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Last Thursday, on 26th August, NUS Alumni Ventures held our welcome ceremony for our new batch of associates. After going through multiple rounds of selection, we have finally selected over 50 associates for AY 2021/22 ranging from Year 1s to 4s, across various faculties! We were also delighted to invite two of our guest speakers to give their opening address - Andeed Ma, President of the Risk and Insurance Management Association of Singapore, RIMAS as well as Christina Teo, Chief Builder in she1K, the world's first C-suite executive angel syndicate with 70% female investors that empowers, funds and invests in early-stage startups. We were also privileged to have Kelly Choo, a Partner of True Global Ventures to end off the welcome ceremony with a quick introduction and brief overview of the start-up investment ecosystem.

Advice and Key Takeaways from Mentor Sharing

The mentors shared about the importance of strengthening and fostering the startup ecosystem and community by encouraging like-minded students to join and be proactive in making connections with NUS Alumni Investors and entrepreneurs in the Venture Capital, Angel Investing and startup space.

Christina Teo shared about her own personal experience in the early days and how she knew no one in Singapore when she came back from working overseas. She shared that she built up a strong corporate experience but knew nothing about startups and had no connections in the scene. However her turning point was attending Slush; a startup and entrepreneurship event originating from Finland. At this event, she was exposed to the world of startups and mustered up the courage to get in front and connect with people in the community. By taking the leap of faith, she was able to reach out to entrepreneurs, C-suite leaders and angel investors. She encouraged the new batch of associates and leaders to be bold, courageous and resilient. One must not be afraid to put oneself in front of people and be proactive in building relationships as networking is the name of the game, especially for venture capital and startups.

Andeed Ma shared about the importance of building and managing investor relations through networking events and community engagement, being the bridge between corporations and startups through the angel investing network. Furthermore, as an expert in risk management he sees potential in sharing with startups the value of risk management which is typically utilized by larger companies.

Finally, our last guest speaker, Kelly Choo, provided members with an overview of the different types of investors - ranging from family and friends on one end of the spectrum to Private Equity Firms, emphasising on the different investment focus and mandate that each type of investor has. He went on to share more about the things to find out from investors, what investors are looking out for and the different strategies to employ when looking out for the right capital. Lastly, there was a short Q&A session and here’s a condensed summation of what he said. He shared about the importance of first understanding the investment process, doing due diligence and having a clear idea of the investor’s mandate, fund size and source of funds before engaging with them. For example, Kelly is both a venture capital and an angel investor and it affects the way he makes an investment decision. In his venture capital hat, the return on investment is of utmost importance as VCs deal with other people’s money. However with an angel investor hat he’s more attuned to the abilities of the founder, the team and the positive impact they aim to make.

Programme Flow

During the Welcome Ceremony, the Chairman of NAV, PinZhang also gave an opening address, sharing more about the vision of NAV and introduced the leadership team, comprising of Adriel, the Treasurer and Jessie, the Secretary.

The core directive of NAV was also shared, giving the new associates a deeper understanding of the three main objectives that NAV hope to achieve:

  1. Provide a strong mentorship and investment ecosystem, benefiting both student entrepreneurs and NUS alumni angel investors

  2. Build a platform to educate the next generation of students interested to explore the startup investment scene

  3. Create a strong networking platform for the NUS student - alumni community

Following which, the respective Head Directors from Relations, Technology & Digital Ventures, Startup Investment and Project Management Division took over to introduce themselves and their organisational structures, key objectives, milestones and upcoming events, giving the new batch of associates a glimpse of what to expect in this AY, the key roles and responsibilities of each division and the overall structure of each division within NAV.

After the introduction, Jing An, the Director of Relations Division took over and broke the new and exco members up into separate breakout rooms to play an ice-breaker game where each member states his or her name, division, faculty and interest, with the next person having to repeat what the previous member said. This interactive activity allowed the associates, consisting of current students and alumni, to bond and interact with one another, fostering an inter-division communal spirit. Next, the individual groups prepared for a pop quiz / trivia on entrepreneurship, selected a representative to play the game and shortly after, joined back into the main room for the Kahoot quiz. Team Warren Buffet won the Kahoot quiz after an intense battle with the 6 other teams! Congratulations to the team!!

All in all, the welcome ceremony was a success and we look forward to welcoming our new associates on board! Thank you mentors for coming down to offer your invaluable advice for our new batch of members, giving them a glimpse of what to expect and a headstart in their journey with us!

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