Happy to share that we’ve now hit 30,000+ followers across the podcast, TikTok and other channels! Based on listener requests, we now cover 3 episodes per week: Monday weekly tech news covering the region, Wednesday guest changement interviews and Friday bite-sized insights and Q&As. Thanks for all the support and feel free to reply to this email with any feedback on how to improve.
Empower wholesalers and distributors with Baskit, this month’s newsletter sponsor!
Baskit is a company focused on digitizing Indonesia's supply chains. With a focus on empowering local communities, Baskit recognizes the immense potential within the 200,000 distributors and wholesalers scattered throughout the country's vast landscape. Unlike disruptive approaches, Baskit takes a collaborative stance, working hand in hand with these traditional businesses. By infusing technology and providing access to financing, they modernize operations and create efficient supply chains, benefiting manufacturers and consumers along the way. For more details about Baskit and their journey towards revolutionizing digital commerce and supply chains in Indonesia, please visit their website: https://baskit.app/
- Huijin Kong: Quitting McKinsey, Identity Metamorphosis & Helping 1 Million People to Uncover Their True Selves: Huijin, co-author of 'Positive Influence’ and Principal at LinHart Group, shares her personal transformation from star student to McKinsey to CEO advisor. She discusses her soul-searching, search to balance productivity and well-being and nurturing the self-awareness of what she actually wanted in life.
- Triston Francis: Advice for Harvard MBA Admits, 120 Alumni Reflections & Crafting Your Life: Triston Francis: Triston, a people leadership expert formerly at Sea and BCG, discusses advice for incoming Harvard MBA students. His 120 interviews of HBS alumni about their post-graduation career & life arcs taught him to live with greater intentionality. We also discuss why you should think of the MBA like a DJ, common career (and personal) mistakes and how to think about cultivating deep connections.
- Wai Hong Fong: Point of Sale Industry Dive, Gaming & Entrepreneurship Parallels & The Malaysian Dream: Wai Hong shares his unexpected journey to becoming a founder: from student in Singapore and Australia to kickstarting an e-commerce business from his uncle's garage and eventually founding StoreHub, a platform enabling SE Asia retailers and restaurants across automate their businesses. He unravels the intricacies of the POS industry in the region, drawing inspiration from successful Western models like Square or Toast. He also explains the parallels between gaming and entrepreneurship: viewing life's challenges as levels to be cleared, where setbacks are not failures but learning experiences, enriching both personal and professional growth.
- Daan van Rossum: Navigating Career Shifts, Vietnam Work Culture Landscape & Entrepreneurial Persistence and Trade-Offs: Daan charts his entrepreneurial journey from his early days with Cyberfood (with the fax machine as his backend) to spearheading Vietnam's leading coworking space, Dreamplex, and now, FlexOS, a HR service platform tailored for remote teams. He talks about the contrasting work environments in Southeast Asia, differentiating Singapore's hybrid model and Vietnam's full-time office culture while acknowledging global convergences and regional limitations.
Deep Dives & Bonus Episodes:
- Nir Eyal, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “Hooked” and “Indistractable”, and Jeremy Au discussed how to manage distraction vs. traction (focus), master internal and external triggers and taming the beast of technology.
- Shiyan Koh, Managing Partner of Hustle Fund, and Jeremy Au discussed:
- 56% Southeast Asian startup funding decline in H1 2023 and Indonesia's decision to ban imported goods below $100 on e-commerce platforms
- USA Biden Administration's VC China investment ban and the potential pivot of investments towards Southeast Asia
- Sea Group’s 29% drop in stock price, the under-banked population in emerging markets, and regional fintech models
- Answered listener questions about founder-investor trust dynamics, BNPL Credit Policies, US SEC Impact on SEA VC and more. Thanks to Haywood Shum, Jing Lin, Leesa S. at R3I Capital, Aileen Sim, Yuhan Xie, and Shang Ong, for all the feedback!
Jeremy launched bite-sized explorations:
- Founder Etymology Paradox: Building, Sinking & Audacity: The word "Founder" comes from the Latin term for "laying a foundation", and also means “to sink (as a ship)”
- When The Egg Is Broken From The Inside, Life Begins: True change and greatness come from an inner drive to break free from constraints and societal expectations.
Happy to announce the successful launch of BRAVE’s Cofounder Matching event on August 24th! It was an incredible experience connecting 58 ambitious individuals in the startup ecosystem. A huge thank you to Jingjing Zhong and Adriel Yong for helping organize the event. Thanks to participant feedback, we’re improving on the format and are looking forward to sharing about the next event. We also had a great BRAVE founder community hike at HortPark on August 27.
Kenneth Lou, Cofounder & CEO of Mito Health, has been spotlighted in The Peak magazine for his longevity startup’s advances, research and advocacy for preventive health. Check out his episode on what he learned from his Seedly exit and the transformative Vipassana meditation break that led to him to launch his second startup.
Grace Sai, Cofounder & CEO of Unravel Carbon, was featured in CDO Trends for her partnership with Snowflake Data Cloud to offer businesses rapid insights into their carbon footprints and transform the decarbonization process from months to seconds. Check out her episode on her entrepreneurial childhood, the significance of 'founder-market fit,' and adhering to data-driven approaches in business.
Jeremy was featured on the accompanying shows:
- Analyse Asia by Bernard Leong: Southeast Asia VC Investment Landscape
- Empires Podcast: Alibaba’s positive impact on Southeast Asia and the startup ecosystem
- Podcasters Playground with Edric Poon, Prahlad Jaya and Emile Dumont on audio equipment and interviewer techniques
- Legendary Leaders by Jason Patel: Why it’s normal to be lost as a teenage student, because that means you’re individuating and exploring the frontier
Best Read / Best Watch
Perun's video “The Black Sea & The Naval War in Ukraine" portrays the complex geopolitical and military tangle between Ukraine and Russia over the Black Sea, an indispensable conduit for their agricultural exports. These two countries are an indispensable foundation of international food supply, contributing 12% of all food calories traded globally (e.g. wheat, maize, sunflower oil, and fertilizer). The collapse of the 2022 deal to protect agricultural exports via the Black Sea has caused rising food price inflation which is especially felt by the poor and middle-class in emerging economies. This has driven growing domestic instability as well as governmental action to improve food security like India’s recent rice export ban. Absent of a deal, this pressure will continue to increase and increasingly impact Southeast Asia.
The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties, either – but right through every human heart.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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