Fundraising for your startup?

Are you currently fundraising for your startup? Do you have the musical talent? ie. rapping? How about learning from this fellow startup Take a look at one of their fund raising videos to the angels! Also checkout the rest of its rap videos to other VCs over here.  

Chat with Jerry Chen from Express In Music

If you are running a startup, have you ever consider using music or sound as your marketing tool? This video highlights what Express in Music can do for you. Last week, I met up with Jerry Chen CEO from Express in Music. I got to know Jerry during the Angel’s Gate contest. A business guy […]

Chat with founders from Gozo Labs

This week, I had the opportunity to meet with up with the founders of Gozo Labs – Xu DaXiang and Quek Shu Yang. On a personal basis, I met Daxiang when I was in Yahoo!. He was with the search marketing team while I was in business operations. DaXiang and Shu Yang met in the NOC programme in Silicon Valley and became good friends.

They started Gozo Labs this year. Gozo Labs has a flagship product named around! It’s a location based mobile application that allows users to scan QR code to unlock privileges and earn loyalty rewards at participating merchants.

Here’s a video on how it works:

Me: Thank you so much for your time and I would like to congratulate both of you because around! has been nominated for the Top 50 Asia Apps. (Click here to vote for around!) around!‘s nomination for the Top 50 Asia Apps has certainly proven that it has gain traction in a short span of time.

So share with us, why leave your full-time jobs and startup your own business? 

SY: Daxiang and I met noticed that there are inefficiencies in the existing advertising model for the retail and f&b merchants. Conventional digital advertising charges advertisers on a cost per impression, per click or subscription model but what the merchants really need apart from those eyeballs for branding and awareness is people who walk into their stores to purchase their products. Instead of focusing on our bottom line, our priority is to serve the needs of both the merchants and users by establishing an effective and efficient advertising ecosystem so that they will benefit from being on around!.

Me: What is the difference between begin an employee and employer?

DX: Personally i thought that regardless whether we are employee or employer, we are called to do the best to of our abilities and see how we can serve one another in the best possible manner. Just that right now we are running the team we have to learn to wear multiplies hats such as to serve, to lead and to inspire; gone were the days where we could focus solely on what we enjoy doing and do best.

Me: Will you recommend budding entrepreneurs to work for a few years first or go straight into startups?

DX: it depends. if you have the right experience, skill sets and contacts you can get started anytime and anywhere.

Me: You have quite a big team as compared to most of the startups of similar timeframe. Is there frequent arguments due to the size of the team?

SY: I believe our current team of 5 is optimal for Gozo Labs, because each of us our skill complements the requirement in this startup. We are also good friends and we share the common vision for Gozo Labs. Plus despite the busy schedule, we do hold weekly “round table” session to review our progression and gather feedbacks in the team.

Me: What is your direction for Gozo Labs? And any thoughts of overseas expansion? 

DX: Gozo means joy in Spanish, and we set up Gozo Labs with the intent of bringing joy to others, both users and our partners. Definitely  overseas expansion is in the timeline but our goal now is to build up the base in Singapore first.

Me: How is your flagship product(around!) performing? And any other new products in the brewing process?

DX: Over the past 10 weeks since we launched we received a lot of feedback on how we can improve the UI and performance of the app and that has been useful to help us keep iterating. As for new features coming up you bet; we are focusinf on technology and user experience more then anytime else. Stay tuned for our new UI in 1 week time.

Me: How are you different from the deal sites in Singapore and LBS application?

SY: We provide long term value for businesses which deal sites are not able to offer and we have built-in customise rewards system that able to effectively retain users. In short, we differentiate ourself through a mixture of location-based promotions. and loyalty rewards.

Me: Lastly and most importantly, How you make money?

DX: By delivering joy :) We have 2 business model for around!. 1. we take a small cut from the merchant upon user’s redemption. 2. we also provide customize loyalty reward system which merchants can use on a pay per use basis. As of current, these revenue models have certainly proven themselves to be working pretty well. :)

Amay panggang at NUS DECK

As the conversation comes to an end, I went to NUS Arts canteen to grab dinner at my favorite stall <Indonesian Panggang>.

And bootstrapping a startup myself, I think of ways to save and with around! I was able to get a 10% discount for my dinner :) woot #startuplife! Gozo Labs have raised over S$100,000 in funding, including a grant from MDA iJAM and funding support from NUS Venture Support so Budding Entrepreneurs get your ideas cracking!

more conversation with startups 

Venturing into #startuplife? Read this first.

Before anyone takes the plunge into the startup space. There are many considerations involved. I am not going to post why I do a startup here. There already many articles and blog posts written about individual decisions in venturing into startups. Jacky Yap – Undergraduate’s POV Vanessa Tan – To study or not? A presentation by Dave McClure “Why […]

#sgstartups can now party like TechStars!

With the increasing initiative of Entrepreneurship from the government and the private sector, Singapore Startups can now party like TechStars! through the Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI). The Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI.Asia) is a Singapore-based, privately-owned company that creates and supports digital businesses, accelerating them from start-up through investment to realizing their value. JFDI recently partners with SingTel Innov8 (Innov8), […]

Chat with Ng Weileen from 9flats Asia

With reference to my previous post. I like to thank Weileen for giving me the opportunity to interview him. A short bio on Weileen – He is my senior from the NUS NOC Shanghai program and have deep experiences in running startups. He co-founded 2 companies – and Indie Tee Room. Both startup deals in the retail industry. After which he moved on […]

Spreading the love of Startups

Sometimes matters in life come to a standstill. You are at a lost of what to do and  you just need a little push before you get pass the wall. The same goes for cycling, I ride hard and fast but sometimes it feels so heavy and the bike just would not move. So what […]

Where can you get free startup mentorship?

Singapore! Since I started my startup journey, there are so things buzzing each day. One thing is for sure the support for entrepreneurship in Singapore is certainly rising. Beside the funds that are available for startups (Spring, iJam), there is now also mentorship opportunities available from experienced entrepreneur even you are not funded. In the past, having an […]

I quit my job to startup again.

14 Sep 2011 was the last day I received my final pay check from the company. I said goodbye to the stable income and hello to #startuplife” again. 2 years ago I tried to build a startup with my buddy zyy. We failed! but along the journey we learn so much more. Now, after spending […]