BT journalist Claudia Chong wins award for work on Singapore’s startup community

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CLAUDIA Chong, a journalist with The Business Times (BT), has been recognised for her reporting on the local startup ecosystem at the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (Ace) Youth Sub-Committee Under 35 Awards 2022.

She was one of 10 honourees awarded at this year's event on Friday (Nov 4). Organisers noted her "crucial role in amplifying the success of the local startup ecosystem and spotlighting the stories of local entrepreneurs".

Chong, who reports on tech, startups and venture capital (VC) at BT, said: "No startup ecosystem can truly thrive without the good work of journalists. It's great that the Ace Youth Sub-Committee has chosen to honour journalists this year, and I hope more of my peers will be recognised for working day and night to keep people honest."

The award, which is in its third year, seeks to recognise the achievements of those under 35 who have made significant contributions to the Singapore startup ecosystem, said organiser Ace Youth Sub-Committee.

BT's editor Chen Huifen said: "The work that journalists do is often unseen, underrated, sometimes even unappreciated by the public. So we are proud that Claudia has been recognised among those who help to enrich the startup landscape with accurate reporting, flagging challenges and issues before they come to the fore. It's an encouragement to her and to the rest of BT as well."

Gracing the event was Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law. He said: "I am not an entrepreneur, unlike all of you, but I am equally inspired by stories like these. Stories of vision, of a lot of bravery, and sometimes dipping a toe into something that is completely uncharted, and to make that first step - I think this is something that is inspiring."

He said Chong has "contributed considerably" to Singapore's startup ecosystem, even though she is not an entrepreneur herself, as she showcased the stories of local entrepreneurs in her work.

"This has inspired many others to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, while enabling them to have realistic expectations for the road ahead," he added.

Ace chief executive officer Florence Neo said: "By affirming the efforts of young founders and those in our community through this award, we hope to inspire more youth and PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) to join us in cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit in Singapore. Youth represent our future, and engaging them remains a key priority for Ace."

The judges of this year's awards were Neo, co-founder of Carousell and Ace board member Marcus Tan, and co-founder and CEO of igloocompany Anthony Chow.

The other honourees - members of the startup ecosystem such as venture capitalists and startups - are:

  • Adriel Chua, senior investment associate at Indonesia-based VC firm East Ventures' growth fund;
  • Bryan Koh, CEO and founder of digital healthcare provider WhiteCoat;
  • Gwen Sim, associate in the Asia Fund at Singapore-based VC firm Quest Ventures;
  • Joel Ang, vice-president at cross-border VC firm Wavemaker Partners;
  • Justin Lee, associate director at Trirec, an investment holding company focused on renewable energy and clean technology projects;
  • Lee Kian Chong, co-founder and CEO of cybersecurity software as a service (SaaS) company CyberLitmus;
  • Jeremy Hon, co-founder and chief technical officer of staff management platform StaffAny;
  • Ong Yong Cheng, vice-president of investments at Insignia Ventures Partners; and
  • Theodoric Chew, co-founder and CEO of mental wellness digital platform Intellect.

Ace was set up in 2003 by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and relaunched in 2014 as a private sector-led non-profit organisation, to be the national voice for the Singapore startup ecosystem, and a key trade association representing the interests of startups in Singapore.



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