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How We Built A $24M Startup: Beeconomic To Groupon. Part 1

Chris Chong | February 17, 2019
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    How We Built A $24M Startup: Beeconomic To Groupon. Part 1
    Chris Chong

Thanks for listening to how we built a $24M startup in Singapore at the age of 21, click the Play button! How did it happen? I was interviewing Elisha as my podcast guest then she suggested if we could switch roles and she could put me in the hot seat. Here’s her interview, this is part 1 of a 2 part podcast series. You can find episode 2 here.

Watch the latest TV show in Japan with Channel NewsAsia before COVID-19 hit.

Thank you to Elisha Tan from TechLadies and Facebook for guest-hosting this episode. This was a completely spontaneous experiment. One second I’m finishing my interview with her, the next second Elisha is asking me, “how about I ask you some questions?” And so this happened. No rehearsals, no set questions, she just went with it and did an amazing job! Check out my interview that I had previously just recorded with her here.

Guest Host’s bio from ElishaTan.com:

I started my career as a fresh grad entrepreneur, wanting to help people make a living with their passion. My startup journey took me through many challenges – from learning how to code when I couldn’t find a tech co-founder, testing new ideas to grow the product, to moving to Silicon Valley for mentorship.

I’ve put my heart and soul into Learnemy but it eventually failed. Then, I was fired 6 months into the job I had after my startup failed. Through resilience, a supportive community, and perhaps a sprinkle of dumb luck, I’m now the Developer Programs Manager for APAC at Facebook and the Founder of TechLadies.

At Facebook, I helped launch the Developer Circles program globally and scale it in Asia. Within a year, I’ve built communities to reach 40,000 (and counting!) developers, training and helping them with employment and startup opportunities.

Outside of Facebook, I work on TechLadies – a community-led initiative for women in Asia to connect, learn, and advance as programmers. We are now a community reaching thousands, having taught hundreds of women programming skills, and helping tens of ladies enter the industry as programmers.

Guest’s Bio:

At 20, I took a break from my law degree to co-found my first startup, Beeconomic, which was fully acquired by Groupon (a record-breaking buyout in Singapore after just 6 months according to The Straits Times).

As Groupon Singapore co-founder, we created over 200 jobs and made history by helping Groupon become “the fastest-growing company ever” (-Forbes and CNBC). After Groupon, I worked on 4 startups that failed, which taught me important lessons about failure.

After finishing my law degree, I joined a “Top 5” law firm in Australia that led to an offer in their M&A advisory practice.

I was then recruited by Hong Kong’s biggest English newspaper, The South China Morning Post, as the social media editor to execute a digital transformation strategy. When the team achieved strong digital growth, Jack Ma’s Alibaba acquired the newspaper. After 6 months of transitioning and training with the new owners, I moved on to pursue my passion for cooking.

After culinary school, I became a full-time advisor for a $100M Japanese VC, a highlight is our $1M investment into a fast-growing, millennial-focused news platform.

I have served as a consultant to Governments and 80+ tech firms in Southeast Asia, but for early-stage startups, I also volunteer as a mentor at an incubator. I am an entrepreneur who knows exactly how it feels to be guide-less and isolated. I’ve met a lot of kind people on my travels who were willing to help me and this is my way of paying it forward.

Spending my spare time volunteering in charities, mediation, cooking, and working out are my passions. Channel NewsAsia shot a 2018 TV documentary called “Millionaire Minds: Chris Chong” featuring my latest (failed 🙁 ) startup and featured me as a guest host on their show “The Millennial Investor” before COVID-19 hit. I’m looking for my next job (like everyone right now), if you know of any TV hosting opportunities, then do please reach out.

If you liked this episode, check out our most popular interview from season 1 with the co-founder of SGAG and MGAG, Karl Mak.

Thanks for listening! The greatest compliment you can give me is to recommend this podcast to colleagues, family, and friends. Share a comment through email or Linkedin and let me know what you think, I’m constantly trying to improve the content in this podcast for you. 

We’ll let you know when a new episode comes out! Subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Android, Spotify, Or Any Podcast App.



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Music (CC/Royalty Free)

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Lee Rosevere – 09 – Thoughtful

Lee Rosevere – 01 – Here’s the Thing

Lee Rosevere – 03 – The Secret to Growing Up

Lee Rosevere – 07 – Making A Change

Lee Rosevere – 09 – Slow Lights

Lee Rosevere – 12 – Old Regrets

Lee Rosevere – 13 – I Believe in You

Lee Rosevere – Night Caves

Lee Rosevere – 03 – Small Steps

Lee Rosevere – 12 – The Long Journey

Lee Rosevere – Not Alone

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    02. How We Built A $24M Startup: Beeconomic To Groupon
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    03. S2E1: Monologue, on persistence and courage

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