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The Start-Up Culture

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A few years ago in Singapore, the café culture started emerging, and at every corner there were interesting bakeries with local flavoured cakes and specialty coffee. A similar trend is emerging now with start-up companies in the bioscience and engineering arena in Singapore. I’ve learnt a lot from these start-ups and their mentors, about how to “stay local, think global”;- in that it is our background and roots that give us our uniqueness, but we also need to think about how we can share our creations with the global market.

Two platforms for start-ups that I have attended were the Lean Launchpad at NUS Enterprise and the YES competition at P&G Innovation Centre. It has been a privilege to get to know some of these start-ups and learn about the motivating factors behind their ideas/inventions/prototypes. I’ve also been exposed to different types of business models adopted by different start-ups. I truly admire the courage and conviction of these start-up teams, who have had to pitch their ideas toward a critical audience, and prove their sustainability in the long run.

To promote science and innovation, Leave a Nest also provides young start-ups with a platform called Tech Planter, and in Singapore, we would be holding a Tech Planter event in July 2018.  That would be the first time that I would be involved in organizing such an event, and it would be interesting too to find out how Singaporeans and Japanese can collaborate to commercialize promising technology.  Ida-san, who is part of the Strategy Development Division in Leave a Nest Malaysia, is responsible for developing the Tech Planter ecosystem in Malaysia. I thus decided to speak with her to find out more about what motivated her to be involved in this project.

Before joining Leave a Nest, Malaysia, Ida-san was involved in directing Animex 2014 and 2015 in Malaysia, which was one of her most memorable moments in her career, because she felt that her work allowed the younger generation to be exposed to creative multimedia. For example, one of the guest speakers was Dr Sumida, who highlighted the importance of focusing on details pertaining to anatomy and motion, in order to create a realistic and lifelike animated show. This allowed attendees to the event to appreciate the technology behind some of their favourite shows they had seen at the cinema, and hopefully spur them on to be imaginative as well.

Upon completing her masters thesis in drones for the construction industry, Ida-san chose to join Leave a Nest this year because she felt their values resonated with hers. Aside from her core roles in the strategy development division, as it is her passion, she is also currently working on a project to enhance support provided to the drone community in Malaysia.

When I asked Ida-san what is one message she would like to leave younger Malaysians with, she said:

“I want them to keep being creative, and not to study solely for the purpose of getting a job and working for someone else;- be motivated, keep innovating and come up with your OWN original ideas and goals.”

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