Beyond Traditional Mean$ for Business Expansion
In recent years, we have witnessed the completion of some of the biggest fundraising rounds and the birth of ground-breaking collaborations in the start-up sector.
What are the critical takeaways for SMEs? How can the power of strategic partnerships and non-traditional means of business financing be the new way of winning ahead?
Click on the speakers photos on the right to view their respective profiles.
Carmen YuenGeneral Partner, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India
Carmen Yuen joined Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India in 2014. She has served many years in Singapore’s government-backed venture capital initiatives including EDB Investments. Not only was she working with overseas startups, she was also involved in investing in local promising enterprises including journeying with some of them to IPO / exits. Thereafter, Carmen was GM at Spring SEEDS Capital where she worked closely with many startups & early stage investors in Singapore, and formulated policies to steer more funds to the early stage scene.
At Vertex, Carmen seeks out investment opportunities in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. She currently serves on the Board of TickledMedia (dba TheAsianParent.com), Sunday Insurance, Speedoc and Turnkey Lender. Carmen received her BBA from Simon Fraser University.
John ChengFounder & Managing Director, Innovate 360
John Cheng is the Founder and Managing Director of Innovate 360, Singapore’s first venture capital food accelerator with facilities. It helps more than 80 agri-food tech startups in areas of mentorship, venture funding, expertise, and access to markets since 2018. It is an accredited mentor partner supported by the Singapore government and recognized as a technical partner by Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Policy Partnership on Food Security. In 2021, he launched foodculture.sg, an e-commerce platform that helps companies go digital, engage consumers, and go global. Prior to Innovate 360, he worked at his 75-year-old family business, transforming and modernizing the business for more than 12 years.
John is a key driver in the Singapore food innovation ecosystem. He is the co-founder and chairman of Feed 9 Billion, an open innovation ecosystem platform, that looks at promoting sustainability and innovation through collaboration to feed 9 billion people by 2050. Under his leadership, it launched the Good Food Startup Manual: Singapore edition to help food entrepreneurs in their startup journey and the alternative protein database. He is a member of the Ministry’s of Trade’s Pro-enterprise Panel (PEP) that helps companies overcome regulatory hurdles, as well as part of the Singapore Food Story (SFS) Thematic Scientific Evaluation Panel that helps scientists receive grants for their research. He also is an academic advisory committee member for Chemicals & Life Sciences at the Institute of Technical Education(ITE).
Outside of work, he is an active alumnus at his alma mater, the Singapore Management University(SMU). He is co-founder and president of the SMU Business Families Alumni Group. He was part of SMU “Imagine Better” project that raised funds to help students with financial needs in 2019 before joining the SMU Alumni Philanthropic Council, where he currently advises the school on raising funds. He has been a member of Club-100 @ North West Community Development Council since 2017 fostering the culture of community involvement and philanthropy. He holds position at the Singapore Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI)’s Youth Business Affairs Committee Executive Committee and the Singapore Manufacturer Federation’s Youth Network Committee. In 2019, he was recognized as The Peak’s “Future Shaper” and Prestige Magazine’s 40 Under 40. He is on the 2020 Gen.T list by Tatler Magazine recognizing leaders of tomorrow who are shaping Asia’s future. He was also a nominee for the Straits Times Singaporean of the Year for 2021.
Prof Annie Koh (Session Chair) Professor Emeritus of Finance (Practice) & Senior Advisor, Business Families Institute, Singapore Management University (SMU)Prof Annie Koh (Session Chair)Professor Emeritus of Finance (Practice) & Senior Advisor, Business Families Institute, Singapore Management University (SMU)
Professor Annie Koh is Professor Emeritus of Finance (Practice) at Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University (SMU). She is a renowned conference speaker, panel moderator and commentator. In addition to being a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on New Agenda for Work, Wages and Job Creation, Professor Koh also chairs the Asian Bond Fund 2 supervisory committee of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and a committee member of Singapore’s Customs Advisory Council and HR Transformation Advisory Panel. She is currently an independent director of AMTD International Inc., PBA Group, Prime US REIT, Prudential Assurance Company Singapore Pte Ltd and Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd. She previously served on GovTech, Singapore’s CPF, HMI and K1 Ventures boards.
Professor Koh also advises privately owned enterprises such as Flexxon Pte Ltd, Hendricks Corp. Pte Ltd, TOP International, and startups such as AvePoint EduTech, Dedoco, Elevate Tech, RootAnt Global, StashAway, StaffOnDemand, SWAT Mobility, and non-profits such as Cyber Youth Singapore and WWF Singapore. She has been an investment committee member of iGlobe Partners since July 2010 and advisor to CUBE3 Ventures since October 2021. Previously held leadership positions at SMU include Vice President for Business Development; V3 Group Professor of Family Entrepreneurship; Academic Director of Business Families Institute and International Trading Institute; Associate Dean, Lee Kong Chian School of Business; and Dean, Office of Executive and Professional Education.
Professor Koh received her Ph.D. degree in International Finance as a Fulbright scholar from Stern School of Business, New York University in 1988. Her research interests are in Family Office and Family Business, Investor Behaviour, Alternative Investments and Enterprise Risk Management. She co-authored Financial Management: Theory and Practice, 2nd edition (2021), and Financing Internationalisation – Growth Strategies for Successful Companies (2004), co-editor of Asian Family Business: Succession, Governance and Innovation (2020), and author of a number of Asian family business cases and survey reports. In recognition of her contribution to education and the public sector, she was awarded the bronze and silver Singapore Public Administration medal in 2010 and 2016 respectively, and the Adult Education Prism Award in 2017.
Roshni MahtaniGroup CEO & Founder, The Parentinc
Roshni Mahtani-Cheung is the Group CEO and Founder of parent-tech company The Parentinc, whose triumphs include: theAsianparent, the world’s highest-rated parenting app and SEA’s largest content and community platform for parents reaching 35 million users monthly; Mama’s Choice, an award-winning direct-to consumer brand that manufactures and retails safe, natural, and Halal pregnancy, nursing, baby care, and household products; and Webtretho and Bé Yêu, Vietnam’s largest community platforms for women and mothers.
Roshni has over 15 years of media and marketing experience across the US and Asia Pacific. She is also actively involved in the startup community. In 2015, she co-founded the 2,000-member strong Female Founders Network, a non-profit organisation with the vision to accelerate the female founder ecosystem in Singapore.
Besides her interest in the startup world, Roshni is also an executive producer of Untouchable: Children of God, a documovie about young girls in the brothels of India and how they are sold and trafficked from Nepal. Roshni is also an Obama Leader and a member of its inaugural APAC 2019/2020 batch.
Outside of leading a company, fundraising, or mentoring female founders, Roshni spends precious moments with her husband and their daughter.