Welcome to the last month of the year!
Our Young Person of the Month is Durwin Ho from Singapore! Durwin Ho is the CEO and Co-Founder of StartupX, an Innovation Consultancy running corporate innovation programs for the community and startups; and the Lead Organizer of Startup Weekend Singapore.
He graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Management in 2015. As an innovation champion, he is passionate about fostering innovation and entrepreneurship within the startup ecosystem by enabling startups to thrive and corporations to innovate through the delivery of quality and result-driven programmes.
Read His Awesome Story Below and be Inspired!
Durwin Ho is the CEO and Co-Founder of StartupX, and the Lead Organizer of Startup Weekend Singapore since 2016. He graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Management in 2015.
As an innovation champion, he is passionate about fostering innovation and entrepreneurship within the startup ecosystem by enabling startups to thrive and corporations to innovate through the delivery of quality and result-driven programmes.
Durwin’s entrepreneurship journey first started when he was studying at Stanford University under the NOC Silicon Valley program in 2012 where he went to a few local hackathons as an observer along with some of his friends. From then on, he became intrigued about the startup ecosystem and started participating in hackathons regularly. Till date, he has participated in over 20 hackathons both locally and globally and came out as the Grand Champions at AirAsia AIRVOLUTION Hackathon 2017, SEA Makerthon Singapore 2016 and Ideasinc #StartingUP 2016.
At the very beginning, it was curiosity and the anticipation of winning prizes that pushed Durwin to attend hackathons. Over time, it slowly evolved to a deeper level once he realised that it was a great way to network with smarter people, learn from the more experienced, explore new ideas and seek validation on his own business ideas. Till date, he has raised more than half a million dollars while doing non-profit, community-driven voluntary work at Startup Weekend Singapore and it was through this event when he founded StartupX along with his good friends – Joyce and Raymond.
Through StartupX, Durwin currently runs a global sustainability hackcelerator known as HyperX, which brings together global innovators and changemakers to build startups that can imagine, define and construct the future, by tackling the world’s biggest problems. The HyperX global sustainability hackcelerator is comprised of three phases: (i) the HyperHack hackathon, (ii) the HyperSpark pre-accelerator and (iii) the HyperScale accelerator.
The first phase of HyperX – the HyperHack hackathon, has recently concluded in early November with almost 200 global participants coming together to generate close to 50 sustainability-driven ideas throughout a single weekend. Following after HyperHack, the HyperSpark pre-accelerator has recently opened its applications, which aims to help early-stage startups with sustainability-focused innovations build their business models, validate and implement faster, find product-market fit and get connected to global sustainability leaders. Following after, the HyperScale accelerator will kick-start in July 2020 and is catered for startups who are ready to cross borders and scale their sustainable innovations globally.
Obstacles Durwin Encountered
One of the biggest challenges is to garner high quality support, funding and resources to founders in Asia. Engaging large corporate and government entities to for longer-term programs and to create deeper impact, getting them to see beyond short-term returns and quick wins, aligning them to interact, support and build up the ecosystem is at the core of what StartupX do. Getting established founders who have exited to come back to various programs and give back in terms of mentorship and coaching has created a virtuous cycle that feeds the ecosystem. These efforts have enabled StartupX to maintain closed-knitted relationships with the community and all its stakeholders.
To all aspiring entrepreneurs out there: “Always start small, but think big”. As young people who are first time entrepreneurs, you will lack the experience and network needed to achieve your goals. It is okay to start off small by attending smaller events and slowly building your network, slowly but surely. Through interactions with the community, you will find that there so many opportunities out there for you to explore and develop. Try not to be too fixated on a certain path and always be open to newer, better opportunities. Always be patient, humble and always have a strong “why” to work towards and strive for!
You can connect with Durwin Ho via LinkedIn!
Who will be the Next Young Person of the Month?
You can be the next Opportunity Desk Young Person of the Month! All you have to do is get a friend to recommend your work or fill out the nomination form here. We want to use the platform to recognize and celebrate the efforts of amazing young people around the world. O! And you must be an active Opportunity Desk member, either as a fan, reader or subscriber!
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