Navigating the startup scene in Singapore

SHDH Singapore

leave a comment »

7 hours into SHDH Singapore

Saturday evening we stopped by the SuperHappyDevHouse event to say hello to new friends, meet more people in the hacker community, and see what exciting fledgling ideas might have been cooked up over the span of the day.  We had first heard about the event from two of its organizers, Jason Ong and Vinnie Lauria,  at an E27 sponsored event a couple months ago:

SHDH is an all day and all night hackfest and party that combines serious and not-so-serious productivity with a fun and exciting party atmosphere. There’s beer, food, fun projects, lightning talks and many more! Originally started in Silicon Valley in 2005.  

The Pigeonhole is a gem of a cafe located near the end of Duxton Road, and is perfect for chilling out with a laptop, sharing a Swiss beer with friends, and talking shop.  We’ve been there a handful of times now, and appreciate how they have smartly curated their schedule of events in order to intermix the art, music and tech community in Singapore.

When we walked into the event on Saturday, the space had been transformed into an updated scene reminiscent of my time back at MIT in the late 90s: a sea of computers, each being intensely studied by a young adult male, terminals and text editors full of code… only today they were also accompanied by windows open to Facebook and Twitter, and on the wall was a live video and newsfeed of the event as it unfolded.  More than 200 people had rsvp’d online, and it looked like at least half the number had already camped out around the cafe, on assorted couches and around long war tables.  We recognized many faces, some that we’ve met and some that we haven’t– it seems the tech community (like every other community in Singapore) tends to be quite small in degrees of separation– Meng Weng Wong, angel investor, and founder of Hackerspace, was of course there and did a grand job ensuring the crowd got fed.  Also spotted Bernard Leong of Chalkboard, the guys from Pivotal, and various talented freelancers, start-up junkies, and programming houses that we’ve met over the recent months.

We love that these events are happening, and that they are happening here in Singapore.  This city has the potential to attract and nurture the brightest minds and ideas from this region, if not the world.  A few more success stories, born and bred here, that’s what it needs.  Ideas so big, yet so rooted here and influential to the community, that global investors, creatives and business minded people would take even more note of the start-up scene here.  Yes, there are some government schemes to encourage growth in this area, to inspire a change in the local mentality towards stepping outside traditional careers and recalculating risk.  But perhaps more importantly there are already a number of private individuals and groups here who can and do choose to bear this responsibility.   More on this later…

Written by RealTape

May 15, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: