“Stop thinking and just start doing!” That was what a successful entrepreneur Roger Yip had to say to all the aspiring young entrepreneurs who have attended SIM Young Entrepreneur Network (SIMYEN) kickoff event on Saturday, 26th August. For those of you who have missed out this event, don’t fret as we are going to give you a breakdown of what went on during that fun filled and eventful day.

The kickoff that was organized by SIMYEN had a larger turnout than expected with over 50 members from the community including our sub-committee. A panel of successful entrepreneurs from different backgrounds were invited to this event for them to share about their experiences as well as provide the aspiring entrepreneurs opportunities to network and learn the essentials of a successful startup. Games and bonding sessions were also planned out during the event to help new, interested members of the SIMYEN community bond and also help cultivate their entrepreneurial skills.

The kickoff event started off with games. Members were placed into multiple groups and had to work together to create and design an outfit using only the provided recyclable materials such as rubbish bags, plastic cups and plates as well as newspapers. The groups were then given credits and had to decide wisely on how to spend them to create the outfit that provides the most utility and best aesthetics. Once the groups were done designing, a mini fashion show was organized with a selected “model” wearing the designed outfits. Members were given a chance to showcase their up-selling skills as an entrepreneur to convince the judges why their outfit has the most potential to be successful. I could feel the awkward atmosphere almost ease up as members start to work together to generate their idea and sales pitch. The winning design of this competition dubbed “The French Lady” , featuring a classy chic 80’s London-styled dress with a vintage feather cap with a twist. The hat has a cup on top of it instead of a feather to collect water, allowing the user to reuse and conserve whatever water it has collected!

Shortly after the games, the panel of successful entrepreneurs arrived at the event for a QnA session, sharing their experiences on how they have started up their business and the challenges they faced along the way to build-up a successful business. The panel consisted of  Roger Yip (Founder of Hopscotch Bar), Nicholas Chen (Founder of Azione Capital), Ng Cheng Kai (Business Advisor for SME Development) and Yao Rong (Founder of Suit-yourself). These 4 personalities took part in answering some of the burning questions that many aspiring entrepreneurs had, sharing their experience and opinions on them. One of the question that sparked a heated debate between them was “What are the factors do you think that contributes to making your business successful and what are some that would cause you to fail.” Each of the 4 panelist had a completely different opinion and answer on this question. Nicholas Chen claims that it is sheer hard work and commitment that makes a business successful while Roger Yip believes that it is how you network and put yourself in a position that would ensure your business would prosper instead of just sheer hard work. Roger also believes that working with friends who has the same goal and vision with you is beneficial as you will be able to understand their strength and weakness , while Nicholas and Ng Cheng Kai thinks otherwise as friends would cloud your judgement based on your relationship with them. The full panelist session was recorded and many other stimulating questions were thrown at the panelist which gave some of them a difficult time answering. For any aspiring entrepreneurs who are interested in what went down, you could view the entire session over at our Facebook page and hear what our panelist had to share based on their experience. 

Subsequently, members have had a chance to network and speak to the 4 panelist individually. Many members were pitching their business ideas as well as gathering information and opinions from the panelists. After personally speaking to Yao Rong (from Suit-yourself) regarding the fierce and fast-paced fashion industry, I have gained various insightful knowledge about the amount of hard work, research and also a little bit of luck needed to startup a successful fashion business. For any aspiring entrepreneurs interested in the fashion industry and curious about how Yao Rong started his business  he stated that “I saw an opportunity and I took it, tackling challenges and hurdles along the way instead of worrying about them before I even started.”

For any aspiring and budding entrepreneurs out there who have missed the SIMYEN kickoff event, SIMYEN is holding an-upcoming event titled “The Masterclass” where you would be able to have the chance to speak and network with like-minded entrepreneurs as well as successful entrepreneurs from various industries such as F&B, Tech and Media!