27 minutes | Sep 4, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 19 – Patrick Connolly – Founder and CEO of Anility – We Just Want To Bring Transparency
Quote: “We’re not saying get rid of your contractors, but we have data to strengthen what you’re already doing.” In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Patrick Connolly, the Founder, and CEO of Anility, whose vision is to make construction nightmares a thing of the past. Dedicated to empowering construction teams with accurate and reliable data to identify any risks quickly and effectively during the contractor vetting process, Anility values both transparency and accountability to their clients. They discussed Patrick’s experience around leaving the comforts of a stable job, the problems present within the construction industry, the role of technology, and what risks Anility is able to eliminate in the contractor vetting process. Building a Future in Construction Born and raised in a family working in the construction industry, Patrick naturally followed in their footsteps. He explained that upon his time studying Engineering at the University of New South Wales he found himself wondering if that was really the path for him. “I realized engineering wasn’t for me, it was a little too mathematical and I was a more hands-on management type of guy,” said Patrick. He promptly transferred into a Project Management course following his realization and upon his graduation, he got his first job as a contract administrator. Patrick detailed his experience working in that role and the different responsibilities he was given as he progressed his career. Venturing Into Startups When asked about what his friends and family thought about him leaving his stable job and venturing into the unknown world of startups, Patrick laughed and said “most of my friends and family still ask me what I do.” Most people who leave their relatively safe and secure jobs to join the world of startups are because they see a problem they want to fix, and that they want to make an impact. Patrick admitted that his end goal was to always own his own construction company, and while working he started to realize that there was a major problem. Patrick explained that he found that within the construction industry, the actual process of vetting subcontractors was extremely difficult as everything was from word of mouth and nothing was ever documented. Which was how the idea of Anility emerged. Constructing Transformation “You can invest in the best technology, but if you pick the wrong contract to work on your project, you’re going to end up with all sorts of problems,” Patrick highlighted. Technology may be on the rise and has shown to improve our livelihoods from every day tasks to more complex issues, but they can’t fix everything. They discussed how crucial it is to manage risks to projects which includes establishing a prequalification process for contractors. As Patrcik states, “you can invest in the best technology, but if you hire a contractor who does not have the skills, quality, financial capacity to take the job on in the first place,” the project is doomed for utter failure. He then goes on to explain how Anility mitigates these risks and allows for transparency and accountability through the help of data. To learn more about Patrick Connolly and how he has constructed transformation in the construction industry, listen to this episode of the Ignite Podcast today. The episode summary was expertly written by Panchanit (Pang) Thawornwong.
31 minutes | Aug 28, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 18 – Darren Moore – Head of Development at Arthur Online – I Really Believed in the Stakeholders
Quote: “I’ve always been a bit of a geek.” In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Darren Moore, the Head of Development of Arthur Online, a cloud-based property management platform dedicated to boosting efficiency and saving time with over 145,00 properties listed. In addition to that, he’s also the Managing Director of Firecreek, a company developing a wide range of digital products with a passion for top quality code building, committed to providing usability, accessibility, and quality service. They discussed how a simple rivalry between brothers became Darren’s passion and future, the rapid development of technology, process of writing code and working in an agile environment. A Tale of Two Brothers “Both me and my brother were magnetised to technology,” revealed Darren. Growing up in a family that already had an interest in technology; with his older brother learning about programming in college, and his father working with technical processes, Darren had always had a deep fascination with all aspects of technology. He explained that he had always been a bit of a geek, and had been programming and hacking around from as early as 12 years old. But it was really the rivalry between him and his brother that kick started his passion for it all. Darren explained that although his brother had been studying programming at school, he refused to teach Darren any of it, and the natural need to one-up each other as siblings led to him to take matters into his own hands and he started learning programming himself. “I remember sneaking into his room and stealing his disks, those little floppy disks and seeing what he had built and putting them onto my own computer,” laughed Darren. This interest in technology, combined with his strong passion, led the way for Darren’s career. After doing some work experience during school, at just a mere 14-years of age, he was working freelance developing HTML websites. The Rise of Dead Knowledge “I learnt a lot over those years, but all the stuff I did learn is dead now,” said Darren. The digital landscape is in a state of perpetual change. It goes without saying that technology has come a long way and has helped make our everyday lives more convenient in every aspect of life. Darren revealed that although he learnt a huge amount of information in his early years, about both programming, coding, and everything in between, his knowledge of technology is just dead knowledge now. He explained how different things have changed such as how to put up sites, how to host them and the language of coding. They go on further to speak about how Darren’s team has managed to stay current with all the various emerging technologies in the world, and the different processes they employ such as working in sprints. Building Everything From Nothing When asked whether or not it’s difficult to build something out of nothing, regarding coding for digital products, Darren shared that for him “it’s the most fun part.” Building digital products, let alone businesses, takes an undeniably strong combination of skills, strategy and execution. For some, starting with a blank canvas is incredibly daunting, and just like art, each decision you make on that canvas could either result in a masterpiece or, well, just an accident. Darren shared that he enjoys the creative freedom a blank canvas gives, however, he highlighted that there is a huge difference between starting with a blank slate for something you are creating as a hobby and for commercial clients. He then outlined the different approaches to both tasks and his experience with both over the years. From there, they spoke about Arthur Online and Firecreek, Darren’s experience with startups and the difference between those and the ones he is working with now and more. To learn more about Darren Moore and his long journey to where he is today, listen to this episode of the Ignite podcast today. This audio on this episode was expertly edited and produced by Alanis Braun. You can see her portfolio here and her LinkedIn profile here. The music called “Clear Progress” was created by Scott Holmes. The episode summary was expertly written by Panchanit (Pang) Thawornwong.
35 minutes | Aug 21, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 17 – Jack Thomas – Founder and CEO of BASE – You Need Some Elements of Technology Woven Into Your Concepts
Quote: “To really thrive and survive in fitness, you need some elements of technology woven into your concepts.” In this episode of the Asia Tech Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Jack Thomas, the Founder, and CEO of BASE and the host of the Fitness Business Asia podcast. Awarded as Bangkok’s Best Studio in 2020 and voted Gym of the Year at the Fitness Best Awards in 2018, BASE offers a variety of different training with their unique BASELINE® technology seamlessly woven into each training session that helps them monitor and track their fitness progress. They discussed Jack’s journey as a fitness entrepreneur, how he went from working in retail to corporate to then starting his own boutique fitness chain that has changed the fitness landscape in Asia, as well as the intersection of technology and fitness. The Corporate Realisation “It sucked the soul out of me working for a soulless corporation,” Jack admitted. After making the decision to not attend university after highschool, Jack worked a variety of jobs from pushing trolleys in IKEA to working in retail for both H&M and GAP, until he finally landed a job working in a bank. “I thought it would be a good career opportunity and progression for me,” he said. Jack explained that after his experience working in retail, he felt beyond lucky and exceptionally proud to be where he was and happily rode that wave. However, like any wave, regardless of how high and forceful they may rise, they must all eventually collapse within themselves. And as the sparks of his new banking job slowly dissipated, so did Jack’s soul, and he realised that the corporate life in the UK was never going to be the path for him. It wasn’t long before Jack made the decision to explore a different career path, and after saving some money, he took his first step into his new future and hopped onto a plane to Thailand. It was there that he discovered a gap in Thailand’s health and fitness market. Finding His Base Over the recent decade, boutique fitness has been on the rise and is only getting increasingly more popular each year, with its movement being felt globally. Bangkok is now home to some of the best boutique fitness centres in Asia, but this wasn’t always the case. One of the first people to dip their toes into these unchartered waters of Bangkok’s fitness industry was Jack Thomas. After identifying the gaps in Thailand’s fitness market in regards to gyms and fitness centres, Jack decided to make his career pivot and acquired a personal training qualification back in the UK. After that, Jack worked in a small fitness studio for 5 years where he gained the experience and developed the skills he needed to run his own fitness centre, and it wasn’t long before he set up BASE. Intersection of Technology and Fitness “I didn’t realise the intersection in the beginning, there was no real discussion 9-10 years ago,” Jack reflected. Technology has made a disruption on every business in a variety of industries around the world – and the fitness industry is definitely no exception. New technological innovations are changing the way we exercise and have started to transform our everyday fitness activities, and BASE has now jumped onto this trend. To bring an element of recording and tracking to their client’s fitness progress, they’ve created their own digital product called BASEline, where members can track their workouts and how they’ve done after each class. Jack shared his insight on the advantages of the edge technology and how BASE has gamified the fitness experience to encourage people’s healthy behaviours and sustain motivation. To learn more about Jack Thomas and his journey to forming BASE, how he made waves in the fitness industry in Asia, and the gamification of fitness apps, listen to this episode of the Ignite Podcast today. This episode was expertly edited and produced by Alanis Braun. You can see her portfolio here and her LinkedIn profile here. The music called “Clear Progress” was created by Scott Holmes.
29 minutes | Aug 14, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 16 – Paul-Henry Boudet and Jonathan Lemish – meetric – What Is Your Velocity of Task Completion
Quote: “Do you want the money, security and the common life path, or to take a risk and just go for it?” In this episode of the Ignite podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by both Paul-Henry Boudet and Jonathan Lemish, the two co-founders of Meetric, a tool to record, share and search any new tasks and actions decided in meetings. As a productivity tool, Meetric mitigates the extra work and wasted time along with poor collaboration to ensure the success and completion of any tasks and goals related to meetings. They discussed the origins and development of Meetric, how their two paths collided, speed dating for business and the challenges they have faced in the process of changing user behaviours with their innovative solutions. Speed dating for business “Meetric came very organically halfway through the event,” revealed Paul. Although they had originally begun their careers on incredibly different paths, Paul as a software engineer and Jonathan as a businesses analysis and project manager, through chance and luck their paths collided at an accelerator program back in Sydney called Antler. Throughout the course of the event, Paul and Jonathan discussed their goals and what a working relationship between them would look like, and after a few weeks of fleshing out problems and validating their ideas, Meetric was born. “We’re kind of the poster child for Antler,” laughed Jonathan. He revealed that they not only did not know each other prior to the program, but they both didn’t have any idea on what they wanted to work on. Infact, he revealed that everything came together organically through the design sprints and the program itself. They then further discussed their experiences working together and what it’s like to be in a cofounder relationship, taking that initial leap of faith and their own goals and motivations that lead them to where they are now. Manufacturing Meetric “We want to build a product people love, and to do that you have to listen to your users,” explained Jonathan. One of the main problems everyone faces regardless of the industry they are in, is the inefficiency of time management during meetings. The small loss of productivity during meetings can eventually lead to more significant problems in other areas down the line, and that’s what Meetric is here to alleviate. “The problem we’re trying to solve is getting lost. We try to solve that problem by providing a stand alone web application that integrates with your calendar but also syncs with your other productivity tools,” said Jonathan. They further elaborated on their strong vision for Meetric and the product’s backlog and plan to match and the importance of feedback from users. Challenge of changing behaviours “We want to make the transition as frictionless as possible,” they said. Changing someone’s behaviours can be incredibly challenging, especially if they’ve been doing things a certain way all their life. To change a certain behaviour, the person must make a conscious decision and effort to do so, which is easier said than done. Paul and Jonathan revealed the challenges they faced along the way in their efforts to get people to see value in their tool, and revealed the value of creating an opinionated innovative solution. They discussed how creating an opinionated solution is inherently better and how they have crafted their digital product around that approach. To learn more about both Paul-Henry Boudet and Jonathan Lemish’s journey from their initial meet-up to how they’ve overcome their obstacles, listen to this episode of the Ignite podcast today.
27 minutes | Aug 7, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 15 – Masahiko Honma – Founder Market Fit Masahiko Honma – Co-founder and General Partner – Incubate Fund
Quote: “ Invest more, take more, higher initiatives.” In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Masahiko Honma, the Co-founder and General Partner of Incubate Fund, a venture capital specialising in the seed stages of startup investing. Since 2010, the establishment had invested $340 million in seed startups making them the biggest investors in the early stages in Japan. They discussed his early investments and reasons behind his interest in investing in the seed stages of these startups, talked about going global, and revealed the enigma behind what drove him into investing in specific startups. The Seed Stage and the Probability of Success “I want to be able to find potential in a business opportunity,” said Masahiko. Masahiko expressed his devotion for Biotech startups as he remarked on his interest in life sciences. He specifically focused on the seed stages of investment in which he provided funding by contributing to the advancement of business ventures. As a venture capitalist, he wanted to be the one that had the means to detect success. He wanted to be able to give his full effort towards attempting to ascertain the prosperity of business opportunities. Masahiko explained that his approach favors the idea that investors should choose a more curated bet which solely depends on a number of founders in that specific opportunity. Masahiko then elucidated the importance associated with risks and how investors should continue to take and invest in more in order to dig deeper into each of the stages of opportunity. He claimed that it’s the investors job to “encourage researchers and technologists to gamble and set the variation” in order to survive in competitive markets. The Evolution of Founders “Not a big change so far.” When asked about what had changed overtime, Masahiko was convinced that the new founders are getting older by the years. Founders back then tend to be in their late adolescent years whereas now the anticipated age range is much higher. Similarly, Masahiko pointed out that today, it is compulsory for startupers to have a computer science background. With the market constantly shifting to where innovations involve new technology, founders are expected to possess if not acquire the skills that enable them to play a vital role in communities. Overall, Masahiko interpreted the change in age as being very inconsequential. With time comes different investment opportunities, the market however is the main determining factor, and startups will have to adjust to fit the market accordingly. What to Look For When Going Global “If the investor isn’t there how will the founders trust the investor.” Masahiko had been investing globally with funds set up independently. He had informed Michael on the general partners assigned to look at the funds globally to maintain good relations with founders. He highlighted the practicality of avoiding market saturation which can only be done by specific founders. Masahiko was firmly convinced the founders act as differentiators and believe in the idea that some business opportunities can be successfully done by specific founders. He explained the Founder Market Fit theory and placed emphasis on commitment and instincts. “I need the type of people that have deep thoughts into each specific idea to solve day to day,” he claimed. To learn more about Masahiko Honma and investing in venture capital businesses, listen to this episode of the Ignite Podcast today.
31 minutes | Jul 31, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 14 – Jeremie Tisseau – CEO & Founder of Morphosis Apps – The Faster You Fail, The Faster You Can Learn
Quote: “You can read all the books you want but until you actually do it you never know what it’s like.” In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Jeremie Tisseau, the Founder and CEO of Morphosis Apps, a premium design first digital agency. Morphosis started as a small UX/UI agency and has now transformed into an end-to-end digital agency. As a design first agency, Morphosis offers a myriad of services from design and development, to SEO and marketing, all of which are dedicated to elevate their client’s business through a strong focus on user experience. They discussed how Jeremie stepped foot into the UX/UI industry, the significance of being able to reinvent yourself and how he went from a one man freelancer to employing nearly fifty people. Designing A New Path “I was really miserable,” Jeremie revealed. Despite having over 15 years of experience in the design field, Jeremie had actually never intended on becoming a UX/UI designer, let alone becoming a CEO and Founder one day. Originally, he had studied instrumental optics for several years in France, after which he acquired a job in the Canary Islands in Spain. There, he worked as a technician in optics for 4 years, during which he realized just how miserable his field of work made him and that he was ready for a new path. He revealed that he stumbled upon this new path in a purely serendipitous accident. He explained that he had wanted to learn more of both English and Spanish and knew of people who did too, however, back then there wasn’t any website for meeting groups of people yet. Jeremie decided he would just try to create a website and planned to hand out booklets and flyers in the streets. It was through this that he discovered his love for design and just how much potential he had in the field. The Reinvention Process “I learnt how to simplify my designs,” he explained. After realizing his newfound potential in the design field, he wasted no time in improving his knowledge and understanding of not just creating designs, but designing codes. “For my first website, I went crazy on the design, then when I tried to code it I realized it wasn’t going to work,” laughed Jeremie. He explained that back then coding something was a lot more complicated than it would have been to do it now. As a result, he learnt how to simplify his creations whilst still maintaining an effective design and a powerful impact. They discussed Jeremie’s reinvention process and how crucial it is to be able to adapt and change, as well as how he forged his career path that expanded in opportunities and possibilities. One Man Army to Business Owner “You have to fail a lot, the faster you fail the faster you can learn,” he reflected. Entering a new field of work was never going to be an easy transition. There will be many bumps along the way, and you’re inevitably going to make a myriad of mistakes. When making these mistakes, you can feel like you’re learning less, when in reality you’re actually learning more. The transition from a one man army to employing your first set of employees and becoming a business owner can be particularly tough. Jeremie details the mistakes he made along his path to success, revealing that he “spent a lot of time solidifying the agency” and always tried to ensure he was recruiting those who believed in his dream. He then describes “the spark” he looks for when recruiting people, and how avoiding tough situations may raise your confidence, but it’ll never raise your chances of real success. They then go on to discuss this “dream” of Jeremie’s and how that led him to expand his business and built a strong structure to help him accelerate the success of his business. To learn more about Jeremie Tisseau’s emergence into the UX/UI industry, the influential events, mistakes he made along the way and his insight on building a successful agency, listen to this episode of the Ignite podcast today.
35 minutes | Jul 23, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 13 – Jianggan Li – Momentum Works – Had To Learn the Hard Way
Quote: “I joined as employee number six.” In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Jianggan Li, the Founder and CEO of Momentum Works, a Singapore-based company dedicated to venture building for companies trying to delve into new markets. Their expertise in all major markets, along with their quality resources, allows Momentum Works to support a variety of companies build their businesses through developing their systems, models and projects, and more. In this podcast, they discussed Jianggan’s experience of working with smaller businesses as opposed to large corporations, his experience running a venture, the Time Machine Theory, and competing with China. Is Bigger Always Better? “I don’t think it was a deliberate choice to be in a small firm,” said Jinggan. After graduating from university in Singapore, Jinggan was faced with multiple opportunities, and he found himself torn between working for a big corporation, or a startup company. But as a fresh graduate, the idea of flexibility and the new challenge of adapting to changing environments, as well as coming up with new perspectives, gained his interest. After years of experience working in both startups and large corporations, Jianggan reflected on his journey, what he learned along the way, and whether or not he would’ve done things differently. He revealed that if you were to ask him now, he “would’ve preferred to stay in bigger companies longer” and that “there were some lessons (he) had to learn the hard way.” Michael and Jianggan both discussed their own experiences in the two different worlds and shared their insights on how it impacted their careers down the line. The Time Machine Theory Different markets and countries are in different stages of development, and some businesses are more future-orientated than others. Take the multi-million dollar example of Apple, who continues to create products that people didn’t even know they wanted until they were made. It seems as though these businesses have travelled into the future to produce gadgets and other products that are so uniquely successful. And although it is impossible – as of right now – to travel into the future, you may be able to create a future by bringing the present into the “past.” Jianggan discussed the Time Machine Theory, and how projecting current businesses models that are already successful to countries or businesses that are a few years behind could lead to a digital disruption that would propel them into another world of opportunities. Competing in South East Asia “To be a successful company, you need to look at international markets,” Jianggan said. One of the most, if not the most successful markets in the world is China. It is one of the fastest emerging marketings in the entire world, and is expected to become the world’s largest economy in the foreseeable future. With its economy having a track record of success, it may be surprising to see why Jianggan has not invested in China. “It’s not that you’re not good, it’s that the speed in which you evolve is not as fast as local players,” said Jianggan when asked about why he’s not invested in China. He also said that “understanding the nuances and subtleties of a business is crucial for early stage investing.” He then went on to give insights on how to successfully emerge in international markets and what he looks for before investing. To learn more about Jianggan Li and his experience in the best of both worlds – startups and corporates, along with how to help your business embrace and thrive in the emerging markets, listen to this episode of the Ignite podcast today.
34 minutes | Jul 17, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 12 – Marc Wohling – Kontakte – Managing the Entire Career Arc
Quote: “We’re not a static job board, we are not a static list and we’re not like LinkedIn.” In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Marc Wohling, the co-founder of !Kontakte, a web-based platform and mobile application that helps link employers to potential candidates. As a free talent marketplace, !Konttakte is dedicated to solving recruitment problems through offering a more targeted, immediate and flexible service that’s unique to the recruitment industry. In this podcast, they discuss Marc’s unusual path to foundership, the conceptualization of their operating system for global contingent and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. From Techno to the Tech Industry Born and raised in Southern Australia, Marc has had quite a unique journey on his path to foundership. His family all had working backgrounds so it was no surprise that he followed in their footsteps, leading him to work in the trade construction industry. Marc explained that during that time, he had fallen in love with music, so much so that he decided to study it whilst doing his apprenticeship in construction. He revealed that his love for the arts and music grew over time and led him into the world of electronic music. This was his beginning in his interest in technology. His new journey into the tech industry, through his degrees in Environmental Science, led him down a path in the global consulting industry. He tells Michael about his experience doing work with sustainable livelihoods, organisational development, UX/UI design and how he adopted technology into !Kontakte. Fusion of Digital Technologies and Humans “The enormous computing power that we’ve seen is going to push us into a society that’s augmented by machine learning and Artificial Intelligence,” said Marc. As the boundaries between technology, in the physical, digital and biological world, become increasingly blurred, it has paved the way for more digital transformations and disruptive technologies in almost every industry around the world. However, as a result of this, there is a level of hysteria brewing, with some arguing that this new age could lead to an increasingly segregated society. With some low-skill/low-pay jobs slowly fading into the background, there could be a potential risk for social tension – which is where !Kontakte comes in. Marc discusses his motivations behind !Kontakte, and how he believes !Kontakte plays an integral role in helping people of all backgrounds and ages adapt to the rapidly changing working environment as they transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. On-demand Connections “We’re not a static job board, we are not a static list and we’re not like LinkedIn.” Whether you’re applying for a job or trying to recruit someone for it, the anxious wait while you’re in limbo waiting for a response can be excruciatingly stressful. And with our current on-demand economy, speed and efficiency is highly sought after. Marc explains the common recruitment problems for businesses, such as slow response times, high recruitment fees and wasted time rummaging through applications that aren’t even suitable for the job offer. He then goes on to detail how his platform mitigates these issues by operating in real-time. As a result, Kontakte has become an efficient and intuitive platform that has been layered on top of already existing infrastructures, successfully adding value to a common problem everyone experiences. To learn more about Marc Wohling and his insight on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, how he has adapted to the rapidly changing work landscape and more, listen to this episode of the Ignite Podcast today.
30 minutes | Jul 10, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 11 – Sarah Huang – Burda Luxury – The Selling Starts When the Customer Says No
Quote: “The selling starts when the customer says no.” In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Sarah Huang, the Regional Director of New Business at Burda Luxury, a publisher of luxury content. With over 300 magazines published in the region, and a team of over 10, 000 employees, Burda Luxury is dedicated to creating high-quality content for millions of readers in both Asia and Europe. They discussed Sarah’s background and how she got to where she is today, her impressive career accomplishments, and what she’s learnt from them. Build, Attack and Conquer “Entrepreneurism has always been deep-rooted in my family life,” said Sarah. After immigrating from Indonesia, Sarah spent most of her childhood growing up in Australia. She said that life wasn’t always easy, and hinted to the financial difficulties they faced. Like many around the world, Sarah didn’t have the privilege to go to university or afford a university education, but what she did have was a fascination with technology. She explained that growing up, she was always around computers with her step-father and brother, whether it was taking them apart and piecing them back together or playing video games. Her interest in business came surprisingly through games like SimCity and World of Warcraft, all of which were about building, along with attacking and conquering. They spoke about how there is always a struggle on the path of entrepreneurship and went on to discuss the glamourization of the constant struggle, the meaning of money, and how their concept of gratitude changed throughout the years. Never Taking ‘No’ As An Answer “I had a job I was eyeing, but I had absolutely failed in the interview and didn’t pass the aptitude test. I was rejected,” she said. Any form of rejection isn’t pleasant. Emotions like sadness, disappointment, and even anger often arise and can be intense. Sarah shared that despite the fact that she got rejected for her dream job, she still couldn’t imagine herself working anywhere else. Which was when she decided to make the courageous – if not crazy – decision to work for free. “It was probably one of the dumbest things I ever did, but it actually resulted in a lot of success,” she recounted. However, after merely three-days, she got hired full-time. Sarah detailed her uphill journey from start to finish and they discussed the importance of perseverance and determination. The Right Answer From digital consultancy, project management, to CEO, the list is neverending. Sarah has had a number of years of experience in a variety of industries. In this podcast, she shared the crucial lessons she’s learnt about aspects of team building, business building, inventory management, and more. Despite being rejected from her dream job on her first try, the tables turned and Sarah ended up being on the other end where she was tasked with hiring the perfect candidates for different roles. She shared the one question she will always ask candidates that gives her insight on the true character of the person, and the shocking answers she’s received in the past that either make or break the interview. To learn more about Sarah Huang and her global journey, from rejection to success, listen to this episode of the Ignite podcast today. This episode was expertly edited and produced by Alanis Braun. You can see her portfolio here and her LinkedIn profile here. The music called “Clear Progress” was created by Scott Holmes.
39 minutes | Jul 3, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 10 – Anouk van der Laan – NestVC – Living In a Fund-Starved Environment
In this episode of the Ignite podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Anouk van der Laan, the Head of Innovation at Nest.vc, a corporate innovation accelerator and incubator for a variety of businesses. Based in areas with developing markets, such as South East Asia, the Middle East and East Africa, Nest.vs is dedicated to helping businesses adapt in the age of digital transformation. In this podcast, they discuss Anouk’s global experience in the corporate world, along with the market gap she discovered between corporate and startups. Around the World From the Netherlands to Uganda, Japan to China, and Australia to Bangkok, Anouk has gained valuable insight and experience working in a variety of cultures and environments. In this podcast, Anouk explains her journey from a physicist to working in the Venture Capital and Private Equity industry, what aspects of her physicist degree helped her, and the corporate insight she gained from years of experience in the field. Bridging Gaps and Forming Connections “Connect. Collaborate. Scale.” is the motto at Nest.vc. Working in a company that is a ‘corporate innovation accelerator and incubator’, Anouk has gained expertise in bridging the gap between corporate businesses and startups. She discusses the key differences and growth requirements for both of these types of businesses in order to see what the best execution would be to drive success. She then goes on to explain how she bridges the gap to form a successful connection to help both of them grow, such as defining key problem statements and finding the right specific collaboration opportunities for both parties. The Startup Mindset “If I don’t get venture capital funding, then I don’t get funding at all.” With the fast-paced and ever-changing digital environment, it’s suggested that businesses should generally adopt a “startup mindset,” one that is flexible, agile and adaptable. However, Anouk discusses how this recommended startup mindset could potentially be what kills startups themselves. She goes on to explain the different routes startups go down to get funding, and how most startups want to acquire venture capital funding. They discuss how funding should not determine the success or validation of startups, as well as alternatives for capital that startups can aim for. To learn more about Anouk van der Laan’s journey around the globe, gain insight into how innovation consultancy is changing and growing, listen to this episode of the Ignite podcast today. This episode was expertly edited and produced by Alanis Braun. You can see her portfolio here and her LinkedIn profile here. The music called “Clear Progress” was created by Scott Holmes.
31 minutes | Jun 26, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 09 – Colm Hayden – Founder Cadoo – The Bitcoin Kid
Quote: “Success is born out of activity.” In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Colm Hayden, the founder of Cadoo, a consumer service company dedicated in making financial incentives work to help people reach their goals. They discussed Colm’s crypto career, his interest in blockchain technology and bitcoin, as well as his experience as a young entrepreneur in the tech industry. Becoming The Crypto Career Kid “I was the bitcoin kid in highschool,” said Colm. Being born and raised in Berkley, California, “the heart of Silicon valley,” Colm was constantly exposed to the world of tech. He received an abundance of opportunities to learn about entrepreneurship, early stage companies and how to prosper and grow into the world of tech and digital-driven industries. He explained to Michael that his fascination with bitcoins and crypto currency started as a serendipitous accident. After finding out about this new type of digital asset from a senior who had joked about hacking in highschool, Colm fell down the rabbit-hole of bitcoin technology. How to Credentialize Yourself “In business, you can become your own credential.” Growing up, we are generally told that it is important to go to college, and that getting a higher education to receive college a credential is the only path to success. But as times have changed, more paths have emerged and people are starting to create their own credential. Yet, there is still an unacknowledged pressure to go to college. However, Colm was never a “brainiac” and his grades held him back from his dream colleges. As he watched his friends enter the new chapter of their lives at places like UC Berkeley and Stanford, he felt like his unfortunate fate would be sealed shortly. But as Michael said, “success is born out of activity,” and this was especially the case for Colm. They discussed what led Colm to that final decision of not going to college, his experience of taking this alternative path, and what he learned from hustling through countless internships. Being a Young Founder “Making a business at this young of an age shouldn’t be about the money. It should be about the connection and experience you get, because that’s really what’s going to help you out in the long-run,” Colm stated. To learn more about Colm Hayden and how he became a young entrepreneur, listen to this episode of the Ignite Podcast today. This episode was expertly edited and produced by Alanis Braun. You can see her portfolio here and her LinkedIn profile here.
37 minutes | Jun 18, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 08 – Gautam Ganguly – CEO and Founder of Foodie – Foodie Was Born Inside the Kitchen
Quote: “The best thing you can do to learn is to break something, and then try to fix it.” In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Gautam Ganguly, the CEO and Founder of Foodie, a cloud-based restaurant automation and e-commerce platform dedicated to optimising user experience when ordering food. They discussed how Gautam went from software consulting to product development, the stigma around those in computer science, and the secret recipe for a successful product. Firing Up The Computer “My first computer was what really fired me up,” said Gautam. Gautam’s interest in technology came to him via a “Build-Your-Own Computer” kit that his father’s friend had gifted him and his family. He explained to Michael how his fascination for technology grew after seeing how the computer was put together and how easy it was to do so. His father’s friend had urged him to experiment with it, saying that the “best thing you can do to learn is to break it, and then to try to fix it.” Gautam did just that. Gautam shares his early experiences with technology and explained to Michael that through firing up the computer, he also ignited a newfound passion. From Keyboard to Kitchen “There are only three things you can be today as a young Indian person, you can either be a doctor, an engineer, or a family disappointment.” This mindset is far from uncommon in the Asian community, and like many people out there, Gautam was also faced with this uncomfortable choice. In his case, his mother wanted him to pursue a medical career after two generations of his family joined the armed.. However, Gautam decided he was going to carve his own path, and went on to tell Michael about his own journey after obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Applications. Cooking Up the Product “Foodie was born inside the kitchen of Pizzamania,” said Gautam. Gautam revealed to Michael that he had little to no experience in the food industry, let alone the e-commerce side of it. But as he stood in the kitchen of Pizzamania – a restaurant he had worked with – ideas started to emerge. He then went on to explain the secret recipe behind developing successful products. Gautam tells Michael that products should be built in an environment that needs it and discusses the importance of remembering that you are rarely your own customer. To learn more about Gautam Ganguly and his successful approach to integrating technology and e-commerce in the food industry, listen to this episode of the Ignite Podcast. The audio for this episode was expertly produced by Alanis Braun. The music for this episode is ‘Clear Progress‘ by Scott Holmes.
35 minutes | Jun 12, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 07 – Shannon Kalayanamitr – Gobi Partners – I Felt That My Bootcamp Was Over
Quote: “Do it and ask for forgiveness later.” In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Shannon Kalayanamitr, a partner at Gobi Partners, a venture capital and private equity firm dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs in emerging markets. They discussed how Shannon went from playing a character of a businesswoman in high school to playing in the real business field, finding her true direction and her very real and raw experiences in the early stages of her career. Daydreaming to Reality “I envisioned flying up across the world doing business, didn’t know what kind of business, with different people from across the world,” said Shannon. It had always been clear in her head that she wanted to have a career in business, and she had never been afraid of the distance between her dreams and reality. Knowing that her passion was in business from a very early stage meant she had always been ready for her journey, but she also knew that making these dreams a reality was going to take hard work, perseverance and maybe a few tears. In this podcast, Shannon shared how she overcame several obstacles in her life, from the early stages of her finance career to her transition into entrepreneurship and then the tech industry. The Waves of Change In waves of change we find our true direction, and that’s what happened with Shannon. In 2004 when the tsunami hit Phuket, Shannon flew down to help, doing everything from rescuing corpses to setting up scholarships and community funds. Shannon experienced managing money, finding partners and more. She explained that it was during this devastating turn of events where she got her real stance on entrepreneurship. Finding Your Ship “I always played the same person in my highschool skits… I’d bring my dad’s suits to wear along with his briefcase. Little did I know that his briefcase would become a laptop,” said Shannon. Being late to even setting up an email, Shannon hadn’t expected that this wave of change was also going to lead her down a path into the tech industry. Shannon explained to Michael what she experienced as an older woman going into tech and the intimidation she felt, the struggle to increase Thailand’s internet penetration to create more opportunities, and the dizzying world of tech acronyms. Not Always Smooth Sailing Shannon’s journey wasn’t always easy. When you first start off in a new industry, sometimes you’re afraid to speak up or share what you think, but the truer you can be yourself the more you flourish – in both your personal and professional life. After some tough back and forth conversations between her boss, Shannon found herself in a situation she did not wish to be in anymore and made the choice to stop the conflict and move on. Shannon then told Michael about the conversion with her boss that led her to put her foot down and said to herself that “boot camp was over.” To learn more about Shannon Kalayanamitr and her experience in banking, entrepreneurship, and tech, listen to this episode of Ignite today.
30 minutes | Jun 5, 2020
Ignite Podcast – Episode 06 – Kasper Dam – CEO & Founder, Kandio – At Some Point, I Actually Thought I Could Walk on Water
In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Kasper Dam, the founder and CEO of Kandio, a company that helps businesses recruit better tech employees. They discussed how Dam went from being a bartender to an entrepreneur, separating poor candidates from great candidates, and other sticky workplace dilemmas along the way. Breathing fire “At the time, I was a very simple student bartender at my local bar, and I participated in a bartending competition and won.” It was through intense prep work, training and establishing his uniqueness in the crowd that granted him this victory – the man even breathed fire. Following that, Kasper got picked up by Diageo, the biggest spirits company in the world, who were eager to hire him to develop and execute concepts for their “Cocktail of the Month” project during Copenhagen Fashion Week in 2013. Although winning this bartending competition seemed quite simple, as a result of being in the right place at the right time, this moment allowed Kasper to hit the ground running in this entrepreneurial journey. It would not be long after this that Kasper established his own company. Failure is Not Fatal But just like any journey, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. He told Michael about a time when one of his projects “failed miserably.” He recalled how he bounced back afterwards through gaining more experience on how to identify and capitalise on opportunities. The two discussed how early success can be both a blessing and a curse as one may not be equipped to handle failures later on. From working in bars to setting the bar Following that, Kasper explained the idea that got him to where he is now. “80% of the population think that they are in the top 20% of driving skills” said Kasper as he explained to Michael why he created Kandio. He said: “People really can’t judge themselves, and if you can’t judge yourself, how is a company supposed to?” Which is why he created a method to help companies conduct an unbiased and professional assessment of any individual before hiring them. Companies will not only get a final assessment score from each individual candidate, but they are also given the distributed benchmark score of how they did, compared to other candidates, as well as the chances you will find a one that is better for that role. To learn more about Kasper Dam and his journey on becoming an entrepreneur for Kandio, listen to this episode of Ignite today.