Tech sector leaders join charity drive

Tech industry leaders dishing out advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and raising funds for the needy at the same time - that is what the upcoming Makan for Hope Festival will serve up. The festival - 30 online roundtable conversations over lunches and dinners from June 24 to July 30 - aims to raise $125,000 for beneficiaries of Fei Yue Community Services.

In each session, a seasoned founder or investor from Singapore and around Asia will join 10 entrepreneurs or aspiring founders to share best practices, experiences and industry insights. Meals from social enterprises such as Soul Food and Pope Jai Thai will be delivered to participants' homes.

The hosts contribute at least $1,000, while the participants donate a minimum of $100 for a session. Participating firms include Monk's Hill Ventures, Grab Ventures, e-commerce firm Shopback, online marketplace Carousell and China-based media platform Technode.

Mr David Wang, chief executive of financial technology investment firm Helicap, said he is looking forward to hosting virtual roundtable conversations "to inspire and nurture future leaders" in the tech and financial industries.

Mr Sanjay Gujral, chairman of not-for-profit Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SVCA), said: "This collaboration is uniquely attuned to SVCA's role to help bring together venture capitalist mentors, successful entrepreneurs, technology leaders and start-up founders to create learning opportunities through meaningful conversations, and at the same time give back to the community during this difficult period."

The proceeds will go to Fei Yue's Toast To 30 online charity drive, which runs from May till July to commemorate the charity organisation's 30th anniversary. The fund-raiser aims to raise $250,000 for programmes that help over 1,500 beneficiaries.

They include special needs children from low-income families who require occupational and speech therapy, and seniors who benefit from Fei Yue's Active Ageing Centres, said Mr Leng Chin Fai, executive director of Fei Yue Community Services.

Ms Elise Tan, co-founder of the not-for-profit Makan for Hope, said: "We chose to support Fei Yue because occupational and speech therapy for children with special needs from low-income families is not subsidised, and the costs can be hefty."

Early-bird registration for Makan for Hope Festival sessions began on Thursday at www.makanforhope.org. People can also make donations through the festival's Giving.sg page at www.giving.sg/campaigns/makanforhope2021

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2021, with the headline 'Tech sector leaders join charity drive'. Subscribe