We’re at that time of the year again.
The Forbes 30 Under 30 2019 list is out, and in this year’s edition, 28 individuals in Singapore have made the cut.
Here’s the list, in alphabetical order:
Beam Mobility Holdings
Beam Mobility Holdings is a shared mobility startup in Singapore and was founded by ex-Yale classmates Alan Jiang and Deb Gangopadhyay. The former was initially the Asia Pacific chief of bike-sharing startup ofo.Beam raised US$6.4M (S$9M) in seed funding last year from Sequoia India, Founders Fund, ZhenFund, and Class 5 Global.Just last month, the startup expanded to Malaysia, and users will pay RM2.50 (S$0.83) to unlock an e-scooter and RM0.30 (S$0.10) for every minute of riding.There are plans for Beam to eventually expand into e-bikes and e-mopeds-sharing.
Prior to starting MarketX Venture, Cathryn Chen worked at Deutsche Bank, Rothschild in London, and JP Morgan in Hong Kong.This was where the UCLA graduate witnessed first-hand the pent up frustration among Chinese investors being unable to clinch pre-IPO shares.MarketX Venture describes itself as a “one-stop platform for pre-IPO investments” that helps investors gain access to “high quality” pre-IPO companies.It has received US$1.6M (S$2.17M) seed funding so far, and now works with over 8,500 family offices, funds, and high net worth individuals. MarketX Venture also has over 30 asset partners, with combined assets of over US$5B (S$6.78M) across the globe.
Charmain Tan is an entrepreneur that started young, having launched her first company designing award-winning winter gloves that can be used on touchscreen devices when she just 21.The inspiration came when she experienced first-hand how small businesses struggle with handling sales processes and productivity.Driven to solve that problem, she started QuickDesk in 2014 and positioned it as a simplified, one-stop CRM software optimised for sales teams and professionals.QuickDesk has serviced more than 800 clients locally and internationally so far.
Charmaine Poh is a Singaporean artist and documentarian that has been featured on local and international platforms.Her works combine photography with research, text, video, and installation and focus on issues like memory, gender, youth, and solitude in Asia.She has also used her narrative portraiture to advocate for marginalised communities in Asia, such as the LGBTQ community in Cambodia, and domestic workers in Singapore.The Tufts University graduate is also the co-founder of Indian NGO Clicking Together, which uses photography to bring together youth from different socioeconomic classes.
Christel Quek is the co-founder and COO of BOLT, a mobile entertainment app that is focused on bringing creative content to emerging markets by building an ecosystem of users, partners, and content creators.Prior to BOLT, Christel was the Head of Content at Twitter in the ASEAN region, and had extensive experience with blockchain companies.BOLT has raised US$12M (S$16.27M) in funding from Neo Capital Global and Ether Capital.BOLT currently has partnerships with telecommunications companies in Africa and Indonesia, and has content partnerships with the Discovery Channel and Malaysian telecommunications companies Maxis, and Digi.
Chunfeng Wan is a postdoctoral fellow at the National University of Singapore (NUS).He specialises in water and energy research, and has a project focusing on Pressure Retarded Osmosis (PRO) that uses osmotic pressure to generate energy.He also delivered a $5M grant to develop the PRO process at the university.He obtained the Outstanding Young Researcher/Principal Investigator Award at the 4th Annual AIChE Singapore Local Section Award ceremony in 2018.
23-year-old Daniel Liang is the founder of Get, a platform that facilitates payments for university clubs. It is also available as a mobile app that lets students purchase event tickets, merchandise, and club membership.He launched Get (formerly known as Qnect) in 2016, when he was in his first year of university.By October 2018, Get had acquired over 220,000 users in Australia and Hong Kong.Since inception, Get has raised US$3M (S$4.06M) from 2 rounds of funding.
Erik Cheong is the co-founder of Park N Parcel, a startup that aims to solve the perennial problem of online shoppers missing parcel deliveries when they’re not home.Launched in 2016, the startup has created networks of over 1,600 ‘Parkers’ in various neighbourhoods around Singapore. ‘Parkers’ are individuals who have volunteered to be parcel drop off and pick up points for their neighbours.Park N Parcel currently services ecommerce platforms like ASOS, Alibaba, Lazada, and Carousell.It raised S$850,000 last year, and announced plans to expand to Japan, Hong Kong, and Thailand.
Fridtjof Berge is the co-founder and COO of Singapore-based startup Antler.Antler describes itself as a ‘startup generator’ that wants to turn “the world’s best talent into great founders of great companies” by formalising the first stage in the business building ecosystem of incubators and accelerators.Fridtjof is an alumni of Harvard University, Cass Business School, and Emory University. He was also previously at McKinsey & Company.Antler closed a US$3M (S$4.06M) seed round in 2018, with investors including John Riady, Director of the Lippo Group in Indonesia, Ole Ruch, Managing Director at WeWork, Birger Nergaard, founder of Verdane Capital, and Andreas Ehn, first CTO at Spotify.
Germaine Tan is the Head of Corporate Development and Innovation of Found8, the result of a merger between Collision 8 and Found, both Singapore companies with a focus on community and innovation.The merger brought together US$20M (S$27.08M) worth of funding, which the firm intends to use for expansion to other markets.Found8 has over 1,000 members including startups like Antler, General Assembly, Miles Life, and GorillaSpace.Germaine also manages Found Ventures, a US$1M seed fund.
Hong Kai Yap
Hong Kai Yap is co-founder and CTO of medtech startup Rocesco Technologies that aims to empower patients suffering from neurological disorders and disabilities.Recesco Technologies has developed the EsoGLOVE, which is a soft, robotic glove that can be programmed to assist patients’ hand movements when performing day-to-day tasks.The EsoGLOVE was previously Hong Kai’s university project.The startup has partnered with the National University Hospital (NUH) and the National Health Innovation Centre.
24-year-old Jeremy Berger is the co-founder and COO of Arival Bank, a digital fintech bank for small businesses, GIGs, and crypto-related SMEs. Founded in 2017, the idea for Arival Bank emerged when the founders’ venture capital fund (Life.SREDA) was approached by “hundreds” of crypto-related businesses complaining about problems of working with traditional banks.Jeremy was also a Portfolio Director at Life.SREDA, and helped create Goldbell Investments, the corporate VC arm of the Goldbell Group.Prior to this, he also worked for various fintech startups and one of the largest wealth management firms in the US.
Jia Yaoqi is the a PhD holder from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and co-founder of Zilliqa, a public blockchain platform.Zilliqa is best known for achieving a throughout of 2,828 transactions per second in its test net – 200 times higher than Ethereum and Bitcoin.This speed enables new use cases that have high-throughout demands, like digital marketing and payments.The total value of Zilliqa tokens has been reported to stand at over US$100M (S$135.25M).
Jian Kai (Jake) Goh
26-year-old Jake Goh is the co-founder and CEO of Rate, a Singapore blockchain company focused on helping businesses tokenise their assets.A college dropout, he founded Rate in 2016 with Davis Gay and Jing Rong Lim. The startup raised US$2.3M (S$3.11M) in a pre-series A round led by Alpha JWC Ventures and Insignia Ventures Partners.Rate’s first product, RateX, is a browser extension that automatically applies coupon codes and offers the best exchange rates for online purchases. It has helped online shoppers save over half a million dollars to date.Rate3 is the firm’s venture into blockchain, and has raised US$15M (S$20.29M) through a token sale.
27-year-old Ken Chua is the founder of (these)abilities, a design and technology company that aims to ‘disable disabilities’ by designing and building products that level the playing field for persons with disabilities.He is from the pioneer batch of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), but has been involved in the disability community for close to a decade.these(abilities) has worked with Grab to develop inclusive in-app features to help deaf and visually-impaired users.Currently, these(abilities) is working with cap manufacturer Japan Nippon Closures to create inclusive bottle packaging designs for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
Kenny Wang is the co-founder and COO of Igloohome, a Singapore smart lock company that has raised over US$10M (S$13.53M) in funding to date.He and co-founders Anthony Chow and Kelvin Ho were inspired to create smart locks because as Airbnb hosts, they often found themselves inconvenienced by key handovers at “awkward hours”.Their products have been shipped to over 80 countries, and are available on major ecommerce stores.They have also worked with companies like Airbnb, Booking.com, Allianz, and property developers like Sansiri in Thailand, Capitaland in Vietnam, and Mitsubishi in Japan.
Kevin Tan is the co-founder of Tri-Sector Associates, a social enterprise that specialises in creating effective methods of cross-sector collaboration to eventually “solve the hardest social problems”.He holds an MPP (Business and Government) from the Harvard Kennedy School, and has a BA (First Class Honours) in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Oxford.Prior to starting up, he served in the Boston office of Third Sector Capital Partners and also helped to contribute to the development of the Social Impact Guarantee.Tri-Sector Associates has worked with organisations in Japan and Singapore, as well as the governments of Singapore and Hong Kong.
Kuldeep Singh Rajput
27-year-old Kuldeep Singh Rajput is the founder and CEO of Biofourmis Pte Ltd, a Singapore data analytics company that wants to “personalise healthcare through actionable insights”.A PhD research scholar at the National University of Singapore (NUS), he built bioelectronics implants during his PhD studies. These implants looked to control biological processes and treat diseases by modulating electric impulses.Prior to moving to Singapore, he worked as a researcher at MIT Media Lab, where he worked on building diagnostic algorithms to detect cardiac conditions.Biofourmis has raised US$6.6M (S$8.93M) to date, and is in the process of finalising a US$50M (S$67.67M) series B round.
Leonard Loo is a Product Manager at the Open Government Products sector of GovTech (Government Technology Agency).Having learnt coding since he was 14, the now 27-year-old joined GovTech after graduating from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.He is known for creating ‘Google Forms for government’ FormSG, which has since been adopted by over 70 government agencies and serves 170,000 monthly active users.He also started mc.gov.sg, which digitises medical certificates, and go.gov.sg, which is a government link shortener.
29-year-old Dr. Mohammad Danesh is the co-founder and CTO of Transcelestial, a spacetech startup that is building light speed communications infrastructure for the next 100 years.To do this, the startup is using an on-ground version of laser communication technology to provide “state-of-the-art, fiber-like ultra-high” bandwidth wireless backhaul to telecommunication companies and enterprises.Dr. Mohammad is a PhD holder in Nanophotonics from the National University of Singapore (NUS), and has 10 years of experience with electromagnetics and optics.Transcelestial has raised US$2.5M (S$3.38M) funding to date, and is looking to develop a constellation of nano satellites for ground, satellite, and deep space applications in the next 3 years.
Two-time Sportswoman of the Year Shayna Ng is a Team Singapore bowler and has had an illustrious career for close to two decades now.She won Singapore’s first gold medal at the World Bowling Women’s Championships in 2015, and has held the world female record for the six-game series.Thanks to her parents who were leisure bowlers, the 29-year-old was introduced to the sport after being “forced to tag along” to their weekly sessions.She chose bowling as a CCA in secondary school and this was where she discovered her talent for it. Shayna was eventually invited to join the National Youth Team and the rest was history.
The Fun Empire
Natasha Toh and Ryan Ho are the founders of The Fun Empire, an event company that has served over 400,000 clients within 3 years of inception.They have not raised any investor money, but have done over 6,000 events for clients that include MNCs, SMEs, government agencies, and schools.The Fun Empire’s activities include Saber Tag, a team game that uses combat sabers, and SaberFit, a group fitness activity that incorporates combat sabers with saber striking techniques and fitness exercises.They also recently won the Spirit of Enterprise Award 2018.
The Sam Willows
The Sam Willows are a popular Singaporean 4-member band made up of siblings Benjamin and Narelle Kheng, and their friends Sandra Riley Tang and Jonathan Chua.The band was formed in 2012, and made their international debut in 2013 at the annual SXSW music festival in Texas.They have released 2 full-length albums to date, with their sophomore album debuting at number 1 on the Singapore iTunes chart on the day of its release.Their exclusive compilation album was also released in Japan by Sony Music Japan, making them the first English performing band from Singapore to be marketed and distributed by a major international music label in Japan.
What do you think about this year’s list, and who are you hoping to see in the 2020 edition of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list?
Let us know!