ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD 2009

 

The current crisis has wiped out the global market confidence but not the ambitions of the entrepreneurs.

 

And the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) and the Rotary Club are aiming to recognise those who have succeeded this year despite the many obstacles. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is now into its 21st year. It seeks to honour successful entrepreneurs who have been able to recognise opportunities, take appropriate actions and accept the associated risks.
Past winners include homegrown firms like Charles and Keith, Breadtalk and Qian Hu.

 

What are the qualifying requirements? 

  1. The Candidate must be an entrepreneur who has been in business for at least three years, and has demonstrated outstanding entrepreneurial qualities in growing and developing the business.
  2. The Candidate must be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident, who is above 21 years of age.
  3. The Candidate’s company must have a minimum 30% local equity.
  4. If the Candidate owns between 10% and 30% of the Company’s shares, he/she has to be nominated by the Board of Directors.
  5. Total fixed production assets of the Candidate’s company should not exceed S$30 million. Total number of employees must not exceed 400 if the Candidate’s business belongs to the service industry.
  6. The Candidate’s company must neither be a listed company nor a subsidiary of a listed company.
  7. The Candidate’s company must hold at least three years of audited books of accounts, which must be submitted for evaluation.

Submissions for the award will close at noon on June 30, 2009. Visit the website at http://www.eya.com.sg/

 

HTC UNVEIL MAGIC IN SINGAPORE WITH MAGIC SHOW

14 May 2009 I was invited for the media launch of HTC Magic at Raffles Hotel Ballroom. (Finally, Magic has come to Singapore!!Yeah!!).  Thanks to Rina from The Right Spin Pte Ltd for inviting me to this exciting launch of the 2nd Android Phone by HTC. The launch was accompanied by a magic show by Jeremy Pei. Watch the video below.

So what’s new for HTC Magic in Singapore? First of all, HTC Magic, unlike HTC Dream, will be made available to all 3 Telcos in Singapore. This is certainly a good news to non-SingTel customers. Furthermore, any upgrades on HTC Magic will be done directly through HTC instead of over-the-air provided by Telcos. You can save on your data charges :).

 

The HTC Magic is light and handy [113mm (L) x 55.56 (W) x 13.65 mm (T) and weighs 116g (with battery)] The 1340mAh Lithium-ion battery gives you a standby time up to 420 minutes in a GSM network.     

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Despite a small 3.2-inch TFT-LCD flat screen, typing on the touch screen has been reasonably comfortable (at least for a guy like me).

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We tried watching Channel News Asia Live on Magic. I was impressed by the fast HSDPA connectivity and the high processing power in this device. The graphic was excellent with 320×480 HVGA resolution screen. But, the picture quality taken by its 3.2 megapixel camera is poor.  

 

There are value-added application for this Android-powered HTC Magic. Besides Google applications such as Gmail and Calendar, business users will still be able to enjoy Microsoft Exchanges and other 3rd party applications such as Blackberry and Digital Compass. Digital Compass is pre-installed in the phone. 

 

With Google’s plan of providing street view of Singapore, the in-built G-Sensor will certainly prepare users for better street navigation in the future.

 

Initial impression

Likes:

– Responsive interface and good graphics

– Google applications

 

Dislike:

–  poor camera quality

 

The new HTC Magic will be available from early June 2009 at all authorized resellers at a suggested retail price* of S$1,048. Standard retail HTC Magic package will come with a 2GB microSD card.

HTC website: http://www.htc.com

 

*All prices are subject to pricing policies of individual operators.

 

 

 

Meet global business leaders at mobile marketing forum asia 2009 in singapore

Mobile Marketing Forum Asia 2009 is organized by Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and co-organized by Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF). Supported by Infocomm Development  Authority (IDA) of Singapore, the forum brings together the entire mobile marketing ecosystem to discuss developments and best practices in the industry at Suntec City Convention Centre.

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I was very glad to be invited by Joan and Jeff from the Rice Communication as the technology blogger for this event. The event is truly a cohesive community of mobile businesses. Within the short 2 days, visitors will be expecting more than 40 talks on mobile marketing and the available technology that has changed the way businesses communicate with their customers.

MMF@suntec 27 - 29 APR 119 (Picture above) Program Schedule

The 2-day event connects regulators, brands, agencies, content aggregators, carriers, device manufacturers, technology developers and other major players in the mobile marketing industry. The event also includes a special focus on Visual Code to highlight ongoing technology developments with barcodes, zap codes, QR and similar interactive modes of content capture.

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MMF@suntec 27 - 29 APR 100 (Picture above) Complimentary TCC’s Premium Coffee

Another interesting element of the event is live streaming where attendees can text in their questions via the live stream platform which are projected on to the event screen. The live streaming is done by bnetTV.com.

     MMF@suntec 27 - 29 APR 105 (Picture above) Live Questions from abroad

In my opinion, marketing is about communication with the customers. MMF highlights the key essences of mobile marketing in Asia and this has certainly benefited not only for those who are already in the mobile business but also, companies which are currently exploring mobile as the new channel to engage their customers. 

The event happens on 28 & 29 Apr 2009.

For more information about the event, please visit http://www.mobilemarketingforum.com/

Swarm, Share and Save – New Web Portal By DELL

I was informed about the launch of DELL’s latest web portal – DELL Swarm, an interactive website that serves to expand DELL’s business scope in the digital space. Thanks Tania from Ogily for inviting bloggers to attend the session at Geek Terminal. So what exactly Swarm is? A Swarm is a group that forms to buy selected Dell laptops powered by the latest Intel® processors for less.

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How it works?

BUY

Start by picking the laptop you would like to purchase.

Be the first buyer to join a Swarm and you’ll enjoy a price lower than dell.com.sg’s best discounted price (after cash rebates)

 

Join a Swarm after, and you’ll enjoy a new, lower price – as will all the other buyers. To see the range of prices, simply slide the Swarm price bar downwards.

 

When you’re ready to join the Swarm, click on the Buy button, register and we’ll contact you once the Swarm ends and the price is finalised. This happens once the limit of 15 buyers or 72 hours is reached.

 

Share

To get the maximum discount, grow the Swarm by Sharing with your friends.

 

 Follow

If you are not ready to buy, you can follow the swarm. You’ll then receive updates via email and SMS

 

So when is the launch of the site?

Currently, the site is in Beta and it will be up on 5th May 2009. The following will be the first batch of DELL products of Swarm.

 
a. Inspiron Mini 12
There’s a new kid in town. One that’s super thin and ultra-portable – the Inspiron Mini 12, weighing in at less than 1.1" thick and 1.236 kg.
• Intel® Atom TM Z530 Processor
• Vibrant 12.1" display
• Advanced wireless options for superior mobility
• Dynamic and customisable user interface

b. Dell Studio 14
Get creative and connected with this personalised, Hi-Def, 14.1" widescreen laptop with rich multimedia features.
• Powered by Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor T6600 for compact performance
• Experience intuitive interaction with multimedia keys, which illuminate when touched.
• Sleek and Stylish
Products on offer the 2nd week (12th May 2009):

c. Dell Studio XPS M1340
Blending power with elegance, the Studio XPS 1340 is designed to deliver the ultimate mobile laptop experience.
• The latest Intel® Core™2 Duo processors P8600 for blazing fast performance
• Premium design with genuine leather accents, anodised aluminum, edge-to-edge display and
backlit keyboard
• Optional NVIDIA® Hybrid SLI graphics deliver incredibly lifelike videos, movies and gaming
• Watch all your DVD movies in brilliant HD with automated hi-def up-conversion

d. Dell Studio 14
Get creative and connected with this personalised, Hi-Def, 14.1" widescreen laptop with rich multimedia features.
• Powered by Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor T6400 for compact performance
• Experience intuitive interaction with multimedia keys, which illuminate when touched.
• Sleek and Stylish

Visit http://www.dellswarm.com/sg/ on the 5th May 2009! Stay tuned!

del.icio.us Tags: ,,,

Get Unlimited Music Download By Sony Ericsson and SingTel

PlayNow plus logo

SINGAPORE, 23 April 2009 – SingTel and Sony Ericsson announced the exclusive launch of PlayNow™ plus, an all-you-can-eat music buffet service. SingTel Customers will be the first in Asia Pacific to enjoy the freedom to discover, download, play and recommend unlimited music wherever and whenever, directly from the phone.

 

PlayNow™ plus allows users to download as much music as they want from all major record labels – Sony BMG, Universal, Warner and EMI alongside with top regional labels like HIM, Rock Records and Ocean Butterflies and selected independent labels. SingTel customers will enjoy the service free for one year!

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With the revolutionary compression technology – eAAC+ music format, user can download music from PlayNow™ plus directly to their phone less than a minute. Equipped with the 4GD Memory Stick Micro™ (M2™), users can store close to 4000 songs (eAAC+ format) in the latest Sony Ericsson Walkman phone, SE W705. Through the Stereo Portable Handsfree HPM-77, the SE W705 delivers crystal clear sound as well as clear bass qualities.

 

PlayNow™ plus users no longer worry about the expensive data charges from the Telcos. For the music lovers who buy a SE W705, SingTel is offering them an additional free 12-month data bundle as part of their SingTel Mobile price plan, without them having to sign up for a new plan. The free data bundle of 200MB ffered by SingTel is equivalent to about 200 songs download every month.

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The SE W705 will be available in Singapore from Apr 2009 in Luxury Silver and Passionate Red (exclusive for SingTel subscribers).

 

The SE W705 with PlayNow™ plus is exclusively available only at SingTel at the following prices:

Price Plan Monthly Subscription FREE monthly data bundle (with unlimited data for the first month) Price of SE W705
iOne Plus $25.68 200MB $298
iTwo Value $48.15 200MB $198
iTwo Plus $82.93 200MB $98

 

For more information on PlayNow™ plus, please visit the website: http://playnowplus.sg/

Event review – Differentiate Yourself with the "IT" Factor!

I have been pretty busy writing proposal to potential speakers and exhibitors for the upcoming TAWA event.  Recently, I have just sent out sponsorship letters to some of the potential companies. Now, I manage to “squeeze” some time to complete my review for CISCO (stock quote – NasdaqGS: CISCO) event.  

 

Ever since the last TAWA event – “Wireless Security in Singapore”, the curiosity in IT has triggered me to learn more about network security. The opportunity came at the right time when Association of Small-Medium Enterprise (ASME) sent me an invitation to attend an event organized by CISCO – Differentiate Yourself with the “IT” Factor. 

 

I vividly recalled that I was rushing to the event thinking that I might lose my way to Capital Tower where CISCO office is. Luckily, the building is only a couple of meters away from the MRT exit of Tanjong Pagar station. I managed to reach there just before the event started.

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Banner (Picture above): “When  The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Smart”

The event is a series of talks targeted at Small-Medium Enterprises (SME). The profiles of the crowd are very diverse. I got to meet people from logistic, consultancy, IT and even beauty salons!

 

Although I am the youngest (I think so) among the crowd, I have managed to garner good business contacts. A very good business networking platform. I am surprised to see Christopher Lee from Geek Terminal. He was giving a presentation on how CISCO products have helped in his F&B business. Also, I got to know Nicholas Ng, Director of Small & Medium Business, CISCO.

 

There are many interesting talks but the one I like most is the live demonstration on computer hacking in the common network.

 

Amazing! It takes only seconds to hack into your computer and this can be done using free online hacking tool. (You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to be a hacker. All you need to do is to google the phrase “hacking tools” and you will know the “how”) You think your firewalls installed in you laptop is safe. Think again.

 

A product that might interest the SME owners is the CISCO Unified Communication 500, a device that integrates telephony, voice messaging, automated attendant, security, VPN and video. Unlike those big machines you see in large companies, this system is pretty much designed for SMEs. Anyway, SMEs don’t need super-powered system for their operations.

 

The pdf brochure is available for download here. The information is provided by Comstor, a leading specialty distributor of Cisco solutions with specific programs and capabilities for advanced technologies such as Voice, Security and Mobility.

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Picture above: Unified Communication System – Linksys Business Series

 

If you are interested to know how such product can help your business, you may wish to contact Mr Michael Long at michael.long@comstor.com.sg

 

CISCO event is more than selling of products. it is educational and provides relevant information for today’s competitive business environment.

 

However, the duration of the event is long and it is rather difficult to digest all the technical information.   

Read further down if you want to know more.

 

Hitachi Capital

CISCO understands the needs as well as the difficulties faced by the SMEs. Finances have always been an issue faced by all SMEs but I think that should not be the obstacle for expansion.

 

Hitachi Capital offers a broad range of products that will help companies to invest on their operations. If you have the intention to invest on CISCO products, you should talk to Hitachi Capital for assistance in financing your purchases (Drop me a mail and I can refer you to the relevant people in Hitachi Capital).

 

Want to win SG$25,000 worth of CISCO Small Business Solutions? Be a Game Changer!

If your company has less than 250 employees, you can participate the CISCO’s Game Changer contest and stand a chance to win SG$25,000 worth of CISCO Business Solutions.

 

Simply write in 35 words or less, how you would transform your business with Cisco Small Business solutions and you could be a step closer to outwit, outlast and outpace the competition.

 

Entrepreneurs! If you need to have a free secured network, you may consider this option. Who knows?! You may be the lucky one! Click here for more information.

 

So What’s Next? CISCO Security Techbyte – Network as the Security Platform

Cisco Security TechByte will address new and continuing threats to the critical corporate information security, as well as responses to the increasing risk of security breaches, data exfiltration, identity theft and more.

 

CISCO Security Techbyte – Network as the Security Platform. is opened to public. For more information, please visit CISCO website. Hope you guys will enjoy this upcoming session.    

 

 

 

Wow! NOKIA LAPTOP! sounds cool but…

 

It appears to me that Nokia (Stock quote – NYSE:NOK) has been pretty active in the market recently. They have launched their music campaign – Comes with Music and now they might be entering into the laptop (or maybe netbook) market. According to Reuters, Nokia CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo hinted that they are exploring opportunities in the laptop market(I am betting they are going into the netbook market).  

 

This move should not come as a surprise. Given the fact that Nokia has acquired Symbian for their mobile Operating System. They have the hardware and software capabilities to produce portable computing devices. By opening up Symbian platform, we will see developers creating applications. As a consumer, I would certainly love to see more choices in the Operation Systems market which is still dominated by Microsoft (Stock quote – NASDAQGS:MSFT).

 

The question here is whether Nokia’s move into portable PC is a viable one. I have came across this article from Business Daily Africa that the worldwide shipment of netbook is forecasted to 35 million and it is estimated to be 139 million by 2013. I believe, in a way, that these figures could be realised. We have seen people around us started to carry netbook whenever they go. It is not hard to imagine the amount of potential in this market. However, this is not going to be an easy game for new players like Nokia.

 

There are too many competitors fighting the same piece of pie. Many electronics giants are already in the game. They have the technology and business infrastructure to mass produce good-quality computers at a cheap cost.

 

Furthermore, competition has sliced away the profit margins of all the market players. So, why should Nokia diversify from higher profit-margin mobile sector to lower profit-margin laptop sector? Nokia had 38.4 percent of the global mobile phone market and this sector is still very lucrative in Asia.

 

It will only be worthwhile if Nokia has a disruptive strategies that can permanently change people’s way of using netbook or laptop just like the way Apple iPod (Stock quote – NASDAQGS: AAPL)change the people’s impression of portable music players. (Hmm…When Apple release their first netbook?)  

 

Some people have created their own Nokia Laptop. Come and take a look!

 

Video 1 by thoughtfix.blogspot.com

 

Video 2 by thoughtfix.blogspot.com

 

 

STILL GUESSING THE BRAND OF "GUESSWHATCAR.SG"? LET ME TELL YOU THE ANS!

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Photo taken outside of Heeren

 

I am sure everybody wants to win a pair of tickets to Europe but first of all, you must know the brand of the car! I have various ways to get you to the answer but before I go into the details, I strongly encourages all of you to finish reading the whole blog post (if you don’t want to waste time banging at the wrong door).   

 

The most direct way is to go to the side of the car showroom. You should be able to see the functions and the features of the car. This is tedious but a correct approach because all car makers will have different positioning in the market. From there, you would roughly know the targeted market segment of the car company and this helps you to better filter off those companies that are not in the segment. Don’t worry! I don’t expect you guys to go down to Heeren to copy all the features. I have prepared the list for you guys. All you have to do is to copy and search on Google

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Powerful 1.6L engine(124ps)

Auto light control

Integrated Headlamp-Cum-Front Grille Design

Sporty 17-Ince Alloy Rims

Top-of-the- Class Cabin Space

Driver-Centric Dashboard with Centre Fascia

Motor-Driven Power Steering(MDPS)

Steering Wheel Audio Remote Control

Keyless Entry System

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

Dual Front Airbags

Electronic-Chromic Mirror

Perfect NHTSA and IIHS Safety Rating

Ipod-/USB-Compatible Audio Console

Automatic Temperature Control

Supervision Cluster with Rear Parking Assist System and Trip Computer

 

Wait a minute! I guess you guys will prefer watching video to reading text. Watch this video! You will get the answer straight away!

 

Guys, come on! Guess the brand of this myster 1.6L Car and stand to win a trip for two to exciting Europe!

Simply SMS GUESS<space> Car Brand <space> Your Name <space> Your NRIC  to 77877 or log on to guesswhatcar.sg to enter!

Contest ends 19 Feb 2009.

Notebook that fits nicely in your pocket

How could it be possible? For those who have been very aware of the latest development in the computer industry.  You probably have known that SONY Singapore has announced the the launch of their latest notebook in town this week – VAIO P “Pocket style PC”. The new VAIO P “Pocket style PC” is an 8-inch full-featured notebook PC fitted into a pocket size that’s less than 20mm thin and is about the size of a business envelope.   

When I first hold on to VAIO P, it feels like you are mantling with a toy. It is very light (weighs 594g with a solid-state drive and 620g with a hard disk drive) for a notebook and can be comfortably handled with a single hand. Ladies will love this device as it can be easily slip into a handbag while they are out for shopping.

Despite its small size, performance has not been compromised. Although it is run on Microsoft VISTA, I am surprised that most of the applications have been able to load relatively fast. Anyway, XP is still available in the market if you are not used to VISTA.

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The design of the keyboard is pretty good given its small size. I appreciate that Sony has recognized the importance of typing experience. Extension of the keyboard to the edges of the chassis and maximizing of typing space do help men with big fingers like mine. However, it appears that the screen looks significantly shorter and smaller than the keyboard. It does not look visually appealing to people like me who have been used to working on normal-size laptop.  

It does not come to me as a surprise when VAIO P has connectivity features such as built-in wireless LAN 802.11b/g/Draft n webcam. The interesting application is the Instant Mode that directly launches into Sony’s Xross Media Bar interface for quick boot up and access to music, video, photos and the Web. We tried to quick boot the system on the spot and it took about 30-40s to launch Instant Mode; probably due to the operation system installed in the device.

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The VAIO P is almost as powerful as a normal-size laptop. Since it is run on Window VISTA, it supports other software. Additionally, there is also a windows arrangement utility preinstalled for easy organising of all open documents or websites, all with a single touch. The disappointment is short battery life of 3 hours (bundled battery). It is certainly not enough if you carry this device out for a whole day. 

The new VAIO P is available in 4 different colours – Black, Green, Red and White and will be priced from S$1,299

For press release and specification of this product, please go here

know amazing business ideas in NTU!!

08 CreativeLab_logoGlobal market slumped like a freefall but innovation will never stop. Entrepreneurs will continue to innovate and invent interesting products and services. Give yourself a chance to indulge in the air of entrepreneurism at NTU Business Plan Competition(NTU BPC) this coming Friday, 9 Jan 2009.

NTU BPC – 08CreativeLab is a campus-wide competition very much in line with Singapore’s effort to promote and develop a strong technology entrepreneurship environment leading to a vibrant and thriving sector of high growth technology-oriented companies. Spearheaded by Nanyang Technopreneurship Center (NTC) and designed to encourage the growth of entrepreneurship through education and competition, NTU BPC provides a platform in which participants present new innovative business concepts to venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, business leaders and angel investors.

Through the various learning initiatives and training engagements with business communities, participants are strongly encouraged to go beyond “paper play” and to start up ventures based on their business plans.

This year’s competition which began in May attracted a total of 294 NTU students or 67 teams. During the first round of judging, we narrowed this down to 18 teams. 8 teams from the Semi Final have advanced into the Grand Final of 08CreativeLab.

Our judges from the preliminary and semi-final rounds have short-listed 8 finalist-teams for this Grand Final, where each team is expected to perform an elevator pitch on their business, followed by a venture capital fair where each team will set up a booth to showcase their business idea to be evaluated by a panel of distinguished judges consisting of venture capitalists, business angels, successful entrepreneurs, eminent corporate business leaders, intellectual property owners, solicitors, government officials, and etc.

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The winning teams will be awarded with over S$23,000 cash prizes; possibilities to raise capital funding; and others including digital equipments and shopping vouchers, etc.  Supporting this event, we have supporting partners such as Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (SVCA), Technology Transfer Network (TTN) and Lloyd Wise.

NTC would like to invite you to the Grand Finale of NTU Business Plan Competition 2008 on 9th of January 2009.

Interested parties, please register yourself here