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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Meeting Singapore Eisenhower Fellows....

EF's Phillip Yeo and Ms. Lim Soo Hoon

One of the highlights of my trip was meeting several of the key Eisenhower Fellows in Singapore. On my first night I had the upmost pleasure of meeting with Fellow Eisenhower Colleagues, Philly Yeo, Chairman of the Spring Singapore and “ unofficial “godfather and icon” of technology development in Singapore and Ms. Lim Soo Hoon, Permanent Secretary within the Singapore Prime Minister’s office.

It was truly wonderful to meet them and learn more about the Country, its initiatives, and how the Eisenhower Fellowship again spreads it wings across the globe.

Mr. Yeo, who is now my new hero and “I want to be like him when I grow up” model, has a joy to meet. Mr. Yeo has basically been the catalyst for the creation and growth of many if not all of the Singapore technology parks, policy agencies, investment arms, innovation incubators, etc… I mean this man has done it all, and he not only creates this magic in Singapore but in India and Africa as well. Not that many people can say that they are offered permission to go into India and Africa and create, develop, and build the model and the infrastructure to spur technology. I LOVE IT!

Although was a bit challenging for Ms. Soo Hoon and myself to get in a word edge wise, (smiling) , it was wonderful and inspiring the passion and wisdom come from Mr. Yeo.

Best part of the meal, Mr. Yeo ordering Shark soup for the three of us….Note: Shark soup is actually illegal and banned from many restaurants in the US and in Asia. He loved this fact. Was proud and excited to order and offer me the opportunity to try it.

Thank you Mr. Yeo and Ms. Soo Hoon for an evening of delicious conversation and Singaporean delicacies.

EF David Lim

David Lim was a 2002 Eisenhower Fellow and the the Minister for Information, Communication, and the Arts from 2001-2003. The Ministry’s primary mission is to To Develop Singapore as a Global City for Information, Communications and the Arts, so as to build a creative economy, gracious community and connected society with a singaporean identity rooted in a multicultural Heritage.

I had the pleasure of having lunch with Mr. Lim along with several of his protégées who are also young mobile application developers. I loved this meeting because this was the first time I met young developers in Singapore and Mr. Lim was the perfect person to facilitate such a great conversation and introduction to this added component of my explorations in Singapore. The company that these young men formed is called SmooV, and basically has created an agnostic platform for mobile devices and its consumers to utilize and download mobile applications and other integrative mobile developments. Again, the investment in platforms is seen again.

The Founders are probably in their late 30’s and very excited to sign on with David and his team for investment. When I met with them it was clearly a business meeting and although I was “crashing”, it was eye opening to see business done, in this type of fashion with these type of young developers.

After the meeting, Mr. Lim drove me to my next meeting and we had a very good conversation about Singapore, South East Asia, South Asia, and US relations. Again, very insightful conversation and one that will be remembered.

Since my began these travels, one of the main joys has been the ability to meet Fellows all around the world, gain their perspective, enjoy their intelligence and conversation, and apply their knowledge of the world to my own budding sensibilities, business acumen, and professional and personal development. Every person met, every conversation had, has opened up my eyes, ears, and heart to a new way of thinking , interacting, and conducting business.

Thank you David for a wonderful lunch (Now a big fan of Laksa soup), and for the wonderful introduction to Singapore’s newest and hottest geeks ;-)



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