Team Formation at EF

This is part two of my experiences going through Entrepreneur First. This is also where EF is different from other accelerators - team forming. From my earlier post, EF divides the cohort into 3 groups. The technical edges, the product edges, the domain edges, and not gently, people from different edges are nudged to team up. Did that happen?

Joining EF in Their Third Batch

I’m now with an accelerator called Entrepreneur First, most call it EF for short. I was accepted in their third batch in Singapore. That was sometime this year January. I’ve wanted to start my own company, having worked at many startups for many years. When opportunity knocked, I took it.

Things I Would Do at a New Startup

With the benefit of spending years at the trenches, watching decisions and their eventual impact, subconsciously I’ve formed my opinion on what I would do if I were to start building a new product.

What Is the Probability of My Child Entering Nanyang Primary or Ai Tong

Like most parents in Singapore, we leave no chance to getting to the best schools for our children. My wife wants to move closer to Nanyang Primary to increase our chance of getting a place. I did not want to do that. Our chances are high enough that it doesn’t warrant such extremes. I realised I needed to prove my point.

Why Am I Doing a Math Degree

I am applying to do a Math degree in my mid-thirties, knowing how much work that is, mindful of my work and family commitments, and not forgetting the cost. I’ve got an Electrical Engineering degree. It’s common to do a graduate degree, though a more conventional route would be to do a MBA or a Masters in Computer Science/Data science. Yet I chosen a Bachelor’s in Math.

Using More Than a Hundred Stored Procedures in Production

At my present company Courex, we make heavy use of stored procedures, triggers and functions to run our production applications for over 2 years. At present, we have 258 stored procedures, 107 functions and triggers. Few companies use this many stored procedures. Would we recommend it? Yes.

Communication Skills > Technical Skills

Speaking or writing, is something I thought was basic, something anyone with a basic education can do. I felt that I was done with honing my language skills after I’ve left school. If the school thinks it was good enough to graduate, it was good enough.

Being an Early Employee at Startup That Exited

I am one of the early employees at Dropsuite, previously known as Dropmysite. Today, I was informed that Dropsuite has IPOed in the Australian Stock Exchange. Technically, it is a reverse IPO. The whole process took one year. The Australian Stock Exchange, or Australian investors, is known to welcome technology companies, which is why local technology companies choose to list there. Another local example is mig.me.

It’s rare to have worked in a startup that exited. Rarer still, in Singapore. I’ve worked with 6 startups where only 2 of them exited. One(Dropsuite) IPOed, the other(Courex) got acquired. The rest closed down when the money ran out. If you are considering making a move to a startup, you can use my experience as a data point.

Running an Ecommerce Logistics Business Is Hard

I came into the logistics industry knowing nothing about it. Along the way I’ve witnessed competitors going bust(Zyllem), new entrants, competitors switching from logistics to technology(Anchanto), and more. It is a hyper competitive industry. I hope to offer an insider view of the industry, to show why it is so challenging, which hopefully will discourage new entrants, in turn making my job easier.