Fun is a rather quaint way for an investment firm to differentiate itself. But Terence Tan, an investor at TNF Ventures, is pretty serious about fun — and always have been. A competitive player in golf and tennis, he once overextended himself over a tennis game, fell and suffered a concussion, then lost his sense of smell.
This paradox of having serious fun permeates TNF’s culture. They’re managing money on behalf of NRF, a government body in charge of scientific research, yet they organized a poker tournament at their launch event. They wore gaudy red and white polo tees that made the event look more Resorts World than Marina Bay Sands, yet gave a Powerpoint presentation to introduce the firm.
It’s a signal that they don’t take themselves too seriously, but are hungry about making the right investment bets. It image seems befitting for a team of successful corporate and entrepreneurial types who’ve got it made. They don’t really need to start another fund, but for one reason or another, decided to. Read more
Professor Dr. Wong Poh Kam here provides an overview of role of Venture Capital and Angel Investors in tech-startups scene in Singapore. It has been republished here with permission. A more detailed version of this will be published in the Annual SVCA Directory 2011/12
High-technology entrepreneurship has been identified as an important driver of Singapore’s knowledge-based economy, and increased policy attention has been given to encouraging the formation and nurturing of high-tech start-ups, especially those with significant intellectual property (IP). To this end, in 2010 the National Research Foundation (NRF) engaged me, as director of the NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, to conduct a study of high-tech start-ups in Singapore. While the survey covers many aspects of the high tech start-up dynamics, including characteristics of the founders, their sources of technology and funding, growth strategies, performance and challenges, this blog highlights some salient findings on only one aspect of the survey: the performance of start-ups that have received funding from venture capitalists or angel investors versus those that did not. Read more
Angel investor and professor Dr. Wong Poh Kam here provides an overview of the angel investing scene in Singapore. An extended version of this article will appear as a chapter in a forthcoming book on Angel Investing in Asia, edited by John Lo.
As in other newly industrialized economies in Asia, business angel investing in early stage start-up companies has been relatively new in Singapore. This is due to the fact that the phenomenon of high tech start-ups is itself relatively new in Singapore, having really taken off only since the late-1990s as the Singapore economy began its shift towards a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy. While business angel investment deals are known to have existed in the 1980s and early 1990s, they were mainly in the traditional trading and manufacturing sectors, as was found in a study of 29 angel investors. Read more