Happy to share that 12,000+ listeners now tune in every month to the BRAVE Southeast Asia Tech podcast! That’s the size of a small indoor stadium. Based on listener feedback, we’ve started uploading high-resolution video podcasts to both Spotify and YouTube - so feel free to subscribe there or at Apple Podcasts. We will also return to a Monday news and Thursday interview & Q&A cadence moving forward.
- Roger Egan: RedMart's Untold Origin Story (Almost Missing Payroll 4 Times), Sacrifices vs. Black Hole, & Constructionist Child Learning Startup: Roger shares RedMart’s untold origin story and the challenges he faced as a growth-stage founder in Singapore, securing funds from Skype’s cofounder, and eventually getting acquired by Alibaba. He took a sabbatical to focus on his family and founded Nurture, a companion app that supports parents in teaching their kids important life skills.
- Sabrina Ooi: Bipolar & Being Arrested For Suicide, Turning Passion to Startup & Managing Founder Stress: Sabrina discusses how her loss of two friends, and being arrested for suicide sparked her desire to help others feel comfortable in seeking mental health support. She founded Calm Collective, a community that provides mental health education and engagement. She imparts her learnings on how to thrive with bipolar disorder and gives advice to other founders who are facing high pressure working environments.
- Hugh Mason: Founding JFDI Accelerator & Mistakes, Just F***ing Do It and Choosing Your Tribe: Hugh moved to Singapore to help build the media sector and eventually co-founded JFDI, Southeast Asia's first accelerator program. He draws inspiration from religion and emphasizes the importance of community building and establishing a physical center where people come together. He also reflects on his mistakes and what he would have done differently in hindsight.
- Caela Tanjangco: Cautious Optimism Around Philippines, Founder Storytelling Advice & Nautical Stars Tattoo: Caela, Director of Endeavour Catalyst, expresses optimism about the Philippine startup industry in the Philippines driven by recent Series A and B funding rounds and the emergence of talented founders. She is concerned whether local startups can raise growth and late-stage capital, and how this impacts market sentiments and deter investors. She explains the value of storytelling in raising capital and selling the vision to non-Asian investors.
- Will Fan: Vietnam Refugee & Cab Driver Family Legacy, Pivoting to NewCampus Product-Market Fit, and Invincible Grief From Sister's Death: Will talks about product market fit iteration across his three startup pivots. He also shares his family’s arduous journey and personal loss from Vietnam, refugee immigration to Australia and working their way up to build a real estate business. This legacy drove his passion for education and built NewCampus, a modern business school for Asia.
- Shiyan Koh, Managing Partner of Hustle Fund, and I discussed
- Luxury industry’s hidden anti-marketing rules and lessons for startups
- Silicon Valley Bank collapse and how it impacted Southeast Asia,
- The odds of a TikTok US ban and the parallel with the Prohibition Era coalition
- Valerie Vu, Founding Partner of Ansible Ventures, discussed Vietnam’s bull vs. bear market cases, the current anti-corruption campaign and need for patient capital
- Why every human today is unknowingly already digital immortal and the requirement for a “do not resurrect” will clause
- When VR will stage a comeback and the world becoming “hikkomori”-lite
- Listener Q&A: Why do founders “show off” in the media? What the secret privileges behind successful fundraising?
- Listener Q&A: How do founders choose a great VC? What are the red flags for bad investors?
- Email us your questions and we’ll answer them in a future podcast!
The BRAVE founder community had tea and snacks in lieu of a hike due to the rain. If you’re a current founder who’d like to join us on April 30, 3-5pm for the Macritchie TreeTop Walk in Singapore, please reply to this email and we’ll add you to our community!
Projjal Ghatak was recently featured at Bloomberg and spoke about sub-optimal hybrid teams and how OnLoop brings fairer, more productive outcomes for teams. Check out his episode on Uber war stories, experiences at Stanford GSB and founder safety nets.
Grace Sai was in The Peak magazine for her advocacy and cofounding Unravel Carbon, helping large or medium-sized companies to assess and reduce their carbon emissions through its AI platform. Check out her episode on social entrepreneurship, how a scholarship changed her life, and building a purpose-driven life.
Pluralistic: Tiktok's enshittification by the sci-fi writer Cory Doctorow is a crystallized thesis of the pro-regulation open Internet lobby (yeah, it does sound contradictory). “Enshittification” refers to tech platforms (e.g. Facebook, Amazon and Twitter) that start out providing value to their users, then eventually shift to “abusing” users to benefit business customers, and eventually taking advantage of business customers to benefit themselves. In response, he advocates for “end-to-end” and “right to exit” consumer rights.
I’d also like to give a shoutout to Jon Russell for resuming Asia Tech Review after a lengthy hiatus. I enjoy his outline of Asia’s tech news and analysis of emerging trends. His writing style is engaging, informative, and easy to follow. Check it out!
"Most of us have weak decision-making muscles. We do not realize what it means to make a real decision. We fail to recognize the force of change that a truly congruent, committed decision makes. The word "decision" comes from Latin roots, with de meaning "down" or "away from" and caedere meaning "to cut." Therefore, a decision means cutting from any other possibility. A true decision means you are committed to achieving a result and cutting yourself off from any other possibility. Committed decisions show up in two places: your calendar and your bank account. No matter what you say you value, or even think your priorities are, you have only to look at last year's calendar and bank account to see the decisions you have made about what you truly value. See how you have reserved your time. Look at your expenditures. Those are the trails to the decisions you have made." Carole Hildebrand