S'pore a great launchpad into S-E Asian market

As co-founder of a young start-up in Singapore, I read last week's reports with keen interest ("Compass points to S'pore for start-ups"; Aug 12, and "Singapore is 'ideal home for start-ups'"; last Thursday).

I agree that Singapore is a treasure trove for start-ups.

Besides the factors mentioned in the reports, there is an additional element that makes Singapore fertile ground for start-ups - the number of foreign talent hailing from the region.

These people are willing to share valuable insights into their homelands, which help us shape our products and services according to market needs.

This smoothens the market penetration process for start-ups.

Regional talents are also more open to embracing risks - an essential characteristic that fuels the start-up ecosystem.

This is in contrast to more conservative and risk-averse locals; we have to invest plenty of time and effort to convince them to hop aboard the start-up journey.

The development of an entrepreneurial culture here is not keeping up with the demands of the rapidly evolving start-up environment, which is hungry for talent.

The Singapore market is too small and saturated to sustain some 55,000 start-ups. However, it is great as a launchpad for start-ups planning to venture beyond our shores and into the burgeoning South-east Asian market.

Henry Chan Hian Yi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2015, with the headline 'S'pore a great launchpad into S-E Asian market'. Print Edition | Subscribe