valley based startups applying to present on stage.
EXPERTISE: Business Model, Strategy, Funding, Product
INDUSTRY: Consumer Web, Consumer Mobile (other than iPhone)
MARKET: Mobile, Web
William is the founding partner at Clickstream Ventures, a SEA-based seed and series A fund.
He is director at Tigris Capital and BAF Spectrum, which have invested in companies such as PropertyGuru, iXiGO.com, Tickled Media and ReferralCandy.
Before his move to Singapore, he co-founded Zoomit.com, which merged with Kelkoo to become one of Europe’s largest ecommerce sites. Kelkoo was acquired by Yahoo! in 2004.
He has a penchant for reality TV, serving as one of the judges on Channel NewsAsia’s television series Angel’s Gate in 2012 and Tyro.VC in 2015.
EXPERTISE: Funding, Business Development
INDUSTRY: Digital Media, Internet and Mobile consumer portals, SaaS