Inspiring women entrepreneurs who have made their strong impact and presence in the startup ecosystem of Singapore
Singapore is one of the desirable places for entrepreneurs to start their business, and the government is giving a lot of effort to provide entrepreneurs with everything they need, from grants, co-working spaces, and a network of international investors. That why Singapore stands as the hottest startup hub of Asia. In recent years, women’s involvement in the business has increased and subsequently the count of the women entrepreneurs has, too.
On this Special occasion of International Women’s Day, we would like to recognise and list the inspiring women entrepreneurs who have made their strong impact and presence in the startup ecosystem of Singapore. Here is our list of 25 inspiring women entrepreneurs in Singapore.
Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions and opinions on the improvement of the article, feel free to share with us.
1. Krystal Choo
Designation: CEO & Founder at Wander
Krystal Choo is a tech entrepreneur with a personal mission to advance human connection in progressively virtual environments. She is the founder of Wander, which brings like-minded people together by allowing them to join the best communities in a city right from their devices. She was an influential thought leader spoken twice in TEDx.
Krystal has got honors and awards such as one of Singapore’s “Most Awe-Inspiring Women” (Cosmopolitan), “the Gritty Entrepreneur Singapore Needs” (E27), awarded as one of Asia’s 50 Women Leaders and named LinkedIn Power Profile 2015 and 2016, in the CEO category.
2. Soo Boon Koh
Designation: Founder & Managing Director – iGlobe Group
Soo Boon Koh is an expert in the global venture capital industry and founded iGlobe in late 1999. As a Corporate VC in the Singapore, she was associated with several successful companies such as Premisys Communications, Quick Logic, Quick Turn/Cadence, Brokat AG and SCM Microsystem AG. She is also a worked with DBS Bank and acted as a Board member of Anacle Systems, Forte Media, Sparky Animation, and Verisilicon Holdings Inc.
She has been a member of International Women’s Forum(Singapore Chapter), Women Corporate Directors (Singapore & Shanghai Chapters) and Advisor to Committee member of Singapore Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE).
3. Pocket Sun
Designation: Founding Partner – SoGal Ventures
Pocket Sun is the Founding Partner of first female-led millennial venture capital firm “SoGal Ventures” and the only woman featured on the cover of Forbes Asia magazine!
She is also the youngest LinkedIn Top Voice in VC & Entrepreneurship, and internationally sought-after keynote speaker and TEDx speaker. Pocket has been featured on BBC World News, CCTV, Harper’s Bazaar, The Straits Times, Channel News Asia, The Business Times, Next Shark, DBS campaign
She had spoken about the Venture Capital, Cross-border Business, Diversity and Empowerment in various conferences around the world.
Designation: CEO and Co-Founder of ADDO
Ayesha Khanna is the CEO and Co-Founder of ADDO, which is a data science and artificial intelligence consultancy firm. She is also the founder of 21C Girls, a charity that teaches coding to girls in Singapore.
As a technology and data analytics expert, she advises governments and companies on smart cities, future skills, fintech, and other emerging industries. Ayesha also served on the Singapore Ministry of Education’s Steering Committee on future skills and applied learning in 2014.
She has written books on Straight Through Processing and Hybrid Reality. Ayesha has been published and quoted on technology, innovation and smart cities in The New York Times, BusinessWeek, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Strategy+Business, and Foreign Policy.
Designation: Founder & CEO – PassionPeers
Kanika Agarwal is the Founder and CEO of Passion Peers which is the Asia’s fastest growing Digital Transformation strategy, execution services company. She is more passionate towards a new wave of digital transformation. She believes that businesses transform only when the people started to think and do things differently.
She has also been a trainer of personal branding and digital marketing. As a marketing expert and thought leader, she has been featured in many publications, forums and also serves as a mentor to the next generation of marketers and entrepreneurs.
6. Pat Law
Designation: Founder – GOODSTUPH
Pat Law is the founder of social influence agency – GOODSTUPH. She is a digital strategist with more than 10 years of experience in traditional and digital advertising. She believes that: “To be successful one need to have passion, experience, determination, network and action.”
She has a good market and product knowledge in Alcohol, Automotive, Aviation, Beauty, Confectionary, Fashion, Pet Care, Sports and Technology environments. She quotes that our altitude is determined by our attitude.
Designation: CEO – Nanz Inc Group Pte Ltd
Nanz Chong-Komo began her career as a fashion model in Singapore in 1987. She founded ONE.99 Shop, a one-price store which became the multi-dollar business within the three years. Due to the SARS epidemic, ONE.99 shop was about to setback. But she never gave up her entrepreneurial spirit and she wrote the best-selling business books based on her experience namely One Business 99 Lessons, Bringing Out The Entrepreneur In You & Overcome.
Nanz has become the motivational and corporate speaker and spoke in major institutions and organisations like Monetary Authority of Singapore, Unilever, etc. Her expertise and knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship and business management have mentored to emerging entrepreneurs to become more effective business leaders.
8. Michelle Sun
Designation: CEO of First Code Academy
Michelle sun is the co-founder and CEO of First Code Academy which empowers students with digital literacy to become creators, thinkers and innovators in the technology space. Her passion towards technology and her power of coding made her obtain opportunities to work at high growth technology startups in the Silicon Valley. Michelle has featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 in Asia and BBC 30 Under 30.
9. Gina Heng
Designation: Founder of Miss Kaya
Gina Heng is the co-founder and CEO of Marvelstone Group which is the private investment group that develops and invests in growing businesses in technology, real estate, infrastructure, energy and media. Gina is an experienced fund manager and investor with years of experience in managing money. She is also the founder of Miss Kaya which is the Singapore’s first licensed robo-advisor aimed at serving the financial needs of modern women in the Asian region.
10. Prerna Pant
Designation: Co-Founder of Circus Social
Prerna Pant is a co-founder of Circus Social, which is a social and digital analytics company. She is a social strategist and business leader with global experience in Marketing and Communication. Circus social started building 20/Twenty Which aims to be the Bloomberg terminal’ for marketers. As an expert in customer servicing and business development, she drives the growth and enables business success at Circus social.
Designation: CEO & Founder – PrecisionBit
Ria Lao is the founder of Precision Bit, which is a visual intelligence solution that helps the enterprises to make data-driven marketing decisions. She is also a role model for the marketing person and the persons desiring to become tech founders. She is an inspiring leader with the proven records of developing the new business and growing them into success.
12. Gillian Tee
Designation: Co-Founder & CEO – Homage
Gillian Tee is the co-founder of Rocketrip, Code UpStart and preparing to launch her newest startup “LinkAsia”, a tech talent accelerator in Singapore. She always loves to create innovative products and to build the successful business. Gillian is an MBA graduate with the passion towards coding and design. She is currently working on “Homage” which is the home care solutions that help seniors continue to live in their own homes with greater joy, comfort, and grace.
13. Roshni Mahtani
Designation: Founder of Tickled Media
Roshni Mahtani is the CEO and Founder of Tickled Media and also the publisher of parenting social network “ParentTown” and media assets “theAsianparent.com and IndusParent.com” which has a wide reach of around 8 million mums in Asia. She is also an active member of the startup community and founded the Female Founders Network which consists of 2,000 female founders.
Roshini is also a board member of TIE Singapore and mentors at JFDI & Crib. She is an executive producer for the docu-movie Untouchable: Children of God, which narrates about the young girls in the brothels of India and how they are sold and trafficked from Nepal. She got featured in covers of various magazines and newspaper and her company had been mentioned in many media outlets including BBC.
Designation: Partner – Entrepreneur First
Shao-Ning Leigh Huang co-founded Jobscentral and spent almost 14 years working on it. It initially focuses on campus recruitment and then expanded their focus into scholarship and career programs. Her company was acquired by CareerBuilder which made her focus to integrate Singapore platforms onto the global platform and made as SaaS player in the recruitment field.
In 2009, She started to invest in B2C organisations and turned her focus also to help the women to gain confidence and be happy. She also states that her “current focus is to be a mentor and advisory for the startups and also to develop social programs to help the needy children and being a lovable mother to her 4 sons.”
15. Lynette SEAH
Designation: CEO and Founder of Alpha7
Lynette SEAH started her career as an Australian chartered accountant and obtained broad experience in audit, finance operations and strategy, HR, project management, business and cloud tech. Her passion towards the cloud tech made her found Alpha7 which is the business advisory company with a mission to evangelize the value of Cloud to business owners, entrepreneurs & CEOs. It helps business to be more productive and also to grow and expand in Asia-Pacific region.
16. Danielle Warner
Designation: CEO & Founder at Expat Insurance
Danielle warner has more than 15 years of working experience in the Insurance industry which made her start Expat Insurance in 2009. Expat Insurance is an only insurance intermediary designed especially for expats, and it covers medical, travel, home, employee benefits programmes and business insurance.
She is also an active member of the entrepreneurial community and also named as Young Professional of the year in 2012. In 2016, Warner has got featured on the cover of Expat Living Magazine. She also published the book named BULLETPROOF.
17. Gina Romero
Designation: Co-Founder – Connected Women
Gina Romero is the co-founder of Connected Women and also the brand champion, social connector and community builder dedicated to helping others to succeed. She has failed in business several times but his failure acts as a catalyst for success. She helps entrepreneurs and brands to develop and grow successful businesses.
Gina collaborates with the global team to drive the businesses forward through a combination of creative logic, radical common sense and smart execution. She states that “She loves what she do, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously”.
18. Rina Neoh
Designation: Co-Founder – Mercatus Capital
Rina Neoh is a founding partner of Mercatus Capital, which has evolved into a seed investor, angel advisory, incubator, and business accelerator. She has about a two decades of experience in the corporate and entrepreneurial world. Rina is an expert in strategic marketing, product branding, information systems, business development, venture capital financing, investor relations and high-level business negotiations skills by which she has delivered multi-million dollar returns from small business enterprises, which she has incubated, coached, invested in or promoted.
Rina loves to spend most of her free time in advocating “greenfield” businesses, promoting social entrepreneurship, women empowerment and volunteerism work. She also says that, “My personal advocacy is to encourage more women to take leadership roles in startups and entrepreneurship because they have the added advantage of being able to balance business acumen with their intuitive feel for people issues.”
19. Cynthia Siantar
Designation: Co-Founder at Call Levels
Cynthia Siantar is the co-founder of Call Levels which is a simple, independent and reliable tool to track your financial assets. This company was selected as a Finalist for Best Fintech App in Appster Awards 2015 (London). Prior to this, Cynthia worked as an Investment consulting analyst in Mercer and equity capital market associate in HSBC.
She is also a co-founder of BlastOut, a geolocated social network that let you interact better with real people in real places. In Call Levels, Cynthia sets the strategies for growth, operations and communications. Cynthia has been selected as one of the Forbes’ “30 Under 30 Asia” in the Finance category
20. Nicki Granger
Designation: Founder and CEO of CardUp
Nicki Granger is a specialist in Entrepreneurship, product development and marketing strategy and She has a deep industrial experience and knowledge in payments and travel sector. With her leadership skills, she is able to build the high performing cross-regional teams.
Nicki is the founding CEO of CardUp, a Singapore-based fintech company revolutionising the way people make and manage big payments. She also received American Express President’s Club Award (2015) and American Express Ambassador’s Club Award (2011).
Designation: Founder at PolicyPal
Valenzia Jihsuan Yap is a founder of PolicyPal which uses artificial intelligence to simplify and digitise insurance for consumers. This platform helps the users to manage and optimise their policies and provides offers based on their personalised recommendations on their insurance policies.
She has a working experience in marketing, business development, product development, business operations, and strategy. Priorly, Val was an Assistant Vice President at OCBC Bank where she successfully launched several digital business campaigns.
22. Khai Lin Chua
Designation: Co-Founder and CFO at Fundnel Limited
Khai Lin Chua is the co- founder and CFO of Fundnel, a private investment platform. She started Fundnel to help the SMEs to grow and expand through funding. She believes that the determination of the founders to drive a sustainable growth and the execution of the idea will only make the business success. She also says that efficiency is all about focusing on what isn’t working and fixing that before moving on to the next problem.
She concludes with the statement, “When you run a startup, you require utmost determination and ability to tackle problems. There is no playbook and you should learn to make the hard calls alongside members of your team. But the end, the lessons you learn as an entrepreneur are going to be invaluable.”
Designation: Co-Founder at InvoiceInterchange
Nalinee is a specialist in Project Management, Migration, Implementation, Process Re-Engineering and Requirements management. She is also the founder of InvoiceInterchange which is the leading peer to peer invoice trading marketplace that provides business to raise work capital by selling their invoices.
As a CTO/COO of InvoiceInterchange, Nalinee leads the technology strategy and development and manages the day-to-day business operations.
24. Idy Tee Wan Jun
Designation: Managing Director – Capitalize Pte. Ltd
Idy Tee Wan Jun is a Managing Director of Capitalize, which helps the business owners to seek, source and obtain capital from banks and financial institutions. With her five years of professional experience, she has assisted hundreds of SME’s to get capitalised. Idy is an energetic and cheerful woman through which she maintains a long-term relationship with her clients.
As a Marketing graduate, she manages all aspects of marketing and strategic planning to grow her company and also trains her employees in sales and customer service. Recently, Idy was awarded as Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016.
25. Caroline Bowler
Designation: Founder at Bowlah PR
Caroline Bowler is the Founder of Bowlah which is Asia’s first Fintech PR agency in Singapore. She is also a founding member of Global Fintech PR Network and the Regular Contributor of IrishTechNews.ie.
In 2004, She moved to the Financial sector and worked with the variety of financial companies operating in investment banks, hedge funds, financial technology companies, and financial advisors by which she gained a lot of international networks in finance and technology sector.
She is also a speaker at Fintech events and involves herself in writing about the future of Finance Technology. Her passion is to increase the role of women in the world of Finance.
The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, submit your post here.