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The Entrepreneurial Link series serves as a bilateral platform for knowledge exchange and networking between start-ups, investors, corporate partners in Singapore and key overseas entrepreneurial hubs. It also aims to deepen the links between the Singapore entrepreneurial ecosystem and the respective overseas hubs.
For this instalment, BLOCK71 Singapore, together with Pen Brothers, will venture into Philippines, one of Asia’s most promising startup ecosystems.
The discussion will centre on the recent developments in the Philippines start-up ecosystem, the opportunities that await for founders and investors, the types of infrastructure support available and the unique characteristics of the largest consumer market in Asia. A “Philippines” for anyone who is thinking of venturing into Philippines! Come and join us this September.
Panel of Speakers:
Melissa is a Partner and leads the investment activities at the Meloy Fund, a pioneer impact investment fund that focuses on investing in coastal fisheries related businesses in Indonesia and the Philippines. Prior to that, Melissa co-founded Integro, a global Impact Investment Program at Morgan Stanley. She was a portfolio Manager and ESG Officer for Integro. Before that, Melissa worked at IFC, the private sector arm of World Bank Group, where she was a Principal Investment Officer and Regional Lead for East Asia Pacific, responsible for private equity funds investments, based in Indonesia. In that role, she was responsible for new business that covers 15 countries and oversaw $1 billion of portfolio investments and sat on several advisory boards. Previously Melissa had held senior investment positions at ING, DBS Bank and 3i and cumulated 20 years of private market investments in Asia that ranges from direct investment, venture capital and funds investments. Since 2012, Melissa has started investing with ESG and Impact lens. Melissa received a B.A in Economics and Political Science from the National University of Singapore and a Master of Applied Finance from the University of Adelaide, Australia. Melissa is a participant at the 2000 YMP Program at Insead.
Amit Saberwal is the brainchild behind RedDoorz, one of Southeast Asia’s leading budget hotel online booking platform. The lack of standardisation in budget hotels, guesthouses and a budget brand are the reasons and alongside having amassed over 20 years of experience in the online travel, e-Commerce and hospitality sectors drove Amit to creating RedDoorz – with its headquarters in Singapore as well as offices in India, Indonesia and The Philippines. Currently, the brand’s operations has grown in Indonesia with more than 450 properties across 10 cities with the ambition of expanding to 16 cities in the country by end of 2018.
Prior to founding RedDoorz, he was the Chief Business Officer – Hotel and International Markets at India’s premier travel and airline booking site MakeMyTrip.com. He was instrumental in shaping the company and was also part of the leadership team growing it to IPO in three years and getting it listed on NASDAQ in 2010, with 85,000 properties globally. He was also the turnkey and spearheaded MakeMyTrip’s largest acquisition of Thailand-based HotelTrave.com.
Amit has also previously worked as Director Sales and Marketing with The Park Hotels in Bangalore and New Delhi. He is a Hotel Management graduate with a Post Graduate Diploma in Sales & Marketing from National Institute for Sales, New Delhi.
He also spent time at Cornell University honing his professional skills as an hotelier.
Graduated in ISEG Lisbon School of Economics and Management with a B.S. in Economics, his last position before coming to Manila was as General Manager for UBM Novomania in Shanghai, China. During the first decade of this millennium he was in Tokyo, Japan, where he had various positions: Overseas Manager for E-Four Corporation, Marketing Manager for Pirelli and Commercial Diplomatic Affairs/Trade Manager for the Embassy of Portugal. As an entrepreneur he has started various successful businesses and is presently the Co-Founder of Penbrothers International and a Managing Partner of Upteam Corporation (a 500 startups portfolio company).
Hwee Yong is the Deputy Director of Southeast Asia Division in Enterprise Singapore. His primarily role is to assist local companies expand into Southeast Asia by engineering B2B tie-ups as well as G2G collaborations.
Most of Hwee Yong’s career is spent in the economic agencies of Singapore government, including Economic Development Board. On top of industry development work for different sectors, Hwee Yong was also heavily involved in industry revitalisation measures during the 2009 recession as well as the marine & offshore downturn in recent years.
Hwee Yong has proven track records in the private sector with 7 years of experience, holding various senior management positions in functions including organisational development, business development, as well as subsidiary managing director post.
For international governmental and private sector experiences, other than Southeast Asia, Hwee Yong spent over 10 years in Japan, including 3 years as Consul for Singapore in Osaka.
Hwee Yong has a B Eng from the University of Tokyo and M Eng from Princeton University. Hwee Yong enjoys history.
Registration will commence at 4.45pm.