A multiple-time gold medalist representing Singapore in swimming, May Ooi is a former Olympian, having competed at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona. However, two pivotal moments would change her life forever, and transform the elite swimmer into a dedicated martial artist.
First was an encounter with capoeira in 2007 while she was in Brazil. Enthralled by the beauty and athleticism of the Brazilian art, she began training with a coach who also happened to be a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. That was where she became inspired to learn, progress, and evolve, and committed herself to both capoeira and BJJ with the same tenacity as she did with swimming.
After Muay Thai and boxing into her arsenal, she met BJJ legend Royler Gracie, who recognized her talent and encouraged her to pursue a professional career. That was the final push she needed, and she made her cage debut in 2014. Now competing under the bright lights of ONE Championship, her experience with elite competition and the lifetime of discipline it ingrained in her should serve her well as she faces the best martial artists in the world.
Ronny Tome, CEO, Ducatus
Originally from Germany, Ronny has been a Bali resident since 1995. Here is where he founded and built a number of very successful businesses.
In 2014, he sold a villa in Bali for over US$700,000 worth of Bitcoins. It was the first real estate and largest Bitcoin transaction ever executed, and Ronny held the record for the next 18 months.
His early experience on cryptocurrency and extensive experience as an entrepreneur and business innovator are what fueled his drive to create and build the Ducatus Group of companies around the world.
Ronny speaks fluent German, English and Indonesian, and is married with two children.
Anna Lim, Founder, The Soup Spoon
Anna is the co-founder of The Soup Spoon, a local homegrown soup chain with 26 outlets offering wholesome soup meals for all occasions. All of The Soup Spoon’s healthy and wholesome recipes are the masterpieces by SouperChef Anna, who carefully hand-crafts each soup with love and care. A self-taught cook who strongly believes in clean eating, her recipes are mostly inspired from her travels and experiences across the globe.
Since founding the company in 2002, Anna has constantly been injecting new ideas, new concepts and implemented new ways of doing things to keep the business fresh and relevant to the ever-changing consumer landscape.
As General Manager, Anna is not only accountable for the day-to-day management, she is also responsible for the innovation of the ready-to-eat meals and product development for The Soup Spoon. Being liable for the daily operations, she manages the process flows and ensures customers get the best quality. Anna believes good process flows and product designs can offer her deserving customers better culinary experiences, and is actively improving such aspects in the company.
Prior to this, she was a clinical embryologist at Singapore General Hospital. Her background in embryology has taught her to combine both the science and art of culinary to innovate the dining experience. Anna was a recipient of the Spirit of Enterprise Award in 2004 and is an advocator of Design Thinking and healthy cooking.
Wendy Liu, Co-Founder, ezbuy
Wendy is the Co-founder of ezbuy Group Holdings and the Chief Executive Office of ezbuy Singapore. Operating out of both Singapore and Malaysia, Wendy’s core duties include overseeing the Marketing and the Global marketplace departments. Wendy caught the techno-preneur bug back in her university days, where she saw the potential of harnessing technology to make shopping easier and more efficient. When another would-be entrepreneur came to Wendy with the idea of creating the convenience for consumers in the South-east Asia region, Wendy said: “Yes, let’s do it!”.
Since then, Wendy and her team have grown the company from zero to two million customers in less than three years. Wendy holds a Master’s degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering from the National University of Singapore and is a First-class Honours graduate in Electrical & Electronics Engineering with a minor in Business from the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. Wendy is effectively bilingual in English and Mandarin.
Syafiq Yussoff, CEO, Riverwood
Syafiq Yussoff, aged 34, is the young visionary CEO who founded Riverwood Pte Ltd in 2010. Syafiq had a digital hunch, acted upon it and Riverwood became Amazon Prime logistics partner in Singapore. Riverwood was set up in his parents humble home. He knows that digitalization of retail was only a matter of time. Riverwood’s clients include Singapore post, logistics giant DHL and the digital arm of cosmetics retailer Sephora. The company provides integrated logistics solutions to SMEs and MNCs locally and is focusing on internationalization as part of their expansion plans.
Steen Puggaard, Former CEO, The 4FINGERS Group of Companies
Steen Puggaard has been the CEO of 4FINGERS since February 2013. He has been central in facilitating 4FINGERS through a change of ownership in 2014, securing funding for expansion, growing the business from one to 13 stores in Singapore as well as overseeing the launch of 4FINGERS in Malaysia, Australia and Thailand (May 2018). It is expected that 4FINGERS will have grown to 30 stores by the end of 2018, one of which will be its first store in the US. Also, serving as a Board member of 4FINGERS, Steen drives the overall business strategy, which focuses on building a scalable business with an international brand that is recognized for a great customer experience.
A resident of Singapore since 1999, Steen brings with him over 20 years of experience with several international blue-chip F&B brands like McDonald’s, Burger King and Baskin Robbins as well as the Singapore-based, Michelin starred restaurant group, The Les Amis Group. Since leaving his native country, Denmark in 1992, to pursue an international career, he has held various senior marketing and general management roles across Europe and Asia Pacific.
Steen believes in always putting the customer first. He has a fascination with the F&B industry and the unique abundance of opportunities it represents – more than any other industry – to serve customers every day. Importantly, he recognizes the need to continuously innovate, disrupt and challenge the status quo in order to ensure that a brand stays relevant to its target consumers.
Steen is a Mentor of the Restaurant Association of Singapore’s mentorship program, supported by SPRING. The mentorship program is aimed at assisting SMEs in the F&B industry, helping them to improve productivity, profitability and scalability.
Steen sits on the Board of Advisers at the Institute of Service Excellence, Singapore Management University and is an Executive Committee Member at the Franchising and Licensing Association of Singapore.
Steen has been awarded the “Executive of the Year – Food & Beverage Award in the Singapore Business Review Management Excellence Awards 2016” and “Editors Choice Award for Individual Achievement 2018”, by the Singapore Business Review and the editorial bench of QSR Media at the QSR Media Asia Awards 2018 respectively.
A native of Denmark, Steen has two children, aged 7 and 10, and is a graduate of Copenhagen Business School with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He is also a qualified advertising photographer, an avid amateur athlete and a private pilot. His pastimes include rowing, running, swimming and cycling.
Rebekah Woo, Partner, Crimson Capital
With degrees from LSE, Yale and CFA, CAIA professional designations, Rebekah has more than 18 years of investing experience. Rebekah started her career with the government of Singapore, both in Singapore and New York. She spent more than 6 years with a multi-billion single family office in New York, investing across asset classes before joining J.P. Morgan back in Singapore. After J.P. Morgan, Rebekah joined Canada’s 2nd largest pension plan when it first opened its Asia Pacific HQ in Singapore, covering investments throughout Asia before joining a Fintech company backed by one of China’s largest financial conglomerate. Fully bilingual in English, Mandarin and working French, Rebekah actively volunteers and contributes, with a special focus of women entrepreneurs and investors, such as being a committee member with the Singapore Institute of Directors (SSID) promoting Diversity on Boards.
Rhonda Wong, CEO & Co-founder, Ohmyhome
Ms. Rhonda Wong is the co-founder of Ohmyhome and serves as the Chief Executive Officer since its founding in 2015. Rhonda’s wealth of experience in the business and the real-estate sector has helped her drive the company to become Singapore’s leading proptech marketplace for housing transactions. Responsible for the overall management of Ohmyhome and driving its growth, Rhonda’s many accomplishments include leading the company to become one of the best start-ups of 2017. Her mission is to simplify housing transactions and provide an enhanced home search experience that saves time and money.
Rhonda is a founding member of the inaugural Singapore PropTech Association which aims to innovate the traditional real estate industry. Her astute business acumen and passion for property make Rhonda a sought-after mentor at entrepreneurial and proptech events, and she is often invited to speak at schools and business leadership seminars. In March 2017, Rhonda was recognized as Women Icon at the Inaugural Women Icons Summit & Awards. She received the award for her entrepreneurial spirit and efforts to revolutionize the way people buy, sell and rent their homes. Avid in giving back to the community, she has volunteered across the world from Detroit, Chicago, Dominican Republic to Singapore and Myanmar.
Before Ohmyhome, Rhonda started Anthill Realtors, a real estate agency, at the age of 29 in 2014. Headquartered in Singapore, Anthill Realtors’ forte is sourcing investment grade properties from within and abroad, with a one of a kind concierge service. Rhonda started consulting for developers in 2013 and before that, she was a salesperson at Savills where she was promoted to sales director within a year and was recognized as the best newcomer. Her journey into Savills was encouraged by her personal real estate investments.
A serial entrepreneur at heart, Rhonda has gathered vast amount of experience as she had worked on several businesses including retail in Singapore; import and export of equipment from USA and acted as a consultant on other businesses such as children’s education in Suzhou, China.
Rhonda graduated with distinction from Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, with majors in Finance, Entrepreneurial, Accounting and a minor in Economics. While in University, she was also awarded the Carson Scholarship to study public policy in Washington D.C. Upon graduation, Rhonda joined Nico Trading Chicago and was the only female trader employed at that time.
Jamie Lim, CEO, Scanteak, Singapore
Jamie graduated with a dual EMBA degree from UCLA-NUS. As Regional Marketing Director, Jamie spearheads Scanteak’s regional branding initiatives, manages overseas franchises, and oversees Scanteak Singapore’s business operations.
With her first job in Hollywood, Jamie made the switch from marketing films, to marketing the local furniture brand, Scanteak, in 2004. By 2006, the number of Scanteak showrooms had also doubled across the region.
Jamie believes a successful for-profit enterprise can impact customers, team-members, working partners and the society through strong business ethics, work excellence as well as social contributions. Besides continuing close partnerships with local tertiary institutes through internships and special projects, Jamie has also reinforced the importance of Design in the retail industry through collaborations with award-winning designers.
Under Jamie’s influence, Scanteak has won several brand awards, such as the Promising Brand Award (2005), CitiBusiness – SPBA Regional Brand Award (2006, 2013), SuperBrands (2009), the Singapore Good Design Award (2015), the Good Design Award (Japan) (2015), the IPOS Award for Design Innovation (2015) and the President’s Design Award Singapore (2015).
In 2010, Scanteak’s Taiwan operations became publicly listed in Taiwan. Scanteak Japan has been expanding steadily and in Singapore, the Scanteak group has 16 showrooms. The brand now has over 140 showrooms worldwide and is one of the biggest furniture retailers in Singapore and Taiwan. Jamie also led the initiative to start an E-commerce store for the Scanteak brand.
Jamie is the winner of the JCI TOYP (Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World) Singapore Award 2012, and she currently serving as a member on the Future Economy Council, a council mooted by the government which advises on nation level initiatives.
Dr. Ong Siew Hwa, Chaiman of BioSingapore, Director & Chief Scientist, Acumen Research Laboratories
Dr Ong Siew Hwa is scientifically highly trained and experienced in multiple fields, including cell and molecular biology, genetics and genomics, and companion diagnostics and drug product development. Having transitioned into a career in the pharmaceuticals industry, she has worked both locally and in the US, and has subsequently founded a local molecular diagnostic company.
With more than two decades’ experience in academia and the industry both locally and in the US and Canada, Dr. Ong has an impressive track record of translational and clinical research, innovation in biomedical products, and technology commercialization, including licensing of IP (intellectual property) and strategic partnerships. She has attained several patents, including sepsis biomarkers and methods for cancer diagnosis.
Acumen Research Laboratories is a medical technology firm founded in 2010. It primarily focuses on molecular diagnostic test discovery and development, and has successfully pioneered a breakthrough host response-based sepsis diagnostic test.
Dr. Ong is also an adjunct Assistant Professor at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS, since 2004. She is also the serving Chairman of BioSingapore and a Council member of both the SMF (Singapore Manufacturing Federation), as well as the Biomedical and Health Standards Committee under the Singapore Standards Council (SPRING Singapore).
Due to her well-established broad-based career experience in the biomedical industry and experience in mentorship of junior scientific professionals, Dr. Ong is also frequently invited to speak at career development workshops, universities, and forums on human capital for the biomedical sciences industries.
Ummi Abdullah, Founder, Dapur Ummi Abdullah Dining Group
She started her business by providing tingkat meal that are prepared right at her home kitchen in 2011. After 6 months operating from her home, she moved her F&B based venture to different locations like a coffee shop in Kelantan Lane, Tanah Merah Country Club and finally opened her central kitchen in Jalan Malu Malu in October 2013. Since then Ummi Abdullah was featured in many media channels and published articles.
Her business grew into her first restaurant known as Ambeng Café and later opened another restaurant Noosh Noodle Bar & Grill located at The Esplanade. She also own Anggerik Bakery, as well as The Fab Five a pop up stall concept and Kakak Kentang and Potato Ball soup Franchise business. A social media darling, she has more than 150K follower on FB.
Simone Heng, Class 95 FM DJ, Speaker & Emcee
Simone Heng has been a broadcaster in Asia, Arabia and Australia since 2005. She has worked as an on air talent for brands like Virgin Radio, CNN, HBO and now Class 95FM. Throughout her broadcasting career, the digital space has grown exponentially and Simone has succeeded in leveraging social media to spread her personal brand beyond the boundaries of traditional media.
This year she was nominated to represent Singapore in the Asia Youth Women Netizen Marketing Excellence Awards in the category of Top Outstanding Netizen (Digital) Marketeer of the Year. Her digital content on Linked In regularly goes viral and her success in sharing her personal brand across this platform was just used as a case study at the Social Selling 2018 conference held at Microsoft Asia.
Peter Quek, Regional Sales Director, NetSuite
Peter is a sales management professional with more than 15 years of experience in field sales and inside sales management and Information Technology solution selling and managing B2B digital sales across industries.
He has extensive experience in cross-cultural management across Asia Pacific, ASEAN and highly skilled at talent acquisition, coaching and maximizing team performance.
Wendy Ng, Managing Director, Bloomdale
Wendy started her entrepreneurial journey at 25, helming the transformation of a traditional family business into a modern, tech savvy company.
Today, Bloomdale is a market leader in the Florist & Gift Hampers industry in Singapore with focus on a boutique customer shopping experience.
As Managing Director, she keeps her business relevant through product innovation, streamlining processes and embracing new technology.
Wendy is passionate about fashion and travel, and draws inspiration from her hobbies in the creation of new and interesting gift experiences for clients of Bloomdale.
Dr Anna Fong, Intellectual Property Management(IPM) Consultant, IPValueLab
Anna is an IPM Consultant with IP ValueLab, carrying an extensive portfolio in engineering and intellectual property management. She has advised multinational companies on patent landscape analysis and deployment strategies covering highly technical areas such as wind turbine, semiconductor packaging, stem cell, big data and cloud computing.
Prior to IP ValueLab, she performed diverse job functions from Product Design to R&D Engineer and Patent Strategic Manager. Anna has also published in scientific papers and is a named inventor in a United States-granted patent for Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) filter designs used in multimedia and mobile devices.
Passionate about intangible assets, she currently shares her knowledge at NUS as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in their postgraduate IP Management courses. Anna holds a PhD Engineering Technology and Patent Risks Management from NUS.
Ezann Su, Head, Business Planning, Moolahsense
Ezann heads the Business Financing Team in MoolahSense, the number
1 digital lending platform in Singapore. She focuses on data-driven new
Business Development and carries a portfolio of S$70 million loans.
Prior to MoolahSense, she spent the last 8 years in the Banking sector. She has held management roles as team head in both the SME and Commercial segments and is experienced in leading the front-line teams with strong business & financial acumen. Purposed in helping SMEs realize dreams, she believes in being customer-centric and going the extra mile to provide Business advisory as value-add. Key to her success and fast career progression, Ezaan had proven to be highly proficient in striking the balance between credit analysis, new business development & growing existing portfolio.
She graduated with Bachelor of Science (Finance) from University College Dublin.
Luke Chong, Founder, TotallyHotStuff
NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) alumnus and NUS Business School graduate Luke Chong is the founder of TotallyHotStuff, a retail business started with a simple e-commerce site, which sold what he personally enjoyed – fun and quirky everyday items catered for youths and young adults. To date, it is an established retail brand with multiple retail outlets since 2009, and has also expanded into the corporate gifts industry since 2016, supporting various corporate clients such as Johnson & Johnson and Far East Organization. The company has also been actively designing and producing creative in-house branded items for the international markets. With further plans to expand overseas, the future looks extremely exciting for Luke and his mini business empire.
Samira Shihab, CEO, Tinkerlust, Indonesia
Four years ago, Samira moved back to Indonesia after having spent twenty five years abroad. After graduating with her MBA from the United States, she moved back to Indonesia to begin her career as a tech entrepreneur building a SaaS for the hospitality industry. She then continued her career in a strategic role for a private equity consulting firm, in which she has been involved in setting up operations, management and marketing structures for newly invested businesses.
Samira promptly returned to the world of startups, in the form of Tinkerlust, Indonesia’s most stylish fashion e-commerce. Her leadership has enabled Tinkerlust to experience rocket speed growth since its inception. Her day to day involves is problem solving and creating the foundation of the business, from operations to marketing to product development. With her leadership, Samira aims to grow a profitable and sustainable business to contribute to the fashion sharing economy in the Indonesian retail ecosystem.
She has a BS in Economics, Psychology, and International Studies from Penn State and MBA from Santa Clara University.
Ramesh V. Raghavan,Vice Chairman, BANSEA
Ramesh is Vice Chairman of BANSEA (Asia’s oldest Angel Investment Network) and an early stage venture investor, adviser, mentor and board member in several start-ups in Asia-Pacific.
His syndicated investments have ranged across incubators/accelerators, gaming, education, fintech & Internet of Things. He has been involved with the innovation space from Israel to India to ASEAN & Hong-Kong. He is also an adviser on risk management in traditional investments and alternative investments to family offices and emerging hedge funds.
Ramesh prior to his involvement in the start-up/innovation space held global leadership roles in derivatives/capital markets/sales & trading with Morgan Stanley & Royal Bank of Scotland and worked in New York, London, Hong Kong & Singapore.
Prior to his career in Investment banking he had a FMCG career in India with PepsiCo & Britannia Industries. Ramesh is an MBA from London Business School, Masters in International Business from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade and a Mechanical Engineer from College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai and holds a FT Non-Executive Director Diploma – Pearson SRF BTEC Level 7 Advanced Professional Diploma as well.
Manisah Sapari, Business Advisor, SME Centre@SMCCI (Singapore)
Manisah is a graduate from Northumbria University, Bachelor of Arts in Business with Marketing Management (HONS), with Second Class Honours (Upper Division). She has more than 14 years of working experience from the private to government sectors and has gained diverse expertise from different industries such as: F&B, retail, tourism and events management.
Prior to this role, she managed a series of government led nationwide projects and community engagement work in the healthcare industry. She is an enthusiast in giving business solutions on the availability of programs and funding from Workforce Singapore (WSG), so that business owners and companies are aware and can leverage to meet the ongoing economic challenges.
She also believes that the human capital is the most valuable investment of a company and hence creating a fulfilling career of every individuals with progressive employers.
Shura Ishak, Senior Business Advisor, SME Centre@SMCCI (Singapore)
After completing her degree in Islamic Law, Shura started her career with the SME Centre at SMCCI in 2007. During her tenure, Shura has rendered business advice in Halal matters, financial Syariah compliant principles and general matters to more than 2800 SMEs including the aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs.
Shura is passionate about helping SMEs grow their businesses and create a solid foundation for them to achieve success. She is a determined person who looks forward to serving SMEs unconditionally, especially to our Malay Muslim Businesses. She interacts regularly with SMEs from diverse social and cultural backgrounds with different temperaments. Her pleasant attitude plays a huge role in managing client relationships.
In the last 8 years as a Business Adviser she has achieved tremendous success where she was also awarded in 2013 with the “Best Business Adviser” Award by SPRING Singapore for the SME Centre at SMCCI. Since Oct 2016, Shura is a certified Practicing Management Consultant (PMC).
Renee Tan, Founder, Managing Director, Rendeur (H.E.R Entrepreneur)
Renee Tan is an entrepreneur and trainer with a unique background of science, psychology and business in her past education and work. She started her career doing Stem Cell research. She left the laboratory to pursue a Double Major in Psychology and Marketing, joined a B2B media company handling several portfolios in multiple sectors such as Life Sciences, Healthcare, Mining, Energy, Supply Chain, Hedge Funds, Private Banking amongst many others; for the Asia Pacific business and led a team. Her network of clients include the government, MNCs, investors, institutions and associations. She is now the Founder and Managing Director of Rendeur Pte Ltd, providing training, consultancy, and seminars for corporate organisations and individuals.
She created HER Entrepreneur to provide women with the resources and platform to connect with the entrepreneurial ecosystem and learn from other aspiring entrepreneurs.