Quick Questions with The Ultimate Start-Up Space Finalists – Part 1
June 27, 2011 by Isaac Timothy T
To learn more about the finalists for The Ultimate Start-Up Space competition, each of the 10 finalists will answer 3 questions:
1. Why this idea?
2. Why this space? (Why do you feel like your idea best suits the shop space at 29 Boon Tat Street?)
3. Why this team? (Why do you think you’re the best person/team to realize your business idea in this space?)
In this post, we feature the answers from 3 of the finalists in random order.
Public supports plays a big part in determining the winner. If you have a favorite among the finalists, pledge your support here.
Perched On A Tree Letterpress
Why this idea?
This idea came to us very naturally because we were already exploring letterpress printing for quite some time. We saw an incredible amount of interest within our arts and design community who were looking for this type of print service but just couldn’t find it locally. So, we decided to take this printing ‘hobby’ one step further as business opportunity and to connect with crafters, designers and arts people together through this initiative of providing good design, a valuable take on handmade goods and a traditional, rare print service that is localized.
Why this space?
Within the Boon Tat street area are a variety of really interesting and eclectic shops. Selling books, bespoke items, specially sourced products from overseas. Shops for example like the little drom store, Trolley, polymath and crust, are all part of the club and Ann Siang street area’s identity. The location is apt because we would be in a central area where design and advertising agencies around can come to us. We can market our print services to the various boutique hotels and bridal studios in the vicinity, giving us an edge in proposing partnerships because we are accessible. On a ground floor level is also ideal because people who have never heard of letterpress before can just walk in and find out exactly what it is and how we work. The arts and design vibe there is strong and it will compliment our start up idea further.
Why this team?
Raymond and I have and are simply passionate about letterpress. We started this off on our own based on sheer interest. We have invested personal time and money to explore the intricate details of how to run a press machine, where to get the materials and supplies for. We’ve been there, done that just through our own desires to want to make press printing alive in Singapore. It’s indeed time consuming, but for the love of print we just keep going. Also, we’ve already been printing ad hoc orders and are looking for the right space and the capital to fully make this a viable service that can cater to our many potential clients. Now it’s all up to the judges and the public to give us that push ahead.
To support Perched On A Tree Letterpress, pledge here.
Why this idea?
Having to juggle the everyday responsibilities at home and in school, I always feel the need to having more time or an extra pair of hands to handle these tasks. Hence, the idea of having concierge services was born to provide assistance to people who have a lower budget but require help with the time-consuming tasks and also to free up more personal time.
Why this space?
Geographically, Boon Tat Street is a natural advantage for Victory Concierge as our target customers are mainly working individuals who do not have enough time for themselves due to the many responsibilities in their everyday life. Having a bricks and mortar shop and together with an online platform for them to access and to keep track of their services, VC will be able to access this group of members and to engage them promptly. Furthermore, the “V-Lounge” will serve as a private space for our members to enjoy free sandwiches and coffee while waiting for their errands to be completed or a space for them to take a break from work and relax.
Why this team?
An entrepreneur would be one that possesses the eye to identify gaps in different industries and to take hold of the opportunity to develop a business idea to satisfy the needs and demands of the customer. The essential traits lies in the execution of the business by aggregating all relevant resources and expertise require for the smooth implementation of the business.
As a chemical engineer by training, I possess the abilities to analyze problems and to come up with solutions to meet tight deadlines. Furthermore, my past work experiences in companies such as Barclays Capital, OCBC Bank, ExxonMobil and PetroSeraya has helped hone my interpersonal and communication skills to understand customer’s needs and to deliver prompt solutions to cater to their needs.
To support Victory Concierge, pledge here.
TeeJunction by TeeDaily
Why this idea?
Well, I’m a guy who likes to give; I sincerely believe that, as a society, we should focus more on the giving, not just the receiving. It may sound like a cliché, but that’s the way I feel about it. So one day I thought “Let’s build a business around that!” And so that’s how I came up with the idea of TeeDaily. It combines the act of giving back to society with my huge love for art, design, pop culture, cats and t-shirts – how cool is it that my business involves all my passions rolled up into one?
TeeDaily is a viable business concept that serves as a springboard for artists and designers. They can submit their designs, which, if accepted, will be printed on super Limited Edition T-shirts that will be made available for sale on the site, but only for 72 hours. Part of the proceeds goes towards our charity partners and various social projects that we align ourselves with. So here’s the great thing for the creatives: not only does TeeDaily help give a leg up to artists and designers, we let them keep the copyright as well. After their design has debuted on TeeDaily, we hand the copyright back to them. For all creative types out there, that’s a major, major thing, and it is part of what differentiates our business from similar concepts out there. And I also like the fact that we’re doing it on T-shirts; it’s a great class-divider because everyone wears T-shirts and a T-shirt can have any design printed on it.
TeeJunction by TeeDaily acts as the physical face, the physical anchor for the TeeDaily brand. We joined the Ultimate Start Up Space competition because we felt that having a physical front will increase TeeDaily’s catalyst-effect on Singapore creativity and hopefully inspire other art-lovers out there to open a similar TeeJunction store in their own cities, creating a web or network of similar-minded people who want to make a difference, both in their own lives and in the world.
Why this space?
The mantra for any brick-and-mortar business out there has always been location, location, location. Boon Tat Street’s an interesting place: it’s located in the heart of the CBD area, and it’s well-known as a business area, as you’ll see lots of suits during lunchtime. It’s also got a bit of old-meets-modern kind of feel to it; I definitely see lots of potential there. Unlike other physical stores, TeeJunction wouldn’t be reliant on walk-in traffic for its main source of revenue. That will come primary from TeeDaily’s online business, as our daily Limited Edition T-shirts will only be sold online to customers worldwide. TeeJunction will function as a hotbed of creativity for Singapore creatives, or really, anyone who just wants to chill, brainstorm or meet-like minded people.
And we believe that Boon Tat Street is a great place for that. There’s a steadily growing design scene in the area, with several creative agencies located nearby. The Red Dot Traffic, which houses a design museum and lifestyle organizations and in which you’ll generally find a gatherings of creatives, is within walking distance. I’m pretty sure that most “suits” that work in the area have got their creative and geeky side to them – we all do. TeeJunction by TeeDaily is that little den of art and wonder just right next door, where they can come in during lunch or office hours and unleash their creative energies – what better way to express yourself than coming in and trying your hand at design on our design stations that have been geared-out with the latest in design tools and software? We have knowledgeable staff on hand who will be able to lend a helping hand, so anyone can come and learn more, whether they’re a corporate office worker who loves to doodle or a suit who does design in her spare time.
Why this team?
I have experience in digital media start-ups, retail and manufacturing. In a business concept such as TeeJuction by TeeDaily, essentially a click-and-mortar concept that marries technology and physical operations, the experiences I have in the above areas come in handy when tackling both online and offline operations.
I have to say this; even though I’ve been laboring for about 3-4 years to put this concept together, I haven’t done it alone. I believe in the power of teamwork, because, in this day and age, business works best by letting people do the things that they’re good at and passionate about. I work with talented people from around the world: web designers in South America, writers in Asia, developers in the UK and Singapore, animators and illustrators in Indonesia, sound designers in Romania, voice talents and specialist printers in the US, the list just goes on and on and on.
We have got a decentralized international team of experts and creatives working on TeeDaily and TeeJunction. I’m the Chief Threader, as I see myself as the one who pulls all the strings to make sure that everything is picture perfect and that things get done in a timely manner. TeeDaily isn’t just the hard work of one person – we have a world of talent behind us, and I mean that in the literal sense of the phrase. And they’re every bit as interested and invested as I am in seeing TeeDaily and TeeJunction make that transition from idea to reality.
To support TeeJunction, pledge here.
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About The Author
Isaac Timothy T - Product Manager & Resident Contributing Writer
Sometimes writer, sometimes programmer, full time behind-the-scenes guy, Isaac is responsible for keeping SGE running and ensuring the success of SGE's projects. While not working on SGE, he is running his own start-up. He plays football and is eagerly awaiting the day he can support Singapore at the World Cup.Read other posts by Isaac Timothy T