REIN­VENT­ING THE FU­TURE

Justin Chow | 31 | Co- founder and chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer at Fund­nel

The Peak (Singapore) - - The Hot Seat -

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Justin Chow’s def­i­ni­tion of the per­fect work­place is one with­out the rigid­ity of hi­er­ar­chy and mind-numb­ing red tape that typ­i­cally per­vade big cor­po­ra­tions, a safe space not un­like an in­cu­ba­tion pod where peo­ple are en­cour­aged to speak their minds and voice ideas freely.

So, when the time came to set up Fund­nel – a col­lab­o­ra­tive in­vest­ment plat­form he co-founded with three friends: Khai Lin Chua, Ben­jamin Twoon and Kelvin Lee – there couldn’t have been a more per­fect time to bring this idea to life.

“Do­ing away with the usual hi­er­ar­chi­cal bar­ri­ers at work has made things more ef­fi­cient and helped gen­er­ate more ideas. In fact, most of the time, the co-founders learn more from the team than the other way around,” he says.

The self-pro­fessed Star Wars fa­natic who metic­u­lously col­lects Lego Star Wars mem­o­ra­bilia says part of his ob­ses­sion stems from the mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion’s fas­ci­na­tion with own­er­ship. “Be­ing part of a tribe or part of a col­lec­tive is very ap­peal­ing in this day and age. It has a strong in­trin­sic value that words can’t de­scribe.”

Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, the mil­len­nial en­tre­pre­neur and his pre­de­ces­sor are not that dif­fer­ent. “Tech­nol­ogy might be light years ahead of what it used to be in the past, but, in terms of fun­da­men­tals, not much has changed. With­out grit and tenac­ity, all the tech­nol­ogy in the world isn’t go­ing to help you be No. 1,” says Chow.

These qual­i­ties have paved the way for his suc­cess thus far. While set­ting up Man­i­cu­ri­ous, a man­i­cure and nail art bar and cafe, and Jekyll and Hyde, a cock­tail bar, he dis­cov­ered a dearth of plat­forms in the mar­ket link­ing start-ups and in­vestors. Thus paving the way for the birth of Fund­nel. “Call it guts or naivete but fol­low­ing my heart has al­ways led me to the right place. I think that’s very im­por­tant in this day and age.”

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